September 10, 2015

Summer Vacation in the Florida Keys

I'm not sure what it is, but it seems like there are so many people we know who have recently vacationed in Key West and I can certainly understand why it seems so popular. We took vacation early (June) and headed to the Florida Keys!

Key West sunset
The drive from the airport was a bit brutal for us. There is only one road that runs through the Florida Keys and there was a very bad car accident which held us up for about 2 hours. We were hot, thirsty, and hungry so we stopped at Herbies in Marathon Key. When my husband was younger he remembers eating here so we stopped. They have some a great variety of craft beer on tap and delicious food including their conch fritters! I had the most delicious pineapple cider in a caramel and cinnamon rimmed glass that I will never forget. It was truly the stuff dreams are made of.

We stayed in Sugarloaf Key which is about a 25 minute drive to Key West. We found an awesome and super reasonable place to stay via airbnb. Our host was great and never steered us wrong with her many recommendations.
The owner of the place we stayed at had goats and chickens in her yard
Trip highlights include snorkeling in the coral reefs (yes, with some shark sightings!), key lime pie (Kermit's was our fave), eating delicious seafood (hogfish is a must), walking around Duval St., seeing Love & Mercy at the Tropic Cinema (the cutest movie theatre ever), and going on an airboat tour of the everglades on the way back to the airport.

Gators! @ Everglades Holiday Park
Bahia Honda beach

Other places we went to and recommend:
Herbie's Chowder House
Located on Marathon Key, their conch fritters were excellent. They have Key West staples, but also have daily specials. We got some of the best brussel sprouts we'd ever had. They were tossed in some kind of kimchi sauce that was so good!

Geiger Key Marina
You can rent kayaks, paddle boards, etc. here. This was recommended to us by our airbnb host. It's a spot many tourists don't go to since it's off of the main highway going through the Keys. After you're done with your water activities head over to the dock bar right nextdoor. This mango colada was perfect after 2 hrs of kayaking.
Cooling off after kayaking in the Key West heat
Sloppy Joe's
A Key West tradition. Ernest Hemingway was a regular here. We tried the Sloppy Joe quesadilla that was really good.

Garbo's Grill
I had seen this place on Diner's Drive In's and Drives a couple of years ago. Since the episode aired they have moved locations and are now permenantly behind Grunt's bar. They have a really nice setup with a patio in front and behind the bar so you can have a few drinks and eat some amazing Korean bbq tacos. Ugh, I actually want to eat them right now.

Amigo's Tortilla Bar
I can never pass up going to a place that serves grilled corn aka elote.
Reminds me of my time in Mexico!
One of the t-shirt shops had tank tops for dogs. Of course we got one made for Cooper. Here he is modeling it.


September 9, 2015

Dachshund Finds for the Fashionistas!

When I saw all this Dachshund related wear from my favorite clothing store, J.Crew I totally freaked out. Two of my favorite things!

I recently ordered this sweater and loafers and I just ordered this t-shirt from J.Crew Factory. I searched the website to see if they had any other dachshund finds AND THEY DID (see links below). It is taking all of my will power not to buy everything.

The Dachshund doesn't actually wrap around the back of the sweater, it just gives the illusion that it does. I still find it to be cute though!

Just ordered today, can't wait to wear it!

I actually ordered these in a Kid's size 4 and 5 (I typically wear a size 6-6.5 in Women's), but they just didn't work. The 4 was too tight and the 5 was too big. Super sad.


August 10, 2015

Baltimore Farmer's Market Haul

It's been a few months since my last post and honestly there has been so much going on and that's just how life is! I'm hoping to do some "back-blogging," but in the meantime...

Yesterday was the first time in a few months that we've gone to the Baltimore Farmer's Market and we sure did pick a good day to go! Chipotle Mexican Grill was giving out $5 vouchers that could be used on fresh produce at the Farmer's Market. We talked to one of the vendors who said that they heard that Chipotle donated $18,000 in the form of vouchers and that same vendor said that they have seen more business that day than any other.  It is so awesome that Chipotle supports local farms!

My husband made the observation that in all our visits to the Farmer's Market he had never seen more  fresh produce there before and I think that the fruit/vegetable season is at it's peak is part of the reason.

We came away with a bunch of fresh, local goods for a whopping $2 thanks to the three Chipotle vouchers we had.
Carrots, green beans, French orange melon, ginger gold apples, nectarines, zucchini. Mead from Charm City Meadworks and salsa from Cliff's Salsa not purchased using the vouchers.
Look at the size of that carrot! Dachshund pictured for scale :)

Pro tip: If you're headed to the Baltimore Farmer's Market try parking in the Mercy Medical Center garage on Guilford Avenue for up to 2 hours free from 7am-noon. Don't forget to get your parking ticket validated at the Welcome Tent!


May 30, 2015

The Unofficial Start of Summer + A Recipe

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of Summer and the weather we have had lately is definitely making it feel that way!

We have had a pretty activity packed Spring and I'm sure the Summer will be no different. We've already been to a few Orioles games and went to see The Dave Matthews Band. Coming up is seeing Kevin Hart, going to the Florida Keys, and seeing the musical Dear Evan Hansen.

My 12th DMB Concert @ Jiffy Lube Live
Guacamole is excellent any time of the year, but I tend to enjoy it more in the summertime when corn is fresh and I can make this Charred Corn Guacamole recipe by Bobby Flay. My husband first made this for me many years ago while we were on vacation in the Outer Banks. I/we have adapted it only slightly. It tastes best after you've allowed all of the flavors to blend for a while but it still tastes good if you eat it right away. You could definitely add more or less of anything based on your taste and heat preference.

Charred Corn Guacamole
2 ears corn
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning to your taste

Remove the outer husk from the corn and loosen the silks without removing. Dunk into water and place directly onto a hot grill for 15 minutes. Remove from grill. Allow to cool enough so that the corn is easy to handle. Remove remaining husks and silks and cut the kernels off of the cob.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips!


May 11, 2015

Changes at The Ellicott City Old Town Market

A few weeks ago I blogged about The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Farmer's Market season!

This past weekend, was the opening weekend of the Ellicott City Old Town Market. If you went to the Old Town Market last year, you will find many changes.

As I reported last year, the owner of River House Pizza Co had purchased the space behind where their oven is located as well taken over ScoopAHHdeedoo ice cream. ScoopAHHdeedoo has moved to the new space that River House Pizza Co owns. There is a window that you order at for both pizza and ice cream. I peered into the window and saw that there is a prep kitchen inside. The pizzas are made inside and are brought out to the oven. I overheard many people asking at the window if they were selling bread this year and the answer was unfortunately a no. The market itself starts at 9am, but River House/ScoopAHHdeedoo doesn't open until 10am. The husband and I didn't mind because we could walk around and check out the other vendors.

The other vendors are no longer located in the courtyard of the Hamilton Street parking lot. All of the vendors have been moved to the parking lot next to the Wine Bin. When we asked someone why, we were told it was because there weren't as many vendors this year and they wanted to keep them all together in one area.

After we walked up to the Wine Bin, checked out the vendors (some return vendors and some new, probably 6-7 altogether), we walked back down to order our pizzas. The pizza took a much longer time to be made and baked than last year. We weren't exactly sure why, but perhaps it's due to the change in process from before where they were made right as it was ordered in front of the oven and now it is made inside and must be brought outside. Nonetheless, the pizza was still as good as we remembered from last year.

As we were eating, The Little French Market was setting up to sell made to order waffles, something new this year. We saw many people park walk up to the courtyard with a confused look on their face then walk back to their cars to leave. There were no signs posted to let people know that all of the vendors had moved uptown. My husband and I both shared the same disappointment with our first visit to the market. Sadly, it really seemed to lack the energy and ambiance of last year.