Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sandbox Playtime on Hilton Head...

A fun and unique place for families with children is the Sandbox on Hilton Head island, S.C. This is an interactive Museum for toddlers and young children. Admission is $6 pp and children 2 and under are free. Depending upon the time of day, there can be a waiting line. We went as soon as the doors opened and when we left after 1.5 hrs there was already a line out the door. The average time spent at play is about 1 -1.5 hours per child.

There is a full arts and craft room for little ones to create with paints and crayons and sparkles and lots of paste and brushes and crayons and markers.

"Can't seem to get enough of horses this week."

The Toddler area has a slide, and a wide assortment of age appropriate toys and books, in a gated area. There are rocking chairs and benches outside the area for parents to sit and watch.

"Not a fan of this Chef's hat but I do like to play in Flour like my Nanny Joyce!"

There is a full kitchen area for little ones to play store, shop and bake complete with a child size picnic table and umbrella.

"Roger that tower I am clear for take off on runway 27 L for Landon."

A wonderful interactive plane complete with uniforms and voice simulator.

Little Co-pilot checking out the landing gear.

"I am not sure I can land this plane in the Hudson River but I can sure land it in my bath tub!"

Do I spot a ship and a treasure map and a pirates chest full of dress up clothing?

"Let me take complete control of this sailing vessel!"

Ahoy! Searching for land or perhaps "Goldfish" to eat!

It's time for some "Nuggets" and I don't mean gold nuggets but chicken nuggets & a nap for this exhausted Pirate!

If you are visiting Hilton Head Island and have young children I would definitely make a stop into the Sandbox. It is small, well staffed and clean. You are not allowed to eat inside but there is a front porch if you would like to bring your little ones P&B Jelly sandwich with you. It may be a good idea to bring a cold drink for when your little one is finished playing. Taking photos was tricky due to the number of children and parents moving about and having fun. We will definitely return to find the Captains parrot!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies...It's a good thing...

This is my first time participating in the cookie carnival challenge hosted by Kate at the clean plate club. Check out who else has participated this month on June 1st or join next months cookie carnival. The recipe for the month of June was Strawberry Shortcake Cookies by Martha Stewart. The recipe can be found on Martha's website. This recipe came along just in time for a different twist on all those strawberries that are in the markets this time of the year.

The cookies came together in a snap!

Strawberry Shortcake cookies are ready to eat with a nice cold glass of milk!

These cookies have a soft texture just like a shortcake. They pack a delicious strawberry flavor with just the right amount of sugar with the added sprinkles on top. The recipe states that the cookies are best served immediately. We tasted some the next day and they were just as delicious. I would definitely make them again to bring to a picnic, with a tall glass of lemonade, or to a potluck. They would be a nice addition to a tea or a baby shower.

I packaged them in the strawberry containers tied with raffia as gifts.


Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm back in the saddle again...Lawton Stables...

I am back in the saddle blogging again after being on some R&R with family.

We had a great week and the time just flew past way to quickly.
I will share with you all this week some of our fun activities.

A trip to Lawton Stables at Sea Pines was on our agenda to see the beautiful horses, ride a pony named "Chicken Nugget", and pet the animals in the petting zoo. The history of Lawton Plantation is very interesting so click on the above link and read about the two wonderful NY gals who founded this site in 1867.

Finally my first pony ride on "Chicken Nugget".
Giddy up!

If you are visiting Hilton Head Island stop at Lawton Stables with your family for some fun!
Donations are accepted for the petting zoo.
Pony rides are $10 and are really priceless to see the smile on the babies faces!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm on Island Time ...

I'm on island time for some R&R for a few days doing lots of reading and swimming and just enjoying life with the family. I will be back with lots of colorful photos, fun stories, and delicious recipes to share with all of you next week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Henry Moore Sculptor...Atlanta Botanical Gardens...Outdoor Wednesday...

Set within the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, the Henry Moore exhibit stands out like a shining star among the lush plantings and the skyline of Atlanta. This is the largest special exhibition of Henry Moore's monumental sculptures ever presented in the U.S. Moore is considered the first sculptor to create fine art intended to be displayed outdoors that were not memorials, monuments or garden ornaments.

Let's begin our tour by walking through these gates.

This one is simply called mother and child.

Here is another sitting in front of the conservatory.
You can certainly see the size of his work.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of the Henry Moore exhibit.
Please visit when you are visiting Atlanta. If you bank at Bank America you can enter the gardens FREE one day a month. Check your Bank America site for more details. This special Henry Moore exhibit will show until October 31.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Roasted banana ice cream...you're a monkey's uncle!

I love my Cuisinart ice cream maker. I use it all year round and I am totally in love with David Lebovitz ice cream book THE PERFECT SCOOP.

I almost did not finish making this ice cream. Why? After I roasted the bananas all I wanted to do was sit down with a BIG spoon and eat it all by myself. The smell of roasted bananas was intoxicating. Honestly, I licked the spoon and am guilty of double dipping. It was that good and better. The finished product is rich and creamy. Since it did not require an egg yolk base it was quick and easy. This winning recipe will be repeated many times this summer until I over dose on it and then I will put up my arms and scream "Your a Monkey's Uncle". Just don't expect any screaming from me any time soon!

Roasted Banana Ice-cream

Makes 1 qt.

3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon course salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. In a small baking dish, chop up the bananas and toss in the brown sugar. Bake for around 40 minutes or until the bananas are cooked through, caramelised and golden. Turn them once during cooking. Watch carefully so they do not burn the last few minutes.
  3. In a blender or food processor, blitz the hot bananas, the syrup from the dish, milk, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt until smooth. Chill this mixture until cold in the fridge.
  4. Churn in an ice-cream machine until thick.
* Makes 1 qt. but honestly it made enough for two large servings. I think I will double it the next time and it should fit perfectly in my size ice cream maker. Will post back at a later time if my ice cream maker ends up having a lava flow. I am totally prepared to lick my counters!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lemon pound cake & hot firemen to the rescue...

Today is Foodie Friday hosted by Gollum at http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com
Please head on over to view some delicious recipes.

I realize that I have been posting lemon recipes lately and I confess that I am a lemonholic. In the summer it is so refreshing to bite into a piece of lemon cake or drink a tall cool lemonade. I found the following recipe this past week posted by Jeanne over at backyardneighbors.blogspot. Thanks to Jeanne I was able to whip up this cake in a jiffy and bring one over to my local fire department.

A few years back, I was baking cookies and accidentally burned my arm while pulling out a baking sheet. This was before I purchased silpat mats and was using parchment paper to line my cookie sheets. The cookies, along with the parchment paper, fell into the oven and started a fire. I was quick to close the oven door and turn off the oven. To insure safety, I dialed 911 and the firemen were in my kitchen with axes (oh my!) and gear in matter of minutes. Thankfully, it all turned out well. The firemen informed me that they often have fires in ovens caused by parchment paper. I gave them the cookies that were already cooling on my cooking racks as a thank you and off they went to rescue another damsel in distress.

Fast forward a few weeks later. I was in the market in the baking aisle and there were my fire hero's pointing at me and laughing. They were telling customers how I bake a red hot cookie and what a ball of fire I am in the kitchen. This teasing went on until I moved. From that day forward I started to bake for the local fire company. No matter where we move I have continued to play this forward by baking for these brave men and women who risk their lives to keep us all safe.

Perhaps you also bake for your local fire or police department?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Lemon cream pound cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sour cream

Grease and flour bundt cake pan. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs one at a time,beating after each addition.
Add vanilla and lemon peel.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture alternating with sour cream.
Bake approx 50-60 minutes depending upon your oven.
Cool cake for 20 minutes and invert onto a baking rack.
When cake is completely cool ice cake.

Mix one cup of sifted powdered sugar with 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice to a drizzling consistency.
Pour over lemon cake.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Babyshower...Tablescape Thursday...Thinking inside and outside of the box...

Today is Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan@betweennapsontheporch.
Please stop by and have a look at all the wonderful tablescapes this week.

Recently, a shower was held for the Mom to be and her baby boy who is due in July. The baby shower was held at the Blue Rooster Cafe and Bakery located in Lilburn, Ga. The delicious food, chicken salad on a bun with a side of pasta salad, are neatly presented in a big white box with a blue bow. Along with a blue glass to hold the Sweet tea is a fluffy blue cupcake.

We like the presentation so much we are booking the Blue Rooster Cafe for another baby shower and we are planning on making our own little box luncheon for a birthday celebration.

(click photo to enlarge)

The Hen house can hold up to 75 guests.
You can also bring home some delicious goodies from the bakery cases.

Rooster cottage...Outdoor Wednesday...

Today is outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan
@ asoutherndayreamer.blogspot.com.
Please join the fun by joining the other participants and viewing their photos.

I spotted this little gem of a house across from one of our local parks.
Let's take a peak!

Please click on the photos to enlarge to enjoy all the cute little details.

The door is painted with bright and colorful flowers.
Can you see all those adorable bird houses waiting for Mr. & Mrs. Feather to take up residency with their little ones?

Who needs an alarm system when you have a big Rooster to rule the roost!

All this peaking has made me thirsty.
What better way to quench your thirst then with a cool glass of
Emeril's Red Rooster Cocktail.

  • 1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
  • 2 cups vodka

Combine all of the ingredients in a large plastic container. Freeze for several hours. It will not freeze solid, but rather achieve the consistency of a slushy.

Scoop into punch cups or wine glasses and serve.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Guilt Free Indulgence ...Mosaic Monday...

(click on above photo to enlarge)

I have a quick and easy little fun dessert to share with you.

We decided to stop for lunch at Seasons 52. If you have not had the pleasure of eating there you should try it. They serve food that is highly flavored and better for you and your waistline. The menu changes along with the freshest ingredients of the current season. I am a big fan of their flatbread along with their soups and salads.

For dessert they carry over a little stand that holds a few shot glasses full of the most incredible looking and tasting desserts.
• Key Lime Pie • Mocha Macchiato
• Old Fashioned Carrot Cake • Rocky Road
• Pecan Pie with Vanilla Mousse • Fresh Fruit Cheesecake
• Market Fresh Fruit • Caramel Banana Pie

There is enough in the glass to taste 3-4 bites. Just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

What a fun idea to serve these to your guests, bring them to a party or a picnic. This is a great way to use up the extra layers you have baked. Freeze a layer for a future date. Place a piece of cake, or a crumbled graham cracker in the bottom of a shot glass, add a layer of instant pudding or lite cool whip and repeat. Top it all off with a dollop of non fat whip cream. You can add chips, nuts, raisins and fruit. The sky is the limit. Present them on a pretty tray with some little demitasse spoons and I am sure these little fun treats will be the hit of your next party.

To see more fun Mosaic Monday photos please head on over to http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.com hosted by Mary. Mary has the most delightful blog with amazing photos.

My summer addictiction...

Thank you Robin for hosting this fun Summer Stock Sunday. If you would like to participate or view more fun photos head on over to check out Robin's blog today.

When I was a little girl we use to have a watermelon and fruit man come to our neighborhood in New York. The fruit man drove an old and noisy school bus that you could hear approaching from a mile away. All the grandmothers would call out to us kids to run and get their little black change purses. Didn't every little Italian grandmother have a little black change purse back then? It became a social hour with the grandmothers gathering around the bus to exchange recipes while they picked out their fruits and vegetables. They all boasted the best eggplant recipe this side of the ocean. An old scale hung on the outside of the bus where the fruit man would weigh the items. Now this was our chance to raid the peach basket inside the bus. Of course the fruit man would run after us and tried to catch us. He called us who knows what in Italian and each week we repeated the peach game with him. We all thought this was the most fun and the start of my peach addiction.

Later in the week, the watermelon truck would come rolling up our block. It was a regular farm truck and the owner would yell out in a thick Italian accent "Watermaloon". All the kids on the block would run behind his truck and yell "Watermalloon" trying to imitate his accent. For many years I thought that was the way you actually pronounced watermelon . If you did not have the money for a watermelon, he would take this old paper bag that he kept as his ledger sheet and put a plus on it to indicate you owed him double the next week. We did not always buy a watermelon as it was considered a luxury in those days. When we did have money for one it was a slice of heaven. I remember sitting with my piece and being fascinated with the wonderful pink and green colors. Those big black seeds were so much fun for spitting contests.

Today when I eat the first summer peach & "watermaloon" slice I am immediately transported back into time and can feel that same sugar rush. Oh how I enjoy the taste of summer time!