Friday, June 26, 2015

Around (Another Town): Ocean City & Berlin, MD



The hubs and I have been super busy lately. It's only so long you can work long hours before it really starts to catch up with you. So I decided to plan a small getaway for the family to celebrate Father's Day and take a break. 

We headed to Maryland's eastern shore to spend some time at the beach. We got to see the beautiful wild beach ponies at ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, and took a fun CRUISE in Ocean City that let us further explore the area's rich wildlife. You can see all types of animals from spider crabs to bald eagles in their natural habitat.


 This was Baby Z's first time at the beach. She did not like the sand, but did enjoy gazing out at the water.


We stayed at the quaint and historic ATLANTIC HOTEL in Berlin, MD. If you are a lover of Victorian decor, then this place is definitely for you. The accommodations were pretty nice and reasonably priced. The hotel is situated on the town's main street which is filled with antique shops, bakeries, restaurants, and other mom and pop shops.








While visiting Ocean City, we happened upon a lovely little waterfront restaurant called SHARK ON THE HARBOR. The restaurant's chef Travis takes food very seriously, and it shows in the creativity of his dishes. Most of the food is sourced locally by the farmers and fishermen in the area, and as a result the menu is fresh and changes daily.




We enjoyed the food so much we visited multiple times while on our trip! A few items of note were the house salad (made with a delicious one-of-a-kind dressing), Santa Fe steak wrap, cod sandwich, lobster mashed potatoes, and the house bread (man this bread was sooo good).  As an added bonus they have several vegan options, and offer a daily lunch special that is a steal of a           deal!




While vacationing we also visited RACKLIFFE HOUSE, a restored coastal plantation near Assateague Park. The house has a guided tour and exhibit that describes what life was like at the home during the 18th century. The exhibit also sheds light one some of the history of the ASSATEAGUE INDIANS, the tribe indigenous to the area.





I hope this mini travel guide helps those of you considering visiting the area. Planning can be such a burden sometimes, so I thought I'd share a few resources.

"As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you've allotted for vacation." ~John Battelle

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!
























Dear "Dad",

Today is a day where Baby Z and I would like to take the time out to say thank you. Thank you for getting up in the middle of the night to change dirty diapers, for doing the dishes even when you are exhausted, for taking out the trash in the rain, and for working long days and nights to provide a comfortable material existence. Thanks for tickling when you are tired, lugging around heavy baby equipment, and going through the torture that is traveling with a baby so we can see out-of-town family. Also, thank you for giving up fight nights and expensive coffee drinks to help ease our budget. Thank you, Dad. We love you more than anything in this world, and are privileged to have you as our rock. Happy Father's Day, we look forward to many many more.

Love,

Wife & Baby

Monday, June 8, 2015

In the Kitchen: Soft Shell Crab Sandwich Recipe



















It's spring, which in Baltimore means the beginning of crab season!!! How could I be a good Baltimore blogger without giving you at least one good crab recipe? So here it is folks....my yummy crab sandwich creation:

  • Saute chopped onion in pan on medium heat with butter, and season to taste with coriander and ginger. Add a splash of lemon juice and set aside.
  • Cover soft shell crab in fish fry (I like to use ZATARAIN'S), and fry on medium heat in frying pan.
  • Toast brioche bun and add cooked crab, onion jam, mustard, mayo, tomato, and lettuce. Sprinkle sandwich with Old Bay to taste (note: Old Bay is critical to sandwich's deliciousness).
Enjoy!

FREE & SALE ALERT

Hi locals, I have a few sales and free things to tell you about.

Mambo Combo Performance - Baltimore based Latin music band Mambo Combo will be performing Friday 6/20 from 6-9pm asa part of Belvedere Square's FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES.

Lake Walker Garage Sale - Our neighborhood's annual garage sale will be held Saturday 6/13 at 9 am.  Come out and grab yourself some deals!

Hampton National Historic Site - Hampton Historic Site is a preserved plantation where you can go to learn about Maryland's history. It's located just past Towson Mall. They are offering a FREE COOKING CLASS Sunday 6/14, where they will teach participants how to make recipes from the past.



Monday, June 1, 2015

What I learned in May


1) Life is precious. Recently the hubs received the unsettling news that his 32 year old cousin was murdered in broad daylight. She was the innocent victim of a shooting. She was killed by strangers, while in the process of fulfilling her life's dream of owning a clothing store. She had saved meticulously to pursue her dream, and was set to open her store just  two weeks after her life was taken. Her passing came as a shock to her loved ones who knew her as a good role model and upbeat person.

I do not know why tragedies like this occur, or have all the answers on how to stop them. What I do know is that we should all be thankful for our family and friends, and spend time with them when we can. It's easy to not make enough time for loved ones, but you never know when someone you love could be gone forever.

"If we remembered everyday that we could lose someone at any moment, we would love them, more fiercely and freely, and without fear- not because there is nothing to lose, but because everything can always be lost."  ~Emily Rapp

Sunday, May 31, 2015

SALE ALERT

Hello locals! For those of you looking for good deals on household items, I have two sales to tell you about. THE WISE PENNY is currently offering 50% off all housewares. In addition, the owners of SUNPORCH ANTIQUES are retiring and offering steep discounts as they attempt to clear out their inventory. Happy shopping :-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring in Lake Walker (2015)



Spring is such a fantastic time in Lake Walker, in large part due to all the wonderful flowers. I especially love all the azaleas that can be found in the neighborhood. Here are a few images I snapped not too long ago when they were in full bloom. 

I'm big on garden inspiration these days, as the hubs and I are planning a large landscape overhaul soon. There'll be more to come on that adventure shortly.














































"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today." ~Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FREE ALERT: Hubble STEMfest

Hi neighbors! I wanted to alert you to a cool free event being held in Baltimore. It's a celebration of the Hubble Telescope's 25th anniversary. The event will take place Saturday June 6th from 10am to 6pm at the Space Telescope Science Institute. It will feature tons of free science and engineering exhibits and hands-on activities for the whole family. Learn more and sign up for the event HERE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Around Town: Terra Cafe























One of my favorite Baltimore restaurants is a place called TERRA CAFE. The hubs and I have been going there for years. It's not super close to where we live, but it's well worth the drive down to Charles Village. Terra offers delicious inexpensive comfort food, in a warm casual environment. The veggie wrap, mac and cheese, fish sub, yams, and chicken dishes are all scrumptious and cost under $10. The Terra Burger is AMAZING and makes me miss the days when I ate red meat. I have used them for catering in the past, and my guests were very happy campers.

What makes this place extra special is not just the food, but the vibe when you come inside. The owner is an awesome guy by the name of Terrence who is so much fun to talk to, and never forgets a customer's face. He is also super active in the Baltimore community and regularly assembles groups of volunteers to distribute food to the homeless, should you be looking for any outreach opportunities. The sign on the front of the restaurant says "welcome family", and you will feel it come to life should you decide to stop in. Make sure to go when you have a good amount of free time though because it can be crowded and service is not very fast, but worth the wait. Feel free to bring little ones with you.

Friday, May 8, 2015

In the Kitchen: Beet Soup Recipe

Beets are one of those foods you either typically love or hate. As one who previously despised beets, I'm surprised to be sharing with you a recipe I found to be quite savory. Not only did it taste good, but it froze beautifully as well. I'll be using it as one of go-to convenience freezer foods in the future. So here's how you make it:
  • Cut into chunks and roast one beet in the oven on 400 degrees, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Remove from oven once a fork can easily pierce the beet.
  • While beet is roasting boil one large red potato.
  • When beet is almost done roasting begin roasting 3 garlic cloves and 3 shallots.
  • Dice cooked potato and add to a simmering pot of veggie broth, then add roasted beet, garlic, shallots
  • Season soup with thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Add 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (or more if you'd like) and continue simmering for a few minutes.
  • Take cooked soup of stove and puree in blender or with stick blender
  • Garnish soup with extra parsley, olive oil, and balsamic. You can also add pieces of goat cheese   if non-vegan.
This pairs well with garlic bread. Enjoy!