Monday, May 21, 2012

Upper King Street Market

One great thing about working in Old Town is the weekly Farmers Market that is held Wednesday afternoons from May - October.  It is a nice treat to just wander out of the office and have all of these wonderful booths set up!

Last week when I stopped by, there were about 8-10 vendors.  They were selling everything from potted flowers and herbs to fresh veggies and fruits, bread, sweets, and meats. 

There were some established stores, such as Bread and Chocolate, as well as small, local merchants.  With the warmer weather and abundance of Farmers Markets in the area, I'm going to need to alter my grocery shopping habits so I can take advantage of the fresh, local produce!

 Is there a good market near your home or office?  Tell me about it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wine Wednesday

In addition to good rosés, this time of year always makes me want to throw a bunch of whites in the fridge so they're nice and cold for a warm spring afternoon.  

Up until just a few years ago, we rarely drank white wines.  Even in the summer.  But it just kind of hit me one day - a big red wine while sitting on the deck when it's 80 or 90* outside just doesn't work!  So, the trek to find some good, crisp, and inexpensive whites began.

Based in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, this wine is in the King Estate 'Signature' collection.  According to their website, these wines are "based on a core of organically grown estate fruit with additional fruit sourced from sustainably grown vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley."  The King Estate winery has been open since 1991, growing grapes on about 470 acres of the 1,033 acres of certified organic land.  


King Estate Pinot Gris is one of our absolute summer go to's.  A little more medium body than most Pinot Gris', it has a nice crisp finish.  It's not too sweet, but does have good citrus, peach and pineapple flavors.  

This wine can be found just about anywhere - they produce about 100,000 cases of it each year.  In our area, at Costco right now it's $12.49, and at Total Wine it's $12.99.  It's also found on numerous restaurant wine lists, and is always a great choice.  It's also great to serve at parties.

Pick up a bottle next time you see it - you will enjoy it! Cheers!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ghostprint Gallery

Last week, I was in Richmond for dinner with my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday.  Richmond has a very vibrant art scene, and my mom loves going to the galleries and taking art classes.  There are lots of galleries that have sprung up on Broad Street, and mom knows the owners of a lot of them.  They have an event on the first Friday of the month where the galleries all have an open house, a lot of times to showcase a new exhibition.  A couple of them have started having artist preview receptions the night before.

Ghostprint Gallery is the one we visited for their artist preview with Juan Perdiguero.  He was there for preview, and was very interesting to talk with.  He is from Madrid, Spain, and also teaches an art class at SUNY, so he splits his time between the 2 places.  This collection is called Perros Indalo.  He studied and photographed the dogs in Spain during an international artists residency he participated in.

The artwork was amazing.  Juan explained to us how he created these gorgeous pieces.  The backgrounds were part of the photograph that he took, just blown up really large to focus on one aspect of the background.  So he first puts the photo paper on the canvas to highlight the background - the one below was the center of a flower that was in the original photograph. 

So then he takes ink and makes the outline and full shape of the dog.  Then, this is the amazing part.  He uses paper towels to rub and remove the ink to make the dogs face.  So it starts completely dark, and he ends up with these incredibly detailed pieces.  The eyes were beautiful - and the expressions that the dogs have!  We were joking that one was waiting for food, and one was probably getting his back scratched, and another wanted to play...

While these pictures are cool, they really don't show the beauty as seeing them in person did.  The one below is my favorite - I just love the expression and his ears!

My parents love dogs as much as I do, and we really fell in love with this artist and his work.  I hope you've enjoyed a little piece of the exhibit!  This show is on display until May 26 at the gallery - if you're in Richmond, go see it!

All of the photographs are from the Ghostprint Gallery website

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pesto Orecchiette

This is one of the better pasta dishes I've made in a long time!  It was really delicious and super easy. I'm not even sure where I originally found this, but the recipe is on the Real Simple website.  The original one calls for frozen peas, but apparently I was out of those...and didn't realize that until I was halfway into making this!  I did have some frozen okra, so I used that - and loved it!  What a fun twist!

Pesto Orecchiette With Chicken Sausage


  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen okra
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fully cooked Italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto (I didn't really measure this, just used 3-4 spoonfuls) 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).

It comes together super quickly, and is delicious.  Great for leftovers, too!