Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bringing my diet to my party

In my own imagination I am still the svelte 110-pound Energizer bunny that I was ten years ago.  The truth is, reality hit after having a child and entering my thirties... the dreaded metabolism slowdown has ensued.  My personal trainer and yoga teacher both have Job-like patience with me, but I had to do away with the nutritionist.  She was the strangest combination of crazy and boring, as if she couldn't decide if she wanted to be antisocial or a glamazon, at once scoffing and gleaning when I informed her that I needed to mindful of the dinner party I would be throwing that weekend.  So I've taken nutrition matters into my own hands.  Risky, I know.

This weekend we are hosting a little soirée just for fun.  At the beginning of the week Mr. Maurice attended a reception celebrating the completion (after 2 years of construction) of a new headquarters for bank.  He said that it was the most depressing celebration he'd ever been to in his life.  Smiles were tense, greetings were mumbled, and everyone was quick to hightail it out of there.  If there was ever a time to have a small, spirit-lifting gathering, it is now.  

Normally for a soirée such as this I would serve rich foods and gallons of bubbly, but we are now economy-conscious AND I'm watching my own intake of calories.  How to keep things light, happy, and healthful?  Why, salmon, of course!  This weekend we will be feasting on salmon fillets. We'll be using one of Mr. Maurice's recipes.  He dreamed it up on his own, so forgive the lack of "official recipe" formatting here:

Drizzle white truffle oil into a large pan and set to medium heat.  Add minced garlic, and cook until it begins to turn a bit translucent. Coat salmon with Baron's Savoury Secrets Sesame Ginger Blend Secret #25 and cook skin side up until meat is opaque.  The smell will have you floating.  

Serve on a bed of steamed spinach and serve a delicious fruit dish and a cheese plate for dessert.  I plan on drizzling honey over manchego cheese and oranges coated with cinnamon sugar.  Sure, it's a little spring-y, but we could all use a little air and light right now.  Add a little ice wine to the dessert menu and mmm...mmm....mmmm!

It is sure to be a fun and lighthearted evening that will please the senses without taking me down an absolute detour from my diet!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

A little gift, a not so little festival

Hostess gift? If you ever wonder what kind of hostess gift I would like, this little trinket below will do just fine...

Okay, so it sold a little over a year ago according to

BUT, I'll take this opportunity to share something with you.  Charleston, South Carolina is my favorite place on Earth.  Better than the Caribbean.  Better than Europe.  Better than New York, San Diego, Los Angeles.  Am I making myself clear at all?  You can find a fabulous meal on every corner.  The air is so heavy that it lulls you into a state of zen as soon as it enters your lungs.  And then there is the art scene.  The Charleston art scene is where I was introduced the work of Jonathan Green (creator of the above trinket that you will be bringing to my next dinner party).  It is also the home of one of the finest events in the world, the Spoleto Festival, which begins May 22.  Lucky for me, the opening festivities always falls around my anniversary weekend, so I've had the pleasure of attending most of the times that Mr. Maurice and I have celebrated.  During past visits, I have joined an impromptu marching band, samba-ed down Meeting street, accosted secret service agents, discoed with governors, and attended some of the most fabulous and strange dinner parties one can imagine.  Seriously, spending time at the Spoleto Festival is an annual experiment in surrealism.  This year I hope to check out the return of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, which is always a treat.  Another interesting piece will be a performance by Hiroaki Umeda, a "multi-disciplinary solo Japanese artist" who combines ballet, hip-hop, and a form of Japanese dance called butoh.    Oddly, I'm having trouble finding out what's going on with the visual arts this year. The web page for Charleston City Gallery goes blank when you get to May, and there is no mention on the festival's page.  If you know of anything, please leave a comment!

Have fun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rx: Cultural Renaissance

I've been Twittering.  It's fun and voyeuristic, and you really get to learn a lot about what ideas are pulsing through the world.  Because it is Fashion Week in New York, I started following New York Magazine's "The Cut", who tweeted about interviewing Marc Jacobs, who apparently said of his collection, "The collection is all about clubbing in the 80s, when New Yorkers could have fun, be creative... not like now."  

I hate to mention the economy in two posts in a row but it is affecting every industry, even those which are supposed to keep up our spirits and inspire flights of fancy.  Marc Jacobs' collection was fabulous, though, and gave me hope for what's coming.  I truly believe that creativity became lazy as the United States entered a relatively un-tumultuous period.  Over the past five or six years, we have had an administration who stifled creative thought and exploration, sent education rolling further downhill, and encouraged the status quo.  Add to that the stealthiness with which our current financial situation crept up on us... people thought they could have everything for nothing, and in most cases were tricked into thinking this through shady institutions.  What do you get?  Creative dead space.  The Obama administration is sure to promote the arts and humanities, and has in general inspired a hope (yes, I know, the word has been used entirely too much lately... maybe we can make up a new synonym) that will inspire a cultural renaissance.

Jacobs' collection, while drawing an awful lot on older ideas, definitely showed us a glimmer of what is to come in the creative world.  Energy, thought, expressions of hope.  Bring it on.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Food is Hot

The New York Times posted a blurb in "Ideas" with the headline, "Food Is the New Sex".  I was intrigued, thinking of the way cooking and eating tickle the senses.  The way that the body reacts to the unending range of tastes, changing the rate at which we breathe, the posture in which we sit, sometimes making us salivate a little.

Well, the article didn't go there.  It was pretty short and disappointing, and more about t he discomfort that we feel with how far the sexual revolution has taken us, but it got me thinking.  What about the sensuousness of food?  I for one wish I could bottle the swishy sound of crisp lettuce tearing and of butter and garlic meeting each other on the stove.  As the recession is closing it's choke hold around our weekly habits and we are eating in more, how are our attitudes toward the kitchen bound to change?  Will society in general start to pause and smell the odors as they begin to intermingle as food is sliced, mixed, then cooked?  Will it be the death of the microwave as more people take in the joys (and healthfulness) of using fresh ingredients? 

Peaceful Valentine Wishes

Happy Valentine's Day!  If you are going out tonight, good luck.  Personally, I don't think there is anything very romantic about pushing against crowds of people to get a table at a restaurant, but on the other hand, we are in recession, so it may not be so much of a fistfight this year.  For those of us who are staying home with our loved ones, enjoy a bottle of Michael Sullman Reserve Cabernet and relax.  Lord knows so many of us are stressing out over the state of things these days.  

If you need a little help getting in the mood, read below:


In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips
Your Hands
Your Laughter brave
Those sweet excesses that
I do adore.
What surety is there
That we will meet again,
On other worlds some
Future time undated.
I defy my body's hate.
Without the promise
Of one more sweet encounter
I will not deign to die

--Maya Angelou

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cars sure aren't very sexy anymore

When I was little I had a crush on a Fiat Spider.  My tennis instructor was a gorgeous Italian glamazon who lived up the street from my family, and (to me, anyway), the most fascinating thing about her was that she drove around town in a hunter green Spider.  When September would roll around, she would show up in my driveway and announce that we were going school supply shopping.  On that day every September I felt like the most sophisticated and cool girl in the world as I sat in this delicately muscled machine with it's nutty wood trim and buttery leather seats.  My instructor handled the car as if we were in Monte Carlo road race, and all was right with the world.

I read today that Fiat's attempt to purchase a 35% stake in Chrysler has been delayed because, well, Chrysler is having a bit of an accountability issue, as we all know.  We can all argue back and forth (and please do!) about the advantages and disadvantages of foreign interests buying into classic American companies.  As sad as it is that these companies are losing ground on the international stage, they have repeatedly failed to prove themselves to the market over the last several years, and are now reaping the consequences of failing the American public (before you argue with that think about where your tax money has gone).  

I like to imagine, however, that Fiat having a stake in Chrysler will at least bring a little sophistication back to the American car market.  I love a gorgeous car.  If anyone has a 1968 Jaguar XK-E that want to give away, I'll take one in red, by the way.  Why can't cars be works of art anymore?  When did American cars become the equivalent of that bonehead 'roidmonger at the gym who starts every sentence with "Uh... dude..."?  Or worse, the equivalent of that girl who sat behind all of us in high school who tried her darndest to assert herself as an authority figure, but every statement she made was idiotic and her clothes never fit her correctly?  She was all show (and a bad one) and little research.  While an Italian stake in the market will probably not inspire some sexy curves and purring engines given Fiat's latest models, maybe it will at least inspire a little extra thought in the process.  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Get ready for the whirlwind

Good evening, blogworld!  Not much time to post, as I've got my munchkin tucked into bed and I must get ready for an outing since Mr. Maurice has so graciously agreed to stay home due to our lack of a babysitter.  For now, just read the "About Me" to the right, and sit tight for tomorrow morning's post.  I hope you like discussions, because that's what we'll be doing, and don't hold back!  Please be sure to follow me on Twitter, and soon I'll have my Facebook page up, as well.