Fun Spot to visit in NYC

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This week Mr. GQ and I decided to spend a few days in New York City. For our adventure we headed to the Chelsea Market. This was originally the home of the Nabisco company that invented the Oreo cookie.

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Inside the market there are multiple cute murals which present fun photo opportunities.

The Market is one block wide as well as one block long. It’s an indoor shopping mall, collection of delightful shops and many food establishments. In fact last fall we went on our first food tour at this very locale!

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There are places to purchase gift baskets, books, cheeses, meats, spices, seasonal items such as pumpkins and much much more.

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Sarabeth’s is a restaurant and bakery that makes delicious jams and preserves that you can purchase. There are several Sarabeth’s restaurants around town and they’re especially known for their weekend brunch.

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For the trip I wore a cute black window pane pant, a white cotton shirt with a cranberry V-neck boxy pullover sweater, all from JJill. Since on a typical day of site-seeing we walk 6-7 miles (!), I chose black Brook’s sneakers as my shoes. Sadly they’re not very fashionable, but I still have many miles of walking ahead of me this trip and tender feet won’t cut it for me. My usual fashion concession is to wear sneakers or other very comfortable shoes by day (when most of the walking occurs) and then switch into booties or other heeled shoes for our dinner destinations.

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The Market attracts six million visitors per year. It was originally built in the 1890’s. It was redeveloped into its a retail format in the 1990’s. It’s a fun spot to visit in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Here are a few more images from our day trip to this treasure.

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The next time you’re looking for an enjoyable spot to check out, head to the Chelsea Market. You won’t be disappointed.

Labor Day Treats

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Labor Day is just around the corner and although I mentioned these cute patriotic sausages on an earlier blog, I feel I would be remiss to not include them for this upcoming weekend. I make this appetizer at all three of the red, white, and blue holidays. It’s so easy and delicious!

Red, white, and blue sausages

Ingredients:

1 lb spicy Italian sausage links (you could also use Jenny O spicy turkey sausages)

2 bottles of your favorite beer

24 cute flag toothpicks

Steps:

  1. Place the sausages in a medium sized pot with both bottles of beer. If this amount of beer isn’t sufficient to cover the links then add water until they’re covered.

  2. Bring the liquids to a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. This cooks them enough to be perfect for grilling. You can do this step the day before the party and then just leave them wrapped up in plastic wrap until you’re ready to grill them

  3. Then grill the links over medium heat for a few minutes just to brown them a bit.

  4. Remove them from the grill and slice each sausage into 6 or so one inch pieces. Place a flag toothpick into each one. Place on a red or white plate. (My plate is from Homegoods, here is a similar one ).

  5. Enjoy!

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This mixed berry crumble is usually made with red strawberries, red raspberries, and blueberries. If you serve it in white ramekins it’s red, white and blue. But it looks equally cute in red ones and I use red dessert dishes all year starting with Valentine’s Day, all three patriotic holidays, and ending with Christmas so they’re a great investment. It’s a quick and easy dessert to make and I usually make it the morning of so all I have to do at dinner is pop it in the oven when my guests sit down to dinner. Then it's ready by the time we’re ready for dessert.

Mixed berry crumble

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered

2 cups fresh blueberries 

2 cups fresh raspberries

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 Tbsp regular butter, melted

2/3 cup unpacked light brown sugar 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place berries in a medium bowl.  In another medium bowl combine flour and sugar.  Remove 3 Tbsp of the flour mixture and gently toss this with the berries.  Place the berries in an 8 inch square pan. *

3. To make topping, add the melted butter to the remaining flour mixture; combine well.  Crumble little bits of this topping all over the top of the berries.  Bake until berries start to bubble, about 35-40 minutes.  Cut into 8 pieces. *Sometimes as in these photos I make this dessert in 8 little ramekins. I bake them until they bubble which is about 30 minutes if they started at room temperature.  Also be careful as they’ll be hot so place the remekins on a dessert plate and serve them to your guests with a scoop of softened vanilla ice cream. It’s a real crowd pleaser. (This recipe is adapted from Weight Watchers).

Speaking of patriotic displays this past Memorial Day I was visiting my son in NYC. We saw the Empire State Building all lit up just for us!

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Have a lovely Labor Day Weekend!

*Please note referral and affiliate links in my post may generate a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

Little Road Trip to Lake Bluff

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How much fun can a girl have in one day? Yesterday my neighbor Heather and I set out to go to the Lake Bluff Farmer’s Market which is 15 miles north of Northfield. Our plan was to go to the market, grab a quick bite and then head back for Heather’s son’s baseball game. But at the last minute her hubby called to handle carpool duty. So we were off the hook and delighted!

First we went to the market which is in downtown Lake Bluff on Center Street right by the big white gazebo. This Farmer’s Market has been around for many years. It started this season on June 7 and runs through October 11, 2019. The hours are 7:00 AM-12:00 PM on Fridays. There is street parking but it gets busy so be patient and drive around the block a few times if necessary.

Lake Bluff’s downtown area consist of two streets, Center and Prospect. We started at the market. We bought flowers, cheese, lots of veggies, pastries, soup, and salad dressing. There were about fifteen vendors including someone selling smoked fish (great for this hot weather), live music, annuals and perennials.

At the market we ran into my dear friend Daria who told me that there was a big sidewalk sale happening at Twigs (38 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff) and Whitehead Studios (36 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff) which are directly across the street from the gazebo. So these were our next two stops. I bought a great straw purse for a song as well as an antique broach (watch for these in future posts…).

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Twigs is a darling flower and gift shop owned by Jeannie and Erin Fanning who also happen to be mother and daughter. Their ten year old shop has been written up in numerous Northshore publications as they are very creative and make beautiful arrangements. Whitehead Studios is just next door to Twigs and is a houseware store and display area for Julie Whitehead’s artwork. She also is the shop owner. The large peony oil painting is an example of her colorful work.

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For this little road trip I wore a bright pink and navy top (Evereve), a small hot pink cross body purse, cuffed white Bermuda shorts by White House Black Market, and my favorite white leather Keds. My daughter gave me my intertwining circles silver necklace as a present and she purchased it from Amazon.

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By this time we were hungry so we drove two towns south to Highland Park and lunched at That Little French Guy (1791 Saint Johns Avenue, Highland Park). This hopping spot is open Tuesday-Saturday from 7:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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It’s a very quaint place filled with charming accents, delicious pastries and helpful staff. (They even let us pop our salad dressings in their frig while we ate.). We each had smoked salmon sandwiches on croissants with a side salad. Our lunch was delicious. We’re definitely going back. Don’t miss this gem if you’re in the area. They’ve been in business for nine months. It looks like they’re off to a brilliant start!

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So was I right? Was this a great day? Do yourself a favor and head over to all my haunts. I know you won’t be disappointed.

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Black and White Dinner in Greensboro

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When I visited my brother last week in Greensboro, Georgia he mentioned he wanted to invite some friends over for dinner.  I asked what he would like me to make he said how about an appetizer, a salad, a side, and a dessert?  I laughed and said it was a good thing I like to entertain and thank goodness for the Internet as I don’t travel with my recipes!

Early in the day we made the Lacy Cheddar Crisps.  We also put store bought olives on a beautiful glass tray that the guests had brought. For the salad we made the dressing, sliced up the hard-boiled egg, and chopped up the bacon. We sliced the tomatoes and seasoned them with the olive oil and Italian seasoning. We made the batter for the dessert and popped it into the frig.

We set the table with black cotton placemats and added black and white paisley dish towels that we found at a cute store in Madison, Georgia.  This all coordinated with the black and white buffalo checked chairs and white lacquered table.  Once we saw the completed table we decided to “dress the part” of a black and white dinner.  My brother and his lovely girlfriend dressed in black and white shorts and tops.  I wore a black and white animal print tunic from White House Black Market (old) with black leggings. I wore black leather sandals by Beautifeet.

My brother grilled the steaks and while he was doing that we reheated the dressing and assembled the salad.  (My brother had cooked the tomatoes while we were out shopping.). We took the batter out of the frig and poured it into white paper cupcake liners to bake off after dinner.  

The dinner was a success and fun was had by all!

Flamingos Rule!

dr julie Marshall

While on my recent trip to Greensboro, Georgia we stopped off in Madison, Georgia.  This was a quaint little historic town that’s been voted the “best little town” in Georgia.

We shopped in several of the cute shops where the shop owners were friendly and helpful.  For this excursion my ootd was a fun flamingo top from Chico’s Off the Rack, white cuffed bermuda shorts and this season’s white leather Ked’s.  My purse was an  oldie but goodie straw bag with a rattan handle.  Lastly  I wore a turquoise bracelet from Chico’s Off the Rack.  I love wearing hot pink and the flamingo said “summer” in a big way.  Unfortunately in Chicago due to the unseasonably cold weather we haven’t had much of a chance to wear such a playful  look.