Saturday, July 18, 2009

Oakenshawe Antiques, 7-18-09

We spent this afternoon vintage-shopping in Hampden & loved this window/sidewalk display at Oakenshawe Antiques. Oakenshawe hasn't always carried vintage clothing, but they've always had great furniture, housewares, & jewelry at good prices. I found a wonderful, never-worn petticoat to wear under evening gowns for $16. The sign in this picture sums up exactly how we felt about our hometown today. Lots of people love to run the city down, & it certainly has its problems (unfortunately, we've experienced its violent streak firsthand.) For us, though, the good still outweighs the bad.

I have noticed one very positive trend in the city this summer: many people are dressing better, even on weekend afternoons. We saw lots of women in cute sundresses today, & many guys looked good, too, sporting fun madras shorts & simple tees. Even better, there was nary a pair of Crocs in sight. I don't think today was an aberration... we've noticed people making more of a sartorial effort when we've gone to the Fells Point Flea Market, too. Maybe there's hope for Baltimore fashion. If we could just get jeans banned from the Meyerhoff & Lyric, & from restaurants where dinner for 2 costs over $100... I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A very Miami dessert - chocolate cake with coconut buttercream icing.

palm tree cake, originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

I'm taking a cake decorating class (Wilton, Course 1.) Here's my first attempt at a fancy cake. Since we went to Maui on our honeymoon & love going to the beach in Miami, I decided to do a palm tree design. The icing colors definitely remind me of the Art Deco district in South Beach!

I had a terrible time with crumbs showing through the icing, but a couple of the women in my class said the little flecks remind them of sand. Our instructor said I should have used more icing. What? More buttercream? No problem! The palm tree design is a stencil I found online (yay, Google!) You trace the design onto wax paper & then go over the outline (though not on the pencil marks, use the reverse side) with a wonderful goo called piping gel. Then, you flip the design over onto the iced cake & use a small brush to get the outline to transfer. Following that, you're ready to fill in the outline with your tinted buttercream.

At next week's class, we'll attempt to make buttercream icing roses... watch this space for the results!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dining room, July 11, 2009

We love going out, but we also enjoy entertaining & want to do more of it. I'm addicted to china & glassware, especially vintage stuff, & have amassed quite a collection over the years. What's the point in owning beautiful things if they only see the light of day a few times per year? With that in mind, we had friends over for dinner last night & pulled out the "good" china & our nicest stemware. The meal was simple - tzatziki, veggies, & sea salt/black pepper crisps to start, then salad, bread & grilled things (the boys had burgers, the girls chose tuna steaks,) and sorbet with chocolate-port drizzle for dessert. We had after-dinner drinks on the deck, & it's amazing how good even a Baltimore alley looks when you're sipping a delicious liqueur in good company. From a vintage etched cordial glass, of course.