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Showing posts from July, 2016

Antiquing in Long Beach, California

I've just come back from a trip to Southern California where I spent a few days antiquing in Long Beach.  The area may or may not be known to you for its antiques, but let me assure you, there are treasures to be had if you visit certain locations.  First and foremost, you should be aware of the Long Beach Antique Market held every third Sunday of every month.  Click on the link for additional information. What I love about the Long Beach Antique Market is that it is held out in the open behind Veterans Stadium, and can best be described as a flea market filled with chic, cheap, unique and stylish vintage items.  Hundreds upon hundreds of vendors set up stalls early in the morning, and I highly encourage you to shop very early (I was there by 7 am) to get the very best deals and best selections.  Speaking of deals, don't be afraid to make a counteroffer when you spot something you really like.  Some vendors may be firm in their pricing, while most are willing to make

Simple Cake Stenciling

The quickest and easiest way to serve a pretty cake for any occasion is to either glaze it or sprinkle it with confectioners sugar.  Up until now I hadn't used cake stencils to decorate my cakes, so  I finally took out the ones I do own for this purpose and tried them out.  I'm glad I did because the plain cakes look so wonderful just as they are, and only need a little something to accompany each slice. What's nice about this type of cake 'decorating' is that you can choose from a number of cake stencils easily found online or at craft stores, and make them at the last minute.  Here is my set up:  baked cake layers, some cake stands, reusable stencils, and some confectioners sugar. Years ago, Martha by Mail was one of the first catalogs to offer cake stencils, and to this day, these classic designs are just as effective.  Several sets were made for the now-defunct catalog.   Most cake stencils need to have the designs ca

Easy Gazpacho

Cool, refreshing gazpacho is just the thing to serve when it's hot outside. Using the freshest ingredients and a powerful blender or food processor, preparing some delicious gazpacho can take a matter of minutes.  Eaten throughout Spain, there are probably as many recipes for gazpacho as there are tapas bars. It's no wonder that this particular cold soup is popular.  It tastes of sweet tomatoes, cool cucumbers, mildly spicy because of the bell peppers, and surprisingly tangy because of the sherry vinegar.  Whether you decide to add bread to the soup, as per tradition in certain households,  make sure that your ingredients are absolutely fresh and blemish-free. My gazpacho doesn't include any bread, because I feel it doesn't need it, but if you wish, go ahead and create tasty croutons to add as a garnish.  What's even better is that it can be made with either ultra-fresh garden tomatoes or even peeled canned tomatoes.  There is a difference in flavor, but both