Sunday, September 30, 2012

Urgh, formatting

Sorry that, no matter what platform I'm using, I can no longer change how my text is presented on blogspot. There were Returns after every line in those recipes, but, try as I might, I cannot reinstate a single one. I recommend copying the text and re-formatting it! My paragraphs vanish as well--see No July, which had 3 paragraphs, as I wrote it.

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Steak & salad recipes

Warm Stir-Fried Salad 2 tbs olive oil 1 red or Vidalia onion 1 red bell pepper 2 cloves garlic 8 oz cherry tomatoes 5 oz baby spinach 0.75 oz fresh basil 4 oz feta cheese Slice onion. Cut pepper in small squares. Thinly slice garlic. Halve tomatoes. Heat oil in pan until very hot. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook 2 min. Add tomatoes, spinach, and basil and cook till leaves have wilted. Transfer to serving plate and serve with crumbled feta. Steak with Gorgonzola Sauce 1.5 tbs olive oil 0.25 lb shitake mushrooms 2 cloves garlic 0.75 cups heavy whipping cream 0.5 cup Gorgonzola 1 tsp chipotles, canned 24 oz beef tenderloin or steak 0.5 tsp salt 0.25 tsp freshly ground pepper Stem & slice shitakes. Mince peppers and garlic. Crumble cheese. Heat 2/3 olive oil in lg skillet over med. Add shitakes and saute 4 min. Add garlic and stir 1 min. Add whipping cream and bring to boil. Reduce, then simmer 4 min. Stir in gorgonzola and chipotles. Season to taste. Sprinkle steaks with salt & pepper. Heat remaining olive oil in separate skillet. Cook about 5 min per side. Serve on plates with sauce spooned over.

My holiday

I spent my actual birthday just south of Virginia Beach, where the 2012 festival of the North American Sea Glass Association was held. My friend Tress and I rented a seafront condo for 3 days. The unit was actually sound-front--see below. The building itself was seafront.

The picture below is of the fishing pier just down the beach. Our trip featured getting lost on a closed Route 64, getting lost on the condo parking level, eating amazing food at Baja across the street (the freshest steamed shrimp), going to Ross, going to the festival (disappointing), Tress drinking pool-side--not to excess--and me preparing a really yummy steak in gorgonzola-shitake sauce with warm salad. Recipe to follow.

Front of the buildings:

Sunset from the balcony:

Wildlife preserve just yards to the south...turtles in that water!

A Suzuki that reminded me, at the back, of England's Ka:

And one more thing, the Waffle House where I had breakfast on my actual birthday! Oh, how I love the pecan waffles and scattered, peppered hash browns at Waffle House.

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My 50th

I had a nice surprise at Ohana, a new Glosta eatery.

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New car

I really loved my Echo, its petite size, and its great mileage per gallon. But its clutch started slipping.

When that slippage started to occur in both highway and city settings, I knew I needed to hasten my search for a car. I was thinking: used, but 2010 as the earliest acceptable vintage. As much as 11K, but 4 figures were preferable. I test drove a 2012 Veloster and hated it. I found a 2010 Kia Soul competent but unexciting.

Test driving the Spark was FUN. A brand new car, a 2013 Spark could be had for 3K more than my projected top price. Victor suddenly said that he could cover some of the expense. The stars were aligning.

I call it my Snow Pea.

Here it's contrasted with the Prius C, a contender in my search. The Prius reviews weren't good, however. The Spark is a Daewoo that has been sold all over the world for years. It has solid reliability and safety data behind it, 10 air bags, and a flat-screen radio. Love that radio.

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Sail with Janet

My sister in law came to Glosta for some R&R. We took a sail, and during that sail Vic voiced his strong objection to cute sea birds resting on our inflatable dinghy.

The Tall Ships were still in town.

After our sail, as Janet and I agreed to go pick up some fried clams, we saw Vic in the sunset, stowing the sails (not the front boat but the next one back).

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My great friend Gamalia came up for a Glosta day during the Tall Ships weekend. We stopped to eat at Seaport Grille at Cruiseport, the dock site of one of the ships.

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Vic and I took a blues cruise in Salem, part of Vic's birthday present. The wharf was switched and we nearly missed the departure, which was half an hour later than it was the two prior years. Hence how dark it is when we're actually aboard.

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First 2012 Sail

I think this is a cove-side shot of a Rocky Neck restaurant.

We saw a bird fight, which you can almost make out below. Clearly a pool of bait fish or 'peanut bunker' was present near shore.

That's our Kiwi!

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Ren-Cen and Greektown

The Renaissance Center has always gone by the name Ren-Cen. It began its life as a hotel and high-end mall, but its interior was so confusing to navigate that retailers quickly stepped away. I had one or two meals in the top-level restaurant, with breathtaking, terrifying views of the river, downtown Detroit, and Windsor, Ontario (fear of heights). The building cluster now serves as GM headquarters.

On the left side of the street is Ford field, home of the Lions. On the right side is Comerica Park, home--since the heartbreaking destruction of Tiger Stadium--to the Detroit Tigers.

Nowadays, when one travels to Greektown, the free parking is in a casino parking deck. The walkway takes you along a church face (Greek Orthodox?), over the street.

We ate lunch in a Cajun place, bizarrely, as we love and miss the foods that we first had in Greektown.

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Location: Detroit

Gill and I stayed in this somewhat outdated but large, well equipped, suite hotel (Embassy Suites, Livonia). Below is the breakfast bar, included in the reasonable room rate, and as fully featured as it gets.

Below is the Motown museum, where Gill and I sang "Stop! In the Name of Love" in the very room, on the very floorboards, where the Supremes recorded it. It was fascinating to discover the Berry Gordy business model. A number of acts would record each song, which had already been created by a great team of musicians and songwriters. Then the acts would make a pitch to the Motown executives, laying out how and why their version would sell best.

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No July? Really?

I wish I could say why I have been less prone to blogging of late. Time is involved, certainly. I'm working full time for the first time in two years. My hours can be upwards of 45 each week. My fractured foot is a factor as well, and my feelings about that injury and its treatment. I get spitting mad to consider the wrong-headed protocols, weeks on crutches, conflicting advice, difficult rehab, et al., especially when it feels the same now as it ever did (that is, painful). I have been saving pictures for use in this blog. For example, I captured every stage of the garden this summer. I snapped pics of our scant few sails aboard Kiwi this year(each time I was aboard, my back--out of alignment after the crutches--gave me real grief, but I'm GLAD that we sailed anyway!). I took images of travels, not only Detroit (partially covered here) but also Virginia. I'll post what I can, as I can. It bothers me that on-blog I omitted July, the month when full-time work and several-times-a-week physical therapy did me in. July is the first month in my years of blogging when I was silent. I'm not sure that much is signified by that period of no communication, however, so: Let's just move on.