Monday, November 10, 2008

Dogwood Delight & First Friday

**This post is wicked old, but I am posting it anyway (now)

This Past Friday offered a plethora of extraordinary options; The Walters Art Museum in Mt Vernon hosted a First Friday event with cocktails, live music and more with free admission. I was able to make it in before 8 with enough time to peruse the exhibit, guzzle a cocktail and shop the gift shop sale. I think under normal circumstances, I would have enjoyed the exhibit. I mean, what girl doesn't love jewelry? Unfortunately, with the influx of other museum-goers also taking advantage of gratis admission, things can get a bit hairy. It was actually REALLY crowded. I like the idea of lots of Baltimoreans wanting to go to museums; but no one enjoys themselves when they have to read exhibit blurbs from 6 feet away because their are four couples in front of you blocking everything including the actual display. I made do the best I could by just seeking out the pieces I had the most interest in and not exactly following the formal display order.

Of course the Tiffany's brooch (pictured above) was tremendous in person. Made so large, it was not intended for actual wear. Additionally, Lalique had a similar floral themed brooch fabricated of glass pansies, rivaling the size and detail of the orchid. Both pieces a product of the early 20th century.

A dinner reservation at Dogwood in Hampden to follow. I was to meet one of my girlfriends on the Avenue for a bite to eat. Of course, being First Friday's on the Avenue, I was a bit tardy having ducked into a couple of my favorite boutiques to investigate their sales. Shine Collective had an impressive turnout, considering the recession. The Fall/Winter collection worked well together and definitely had some stand-out, unique pieces.

Back to, having made a reservation, you would think we could be seated once we were both there right? Nope. I mean they were totally busy, I mean hello-it was Friday night so that is to be expected. We were finally seated half an hour after our reservation. Knowing the chef has its benefits because all we had to do was select an entree and the "rest" of the meal was taken care of. We were treated like demi-gods; which is what you hope to expect when dining out.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Freebies for Voting!!!

Attention Baltimore voters!
Patriotism at it's greatest; will getting free stuff get YOU to vote? Here are some local incentives...if electing a non-blockhead is not enough for you.

Just stop by Ben & Jerry's at the inner Harbor (next to California Pizza Kitchen and Cheesecake Factory) and get a free ice cream cone! Notice: only between 5-8PM...

Follow up your ice cream with a free cup of joe (the plumber) from Starbucks! Everyone is in on the action; it's amazing what political awareness can do to consumer marketing.

Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's aren't the ONLY businesses with giveaways scheduled for tomorrow. Krispy Kreme has added themselves to the list! Unfortunately, the closest location is Glen may be worth the hike though.

Any other freebies I'm missing?

Sunday Baking

So I decided instead of running, I would bake muffins...again. Only this time, I would not consider this batch to be even remotely healthy. Honestly, they really weren't muffins, more like cupcakes without icing.

**The picture above is most definitely NOT something I made, but more so a technique I thought was super cool and relevant to this past weekend's festivities. Maybe I'll try that sometime.** Image found here

I had a box of devils food chocolate cake mix floating around so I whipped that together with ease (eggs, vegetable oil- directions and ingredients on the box) I had considered subbing the vegetable oil with apple sauce? or something? but opted out since I was going for taste and not so much the health factor. Of course, accessorizing became the key factor; I chopped up some sliced almonds, chunks of chocolate that would surely melt into mushy chocolate morsels throughout the cupcake and bananas. In retrospect, the banana pieces were not necessary but they tasted fine.

I drizzled some homemade caramel on top for added crispiness and voila! Le Dessert! I still have some mix in the fridge I will need to whip into something...

With the baking subbing for my run, the following solidifies my workout for the afternoon:

3x egg cracking
immediately followed by 2min intervals of rigorous blending
2-3x lean and lift: removing muffin tin from oven
max out- hand to mouth, ingesting of cupcakes