Saturday, September 27, 2014

Birthday Beach Weekend With Julie and Julia

So last weekend was my birthday weekend, no turning up went down, it was just very low key and relaxing. After the husband baked a batch of my favorite red velvet cupcakes and had fun playing with our cake decorator pen; we got the kids together. Then we headed out to Madeira Beach. We befriended one of Juliana's classmate's/ tablemate's parents, Randal got in touch with the Dad over the weekend and he suggested Madeira Beach.

John's Pass Boardwalk Village

Madeira Beach is a unique place. It's a lazy beach town, not unusual to come across shops that are closed with a personal note on the door like "out sick" or "out for family affairs today"...followed by apologies. The best asset of the beach is definitely its boardwalk village "John's pass" which has lots of character. I really loved the way the restaurants are all wood planked and have deck seating that faces the waterfront. There are lots of shops and the owners are very friendly. They mostly stand outside and people watch or enjoy the fresh air. If you enter their shop they will come in and greet you. Then, just leave you to browse and don't tail you as you do so. They aren't pushy or rude either. I LOVED that! I ended up buying a personalized locket from a jeweler. She gave me a discount after I shared that I recently moved to Florida. I missed out on the spice shop but hope to go back soon. I love spices and would be so lost in the kitchen without them!

The beach itself is just okay but the birds are something else! And I don't mean that in a good way! I have to warn you they are like the birds you see in that scene in Finding Nemo as they all scream "Mine! Mine! Mine!" but these birds were more like a John Singleton flick rather than Disney! There was a whole gang of them, they swooped down low over us as we ate our picnic lunch. And were even so bold as to peck into my son's Cheetos bag as he held it in his little hands. A large flock followed me to the trash can as I dumped chicken bones and paper plates. I'll be honest, I just tossed the plates in the trash can haphazardly as I ran for my life! Scared to be pecked to death lol. Don't bring food here!

I was watching Julie and Julia over the weekend for the very first time flipping through channels. I thoroughly enjoyed that movie! I was able to relate to both of the main characters in so many ways. The irony of just discovering this movie was all in the fact that I recently started a food blog though a few years ago it was just an idea in my head that I hadn't gotten around to yet. Ladies, I have to tell you life gets busy but as far as the creative ideas/ things you want to do that just get stored in the back of your head get out and do them! Life gets busy but sometimes we just need to keep things that we do for ourselves, regardless of what they are if its creative and you enjoy it, do it!

I started this blog to get back to blogging and to write about my interests, food, dining out, and travel. I had a personal blog years back that did not have a theme. It was originally created to keep in touch with a friend who moved to another state. I made a couple of good friends from that blog. And just like Julia, I have an "Avis" in my life thanks to that blog! She lives in NY and is now blogging again but for a cause/ support group she has started (My Mommyvents ). I was able to relate to other things like Julie's reaction and emotions to turning 30, to the frustration with her tiny apartment over the pizzeria, coming face to face with things that come up as you learn to be careful what you post in your blog. I was also able to relate to Julia, as she navigated a foreign place yet felt right at home at times. Then the simple things like she liked hats, I like hats. Later, as she came into her own, finding something just for herself (outside of being a housewife). I have juggled from at times being a "Domestic Diva" (aka housewife) to being a working mother and wife.

I made a simple dinner of cajun roasted chicken, tostones, and a kiwi-strawberry poppyseed salad for Sunday dinner. Though I was experimenting the salad came out exceptionally well! If I do say so myself :) I'll just give a run down of the salad and some tips about the tostones.


Kiwi-Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Fresh kiwi (cut into small slices)
Fresh sliced strawberries
1 Cup of walnuts (plain)
1 Bag of fresh Spring Mix Salad Greens
1/2 Cup of your favorite poppyseed salad dressing (I used Panera brand)
Toss all of your ingredients together, the dressing as well. Cover your salad bowl, and shake everything up. I avoided using candied walnuts because once the poppyseed dressing is added it will really sweeten the greens as well as the fruit. Candied walnuts may be a bit overkill but it will depend on your taste buds. While I enjoy sweets my taste buds are like a moderator to my sweet tooth.

Lessons in Tostones...
I don't know how many times I #failed with green plantains/ tostones before I stumbled across a recipe on pinterest that saved my life! The trick is to boil them whole first! Something that I did not ever do during each subsequent #fail. Boiling will get the green plantain to tenderize, and to be less thick and tough. It will help the middle be more crisp on the outside and smash on the inside like a home fry. After the plantains cool from boiling, slice them in small round slices (like thick chips). Next, you want to smash each plantain with a fork to flatten them out some. Once flattened, somewhat, you will fry them in oil and add a little kosher salt to the tops as they fry (use the salt sparingly). Serve hot! In the words of Julia Child "Bon Appetite!"

No comments:

Post a Comment