Saturday, June 30, 2012

Let's Eat: Shrimp Tempura

My favorite thing in the world to eat is shrimp. Any way. Any time. Shrimp.  Tonight I made Shrimp Tempura.  Those light, crispy, delicious little things that transport you back to the old Benihana days.   I used a commercially available mix, but the recipe here is much more to my taste.  Check it out.

Tempura Batter

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 1/2 Cups Ice Cold Club Soda

Heat peanut oil, or some other flavor neutral oil, to 325 degrees. Dip seafood, vegetables, etc in the batter and shake off excess.  Drop carefully into oil.  Deep fry until it floats. Turn once or twice.  It will not brown significantly. Do not overcook.  Drain on absorbent towels. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Vintage: Sometimes, Even Better Than New

I love watches.  I recently became enamored of vintage watches.  I bought this '70's vintage 14K gold Girard-Perregaux from an eBay auction.  The jeweler said, "I'd insure this for about $2500". News to me since my auction was <$500 shipped.  Love a bargain.

I knew little about G-P except that the watches I saw online were ridiculously expensive - WAY out of my price range for sure.  I sold my Omega Seamaster (it was just TOO heavy), pocked money and got this cool retro watch! Now I have a super nice, dressy, automatic winding heirloom.  Now the question is, who to leave it to?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Functionality: Kitchen Reorg

My kitchen isn't big.  When I bought the house in 2007, it had less than desirable appliances and a peninsula. I do not like a peninsula in this small space so I decided to push the cabinets back against the wall and create space for a 3' x 4' island. Here is the process.

Kitchen on April1, 2007: Closing Day

I replaced all the appliances with stainless steel. I like the look. Easy to clean and very clean looking.

French Door fridge with bottom freezer - love this.
Convection, microwave, halogen, vent over stove.
Two oven range with glass cooktop.  Love the little oven.
Double drawer dishwasher.  VERY quiet.   
Moved the peninsula to put the cabinets against the wall to make room for the new island.
Roll out shelves on all bottom cabinets. These are GREAT!

Two special order cabinets back to back make the island. Made the island a different color to be more of a "furniture in the middle of the room" feel.
Really love this end of the island. Storage is awesome.
Black Silestone counter tops on either side of the kitchen contrast with the island.
The black matte finish sink is really a nice touch and departure from the usual stainless.
The island got a lighter colored Silestone top.
A track was hung over the island with fixed spots and two drop down "flying saucers"

The end result was very much as I envisioned it.  Not a major remodel, but more of a re-purpose of existing space.  The floor stayed the same, no major cabinet replacements.  All in all a pretty workable space in a small kitchen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hotel Rooms: Memories From The Road

I like being a road warrior. I enjoy hotel rooms.  Well, MOST of the time I do.  Here are some of the rooms I have laid the head for a night or two.. the first, is a favorite. If only I could afford the Soho Grand every time I go to NY.

The Soho Grand Hotel in NYC

Universal City, CA Hilton

Marriott Marquis Atlanta

I Forgot...

NY Hilton Hotel Times Square

Kimpton, Epic Hotel - Miami

Intercontinental Hotel, San Francisco

Millennium Hotel, NY

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Perfect Day: Sunday In The Backyard

Sometimes, the perfect day happens... today was one of those nice days.

Who would want to go elsewhere?

The new outdoor rug.

The view from the pool.

Blue Daze. My favorite annual.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cars We Love: Jaguar S-Type

I've only driven this car a few times.  Each and every time was when I got a big upgrade from National Rent A Car.  Once, my boss asked me not to accept upgrades because other people in the company thought it improper that "sales" should rent luxury cars.  Silly. Like people who think because I fly in First Class I paid for the ticket? Ridiculous.  I like the general aesthetic of this now defunct model.  This one is the S-Type R. Nice 8 cylinder. Beautiful satinwood burl... lovely.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Images: Food

So, today I stopped by the market on my way home and was struck by the color and variety in the produce section.  I can't imagine what would have happened had I ventured into the bakery.