Saturday, August 28, 2010

Millennium Park, Chicago

Spent a gorgeous, late August afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park. a lovely day for art and culture, and in the park we came across the Sister Cities International Festival. There was delicious food, neat shopping and entertainment.

Columbian food, you say? I'm so there!

Empanadas and iced coffee!!!!

Beautiful gifts from across the globe.

The big bean!

And a splash in the fountain to cool off! A beautiful day in Chicago!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Beer Can Chicken

Yes, you read it can chicken. Sounds delicious already, in a redneck kinda way. Well, it's simple. Fire up the grill, rub down a whole chicken with any rub you like, open a beer can and plunk that bird right down on top.

Steady there, bird! We used a little olive oil and a Caribbean barbecue rub and a can of Miller Lite. You MUST open the can. Otherwise that bird will shoot off your grill like some crazy molotov cocktail. It's science, people. Anyway, open the can and pour a bit out. Into a glass to drink, if you prefer. Place it carefully onto your hot grill so it stands up.

There are some contraptions you can buy to make it stand up, but you can use those legs as leverage. See?

About an hour and half for a four pound chicken. Doesn't it look delicious? Well, maybe not in that position, or..I'm just not gonna go there. It's really quite easy. Here's a good link from Steve Raichlen, of BBQ University fame.

All done! It comes out wonderfully juicy. Some wing and breast meat, chicken rice (I cheated and used packaged) and my yummy jalapeno pickles. Try it, use that grill while you can this summer!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cute little things around my home...

My precious Shawnee Smiley Pig cookie jar, 1940. Isn't he the cutest? He's in excellent condition, I found him in an antique store and could not pass him up.

I have been collecting seashells, sea glass, coral and driftwood for a long time. One of the pleasures of growing up along the seashore was a nice walk along the beach in any weather, and finding little treasures. The white china bowl was my grandmothers, and I filled it with coral I found in Aruba. The sea glass is from New Jersey beaches, and even some was found at the base on the Manhattan bridge in NYC. Near South Street Seaport you can find sandy areas to search.

Carved bird I found at an antique store in Tuckerton, NJ.

Blown glass birds and Henri Cartier-Bresson print.

I love my plants, they brighten up my kitchen. Just a little glimpse into my happy home!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Barnegat Lighthouse-Long Beach Island, NJ

I am huge fan of lighthouses. On our recent South Jersey vacation, we drove up to LBI to visit the Barnegat Lighthouse. It had been a long time since I had last visited, and an even longer time since I had experienced the Jersey Shore traffic "experience". Ugh! A 10 minute skip up the pike turned into 45 minutes in the car, not moving anywhere. Anyway, we made it and were rewarded with a beautiful sunny day.

Just 217 of the steps to the top!

Barnegat Lighthouse was first commissioned on January 1, 1859. read all about it here:

Gorgeous views from the top of the lighthouse

After you descend, you can walk along the trails on the beach and island. Lots of fishing, boating and good people watching. So go for a nice drive and find yourself a lighthouse to visit!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lady Jane

I am a sup-duper Anglophile. Have no idea why. One of my grannys could barley contain herself when seeing or hearing of a Brit. She was Irish to the bone. I love her dearly, but never could share that kinda passion, instead I became obsessed with anything British, especially the Tudor period. My favorite of all is Lady Jane Grey. Tragic! You can read all about her here: Also, Alison Weir, a fantastic writer of many, many books on the Tudors, good old Henry the VIII, Elizabeth and so on, wrote a fiction book about Jane called Innocent Traitor. She was basically a pawn used by her father and other powerful men to restore the Protestant reign. Only nine days Queen, then beheaded for treason. I think it is unfortunate that she is never listed in any history as being the queen at all, however short her reign. I think I spend too much time surfing Wikipedia, but whatever!

Some pretty pictures of Jane...

I think this one is really beautiful...

So read up on her and enjoy. Who doesn't love a good, sad, tragic tale whilst having a spot of tea?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NJ Surfing Museum-Tuckerton Seaport, NJ

The newest exhibit at the Tuckerton Seaport Museum is the NJ Surfing Museum. A great homage to the very vibrant surfing culture that exists in South Jersey. North Jersey, we got you so beat! No smog here, just miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches and sparkling ocean.

The buddy riding a "wave"...

Boards, boards, and more boards...

Types of surfing wax...

One cool surfer chic. This exhibit was a breath of fresh air on our visit. If you happen to be in Tuckerton, NJ check it out!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lucy the Elephant!

I love Lucy! There is a wonderful elephant that lives along the beach in Margate, NJ, and her name is Lucy. When I was a wee lass my granny used to take me to visit her, and in turn, I now take my little buddy. He was three the first time, and even though he is a big guy now we had to stop by and visit Lucy on a recent trip to the wonderful (South) Jersey Shore.

Lucy has a very interesting history. She was a tourist attraction to sell real estate to vacationing Philadelphians, a hotel and even a home for a while. You can read all about her wonderful history here: Now Lucy is 129 years old and still lookin' good! She has been through a major saving/restoration in the mid 70's, and that's when I first saw her. Now she requires some upkeep, and the people who volunteer to work for her definitely love her, you can feel it.

Here's Lucy looking out to sea...

The beautiful view of Margate beach when you look out her eye...

My buddy and me visiting Lucy...

Lighted steps lead you inside...

This is what Lucy sees everyday and shows to all her happy visitors. No trip to south Jersey can be complete without saying hi to Lucy. Go visit her. Guaranteed that you and her will love it! Happy Summer!

More pickles!

Was out in the neighborhood the other night and noticed someone had cut up and thrown away an entire tomato garden! Just chopped it all down and tossed it the curb. What kind of crazy is that? I am a recycling nut and these tomatoes looked good enough, so I rescued them and took 'em home to clean and pickle. Pickled green tomatoes! Why not?

Some pickling vinegars, mustard seed, black pepper, garlic, dill and habanero for a wonderful bite. In the fridge they go to marinate and get all delicious!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grinder Bash 2010

What is Grinder Bash?, you ask. Well, it is a sort of fan appreciation day the Chicago White Sox throw every year for their season ticket holders. The stadium is open for fans to walk around (every where but on the grass-boooo! I wanted to run the bases). There was free food and you could go into the dugouts, clubhouse, bullpen and walk around the field. Really cool to kinda have the stadium "all to yourself". Thanks White Sox!

Grinder Bash!
Rows and rows of seats.

Load up your plate!

Manager Dave is ready to take questions.

I have an invisible glove.

Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and the great Bernie Mac.

Beautiful field.

I love the movement in this great statue. Great day!