Friday, July 29, 2011

Paddle Boarding on Cape Cod

It was a choice between morning yoga and paddle boarding. Both require basic balancing abilities, and total body strength. One is safe in a walled studio, the other in waters that tout sharks in the national press. Stepping out of comfort zone, we chose the later. It was a beautiful day. The air was hot and windy.


With a bit more practice, we could actually do both!

A sisterhood of five met at Bridge Street at 9:30 am. Jess brought her own board from home. Justin from Adventure Chatham delivered the boards for the rest of us newbies. For $15 dollars, Adventure Chatham will deliver and pick up boards and kayaks from local residences or specified locations, making the whole experience rather easy.


A few minutes before arriving, we watched an online instructional video. It sure looked easy. Basically you find the sweet spot on the board. Paddle around on your knees for a while and when comfortable lift up square on the board using your core and look at the horizon. The key piece of advice? DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR FEET.



The outward journey was an effortless (well almost) sail across Mill Pond. I believe one of us even said, "wow, this is a lot easier than I had thought." Definitely spoke too soon.
The same can not be said for the paddle back. Looking like a circus act, the two of us struggled to come upstream against the wind and current. One fall and two battles to turn our boards around later, we were far far behind our clan. Wind is a paddle boarders biggest foe (lesson learned). At times we seriously paddled for five minutes without moving an inch. But regardless, we had a great time. We're not kidding, we had a total blast. We spent the rest of the afternoon paddling in calmer waters. We even strapped the boards to our roof and took them for a spin on Pleasant Bay. From floating on our backs to mastering the paddling technique, we found paddle boarding to be a great way to enjoy the gorgeous view, catch some rays, and get a great work out.



A pro in no time

In addition to rentals and lessons, Adventure Chatham offers guided excursions and tours. Tours range from gentle paddles through the beautiful waterways of Pleasant Bay to a vigorous outer beach seal tour and surf excursion. For the full shebang, Adventure Chatham offers an off road vehicle catered beach excursion. Get the full experience as the companies SUV shuttles you around to the off road section of beaches in neighboring towns. Forget lugging around your beach gear, these trips are fully equipped! Luxury beach chairs, tables, umbrellas, paddle boards, kayaks, skim boards, bbq grill, ipod stereo, boccie set, sun showers and more. They'll even pack coolers filled with delicious sandwiches and drinks from the Corner Store. Sunset trips include tiki torches and firewood, and a beach bbq or clambake! We love the idea of an activity packed beach day sans lugging around two tons of stuff.



excursion photo from Adventure Chatham, what the heck is jumping out of the water?


For less of a commitment, try out "Wednesday Night Paddles." Every Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30, Adventure Chahtam hosts relaxed group excursions. Tide depending, paddle your way through either Oyster River, Stage Harbor or Chatham Harbor/North Beach for only 20 bucks!

For a list of prices and more information, visit Adventure Chatham online or visit their facebook page !


Paddle Boarding is all the rage, check out all the SUP rentals across the Cape:

Vec Surfboards - Orleans, Cape Cod - 808-634-8776
SICKDAY Surf - Wellfleet, Cape Cod - 508-214-4158
Nauset Sports - Orleans, Cape Cod - 508-255-4742
Pump House Surf Co - Orleans, Cape Cod - 508-240-2229
MOCEAN - Mashpee, Cape Cod - 508-477-1774
Cape Cod Paddle Surf - Osterville, Cape Cod - 508-737-8572
EMS Exploration - Hyannis, Cape Cod - 800-310-4504
RideAway Kayak - Sandwich, Cape Cod - 508-247-0827
Adventure Chatham - Chatham, Cape Cod - 800-809-1750

and for more information on rentals, lessons, and paddle board retail around the Cape, check out out this great site

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Viva the Farmer's Market!


My friends came over the other night for an impromptu dinner bearing a gift of smoked bluefish from the Orlean's Farmer's Market. The immediate response from most of us was a sympathetic smile(which was a lot better than blurting, "ICK") Let's face it, bluefish has a bad rap and requires occasional help, but this smoky version was worthy of huge accolades. It was flat-out unbelievable. Usually everything from a farmer's market is pretty spectacular.

Farmer's markets are a beautiful thing and they have popped up everywhere on Cape Cod this year. You can have farm fresh food every day of the week if you make a little effort and leapfrog from one to another in your area.

Special finds are all over the place. I discovered flaxseed tortillas the other day and now they are making their way into my dreams at night. Everytime I go to the farmer's market, I'm inspired.


We are lucky to have an established community of foodies here. Elspeth Hay who is our local food celebrity and airs on NPR morning addition All Things Considered knows the Cape's farmer's market better than anyone. She writes a blog about what is growing locally and how to use it. Check out Diary of a Locavore. She recently featured a raw food recipe for blueberry cheesecake by Katie Reed of Farm Fresh Maids, a Wellfleet raw food caterer. Look at this photo and you too will be a devotee.
Edible Cape Cod, our version of the quarterly magazine, is a great resource as well for what is happening on the farmer's market scene.
If you want to grow your own garden on the Cape, you might need some secret advice from the Cape's queen of gardening, C.L Fornari, bookwriter, professional speaker, expert on which of your favorite plants those pesky bunnies eat and don't eat. Her website is at the Garden Lady. Can you imagine in your wildest dreams having your carrot patch look like this? .

Let's just say some of us need farmer's market more that others.


Here's a list of Cape Farmer's Markets.



Falmouth Farmers Market
Thursday 12-6pm May 26
Peg Noonan Park, Main Street, Falmouth
http://www.falmouthfarmers/market.orf

Orleans Farmer's Market 8-12PM May 14 - Nov 19 21 Old Colony Way, http://www.orleansfarmersmarket.com/

Osterville Farmer's Market June 3 - Sept 30
Friday 9-1pm
Osterville Historical Society, 155 West Bay Road/parket Road
ostervillefarmersmarket.org

Bass River Farmers Market
Thursdays 8:30 - 1:30pm May 26, 307 Old Main Street, Yarmouth, wwwthebassfarmersmarket.com

Chatham Farmers market
Tuesday 3PM - 6:30 June 7 - December 26, 24 Main Street, South Chatham, chthamfarmersmarket@hotmail.com
Dennis Community Farmers Market

Harwich Brewster
Thursdau 3-6PM June 16 - 10/13
Brooks Academy Museum 80 Parallel Street, Harwich, www harwichhistoricalsociety.org

Green Harvest Farmers Market
Tuesdays, 12-6pm, June 7 - 11/15, Barnstable County Fairground, 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway, Rt 151

MidCape Farmers Market
Wednesdays 2-6PM June 8 - 10/16
Barnstable Youth and Community Center, 141 Bassett Lane, Hyannis, http://www.midcapefarmersmaket.com/

Ptown Farmers Market
Saturdays 11-4pm May-Dec Across from Town Hall intersection Commercial and Ryder Street

Sandwich Farmers Market
Tues 9-1PM
June 7-10/25
The Village Green, 164 Route 6A across from the fish hatchery, wwwsandwichfarmersmarket.com
and teh sandwich Farmers Marketat Oak Crest
Wed 8-1PM, April 27 - 10/26
34 Quaker Meeting House Road, sandwich
http://www.thesandwichbazaar.com/




Monday, July 25, 2011

Green Smoothies

After a weekend of indulging, I'm ready to hit my internal re-set button. The ultimate cure to a post-weekend slump? A green smoothie.


A handful of kale
Half an apple
5 slices of cucumber
A stalk of celery
½ of an avocado
½ cup water
A splash of lemon juice

To some, this tall cup of goodness, dripping in deliciousness, may scream DRINK ME. For others, this may look like sewage. But as they say, it's never good to judge something based off of outward appearances. I mean, come on, look at lobster.

There's really no need to list the health benefits, as there are many. Basically, your drinking heaps of veggies, fruit and water. Enough said. It's a sure fire way to feel rejuvenated, hydrated, and energized.


There's plenty of recipes to be found online. However, green smoothies beg for spontaneity. Throw in whatever may be growing in the garden or sitting in the fridge. Kale, lettuce, cucumber, collard greens, celery, you name it. The greener the better. Try to aim for 70 percent greens, 30 percent fruit. Bananas , apples and pears add a zing of sweetness. If your smoothie tastes just a teensy bit toooooo green, drizzle in a bit of agave nectar or maple syrup to balance out the taste. As for the liquid, water is best. But you can always add diluted apple or orange juice (coconut water is great too!). Head to your local farmers market for some green inspiration.

Recently, I've been blending in a whole banana, a few pieces of frozen mango and pineapple, handfuls of kale and lettuce, celery, cucumber, raw almonds, coconut water, and lots of water.

Orleans Farmer's Market: The Real Food Advocate

For an extra dose of fiber and protein, throw in some flax seeds and raw nuts. For a little bit of crunch, try a scoop of granola right on top.


Truly Organic Foods: Cocoa nibs, goji berries and bee pollen

Give the green smoothie a try. Even my three and half year old sister loves them. And this coming from a particularly picky little girl who lives off of cheese found two forms: grilled and macaroni-ed.

Check out this kid friendly "frog nog" green smoothie recipe featured on The Sisters Cafe blog.

2-4 cups spinach or other greens (I use 4 cups organic baby/ or kale)
1-2 cups of water (depending how thick you like it)
1-2 bananas (I use 2)
1 heaping cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup frozen mango, peaches or other light fruit (I have used strawberries)
1 Tb honey or agave (optional for sweetness)

First I fill my trusty blender (I use the Blendtec) with spinach–lots of it! Then I fill the container up to the 2 line with water filling in around the spinach. Pulse to blend into a bright green water.
Next add your bananas, frozen fruit ans sweetner, if using. I push the ‘whole juice’ button and the blender purees it all for me into a wonder smooth green drink. What ever blender you have, just be sure to blend it for a good amount of time to make sure it is as smooth as possible. Pour into glasses and serve!
- the sisters cafe blog


Friday, July 22, 2011

Lulu Lemon Month at Power Yoga of Cape Cod


We're hooked on lulu lemon. Who isn't now-a-days? The groove pant is seriously a woman's best friend. We first met these stretchy wonders 4 years ago at a lulu lemon across the way in California. Despite countless wears and as a result, many many wash and drys, these pants haven't aged a bit. I would buy these pants in every color and wear them everyday if it were socially acceptable to wear black stretchy pants to work. (All the more reason to become a yogi!)


With the nearest lulu lemon store in Hingham, we rarely have a chance to ogle over all the great goods. That's why we are SO excited for lulu lemon month at Power Yoga of Cape Cod! (Winner of Best Yoga Studio in Cape Cod Magazine's Reader's Choice Awards and 0ur go to yoga studio which we blogged about here).

On July 23rd, this coming Saturday, lulu lemon will host a trunk show at PYCC from 1:30 to 4:30! Come enjoy refreshments, music, chats with lulu lemon expert educators, and of course, boatloads of great yoga gear. After an afternoon of inspiring company and great shopping, put all that positive energy to good use! One of PYCC's fabulous teachers (and owner,) Jill, will be hosting a complimentary Vinyasa flow class from 4:30 to 5:30!

Then, every single Saturday in August, from 10:30 - 11:45, lulu lemon will sponsor a FREE one hour power yoga class at PYCC. You can sign up online or show up on Saturday ready to sweat!


bringing lulu lemon to you - here on Cape Cod!


For more information, visit PYCC's website

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blueberry Picking on Cape Cod


The super fruit is here and the mode of acquisition is to pick your own. Our favorite venue is Hockum Rock Farm in Dennis and gates open this Thursday at 8am.

There is a lot to love about blueberries. First off, these blue jewels are the numero uno powerhouse antioxidant. These powerful molecules help neutralize free radicals that may one day lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and maybe even brain degeneration. In addition to a slew of other health benefits, blueberries may may protect against, and even reverse, some age-related memory loss. That's a whole lotta good for such a little berry.

Luckily, it's not hard to reap the benefits of the these blue bombshells because these delights are not only delicious but downright addicting. Our family can down a carton in one sitting. You can’t eat just one, nor should you. So get pickin’.

Hockum Rock Farm is open this Thursday 8am - 10am throughout July and August on specific dates. See this website link for the summer schedule and directions. We can't tell you why, but there's something about picking your own berries that makes them taste even better. Last year, we picked to our hearts desire and came home with mountains and mountains of baby blues. We froze a good amount and enjoyed our handpicked berries in morning smoothies and oatmeal. A simple reminder of summer bliss. For more Cape Cod blueberry patches can be found at this local food guide, BFBL



Blueberries are a part of our everyday roster when the season is here. We could roll call ten thousand recipes, but we'll start here with a to die for Blueberry Tart by Terry Walter's of Clean Food, our "stand by me" food guru.

This is made with a almond meal crust which is not only delicious and healthy, it's foolproof and simple.



CRUST
2 cups almond meal
2
tablespoons maple syrup
1
tablespoon virgin coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
1
teaspoon almond extract

FILLING

1 cup apple juice
2
tablespoons
arrowroot powder
1⁄2
cup maple syrup
2
tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄4
teaspoon almond extract
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
2
cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 9-inch tart pan.
PREPARING CRUST
Place almond meal in large mixing bowl. In small skillet over medium-low heat, whisk together maple syrup, coconut oil and salt until oil melts. Whisk in almond extract and remove from heat. Pour this mixture over the almond meal and fold to incorporate all ingredients. Transfer dough to tart pan and press to form crust. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and, using the back of a wooden spoon, gently press down any puffed areas of crust. Set crust on wire rack to cool.

PREPARING FILLING

In small bowl, whisk together 1⁄2 cup apple juice with arrowroot and set aside. In medium Dutch oven over medium heat, combine remaining 1⁄2 cup apple juice with maple syrup, lemon juice, almond extract, lemon zest and salt and bring to simmer. Add 1 cup blueberries and stir until berries start to pop and liquid turns red/blue. Reduce heat to low and whisking continuously, pour arrowroot-juice mixture into berry mixture. When liquid is thick, remove from heat and fold in remaining blueberries. Pour into crust, spread evenly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.

Serves 8

Thursday, July 14, 2011

29th Annual Grecian Festival Opa!

My friend sent me a postcard of the Greek Islands last week. Every time I look at this photo I wish I were thrown overboard into this port town in the Aegean. I have a little Greek in my genes so my heartstrings get tugged pretty easily with this subject matter. I've had my fair share of Greek fare and can even speak about twenty five words in the ancestor's native tongue which in my terms would be classified as my second language. I am resolved to the fact that I won't be headed to the Greek Isles this summer, but as I read the Cape Cod Times this morning, I was intrigued by this bonus opportunity.

The 29th Annual Grecian Festival Opa!

I translated this as a night of "island dancing" albeit in our Cape Cod "metropolis" of Hyannis.




One thing I know is the Greeks can dance their hearts out.

And they have a special talent for sweets such as baklava (phyllo dough layered with walnuts) or
loukoumathes (honey puffs w/cinnamon and walnut.) Actually the list of sweets is endless.


My favorite fare is spanikopita. Along with the pint of butter in every slice, the spinach and feta combo is addicting. This is just a reminder that you'll never go hungry when you befriend a Greek.


Head to Hyannis this weekend for a makeshift trip to Crete. Don't bring your animal rights friends, but go disarmed for a healthy dose of lamb and Grecian specialties such as souvalki (beef or pork kebab), moussaka (potato and eggplant layered with ground beef and a cream sauce) and don't mess with the traditional gyro. This is a once a year treat!

St. George Greek Orthodox Church

1130 Falmouth Road, Hyannis/Centerville, MA 02632 USA

Tel: (508) 775-3045
Web: Church website

Greek Festival Details
Friday: 7/15/2011 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Saturday: 7/16/2011 Noon - 11:00 PM
Sunday: 7/17/2011 Noon - 10:00 PM'

Bon Appetit ka-lee O-rex-ee

http://www.stgeorge-capecod.com/

DANCING
to the music of Ta Pethia
Friday 7:00 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 p.m. to Midnight
PAGE 7
GREEK
FOLK DANCING
by the St. George Dance Troupe
Friday 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 4:00 p.m.

There's a kids tent - even the little ones can enjoy this fun festival.


Photos courtesy of Flickr/greek dancersFlickr, souvlakiforthesoul, simply recipes,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wellfleet Dreaming


I dream of owning a shack (ok, maybe more like a modest cottage) by the sea. Yes, a simple summer get-away on the shores of Wellfleet would be just fine with me. I would pack up my car, stock up on fresh veggies at a road side farm stand and "escape" for a day or two with a engulfing novel in hand.



I'm thinking white washed walls, stripped wooden ceilings, and cozy linens. Easy and Breezy.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_HApa4uJwj2o/SsNojQHtZCI/AAAAAAAACTo/eXiFESKyE24/s320/B+-+White+Beach+Cottage.jpg

I would induce a rustic feeling with a scattering of exposed beams.

and have a kitchen filled with antique tea cups.



And sometimes, I would sneak up during the fall and sit by the fire, relishing in the serenity.



Now wouldn't that just be a dream!



photo credits (not all photos have search-able sources):
I want a house like this The SoH Cottage at Cooks Camps

Monday, July 11, 2011

Clued In

An under-publicized encounter with Jhumpa Lahiri. Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 p.m at Truro's Public Library.
Pulitzer Prize winner for her debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies.

Among other highly lauded novels that plunge into the immigrant crossover experience. Her novel The Namesake was a New York Times Notable Book, and also made into a beautiful film by Mira Nair.




No admission. Just go!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Perfect Harmony

Ten young men. Singing sweet sweet serenades. A cappella . The combination is heart melting.


I actually spotted these guys at the Squire one night not too long ago. My first thought: Who the heck are all these guys with the vineyard vine bow-ties? And are they for real...? My questions were answered promptly as one of the young men stepped onto the Squires makeshift stage (Tuesday's being karaoke night.) One harmonized rendition of Going to Carolina later, I realized these boys were noneother than members of the famed a cappella group, the Hyannis Sound. The Sound gathers each year after Memorial Day, and spends the entire summer performing across the Cape and the greater Northeast of the U.S. These guys are just beyond precious- seriously, even if you think a cappella isn't your thing, I dare you to go a concert and not leave with a spring in your step (and a couple catchy tunes stuck in your head all week).

The groups uniform consists of vineyard vine ties , oxford shirts and khaki pants (hence the album title.) While I don't usually condone any sort of extreme matching, this ensemble only adds to the groups charm.

A little about the guys (as found here):

"Through their experiences with the group, these men garner valuable skills in performance, business management, and musical direction. While growing as individuals, they also form countless friendships and become members of a brotherhood that last a lifetime... being active members of the Cape Cod community remains a primary goal. As a part of that community, the Sound looks to contribute to the wealth of musical culture that the Cape has to offer. The group continually pushes itself to provide a positive example for young musicians across the region and beyond"


Catch them weekly all over the Cape. Check out the weekly schedule here



Mondays- Falmouth
Tuesdays- Chatham
Wednesdays- (varies)
Thursdays- Brewster
Fridays - Hyannis

Wherever you are, make sure to get to the venue early and grab a front row seat. That way when these boys are singing a revamped version of Jason Mraz's I'm Your's - you'll experience what feels like a personalized serandae.

Here's a preview but seeing them live is an entirely different and intimate experience. Check them out!


Works of Art


This is the Frying Pan Gallery in Wellfleet. It is the cutest home of art you'll ever see. It's about a hundred years old and one of the last authentic oyster shacks around. The building itself is a work of art thanks to the founder Steve Swain whose steel sculptures of horseshoe crabs, squid and sea life take on a life of their own with a playful yet primitive kind of feel.



Sarah Swain, along with her husband, run the ship. Sarah is a fabulous singer songwriter spotted throughout the area and often at the Pearl Restaurant (another Steve collaboration)next door.

If you are looking for wall art with a nautical appeal, it's here in abundance - and it features all local artists which makes it a big favorite of ours.



Check out the back gallery with its roomful of oils.

Miniatures and gorgeous driftwood furniture everywhere



It's a must see on Cape Cod this week. And if you want to really lighten your day, you can gallery hop and have a pop at the Pearl this Sunday from 3-5pm. A few oysters on the half shell with Sarah's silky serenades and a warm ocean breeze just can't be beat.

Where: 250 Commercial street in Wellfleet or checkout their web sites at http://www.fryingpangallery.com and SarahSwain.com