“The Season” in South Florida is upon us. While the rest of the country freezes, temperatures are perfect in the tropics and the Magic City retailers and hospitality experts are pulling-out all of the stops. New hotels are opened, and old ones are repurposed. The newest winners of Top Chef make guest appearances and the old masters tweak their menus. There are pop-up restaurants, boutiques and even cabaret shows, AND every weekend a different organization puts on “Miami’s greatest art fair.”
I have never seen so many Art Fairs. I cannot explain their frequency, but I will tell you an art fair is a fun way to spend the day.
“The Season” begins with the Mecca of Miami art fairs, or rather the Mecca of the Americas (that’s two) art fairs, Art Basel, which is typically the first weekend in December. The buzz that surrounds the event is exciting! I moved here shortly after Art Basel 2011 and I could not wait until December 6, 2012 to become part of the hype!
As the event drew closer I realized I had a problem.
I didn’t really know what an “Art Basel” was. The news reports and beautiful prior year pictures referencing multiple fairs and tents and shows and parties at multiple venues scattered all over the city was confusing.
I called for help from a new friend whom I overheard saying that opening night of Basel was her favorite evening of the year in this city.
“Grey, could you please tell me how Art Basel works? What is it, exactly? “
“Meredith, “ she patiently explained, “think of it as a week of art, with over 20 art fairs going on all over the city, at the same time(light bulb moment).”
She continued, “Art Basel, is the biggest event. It is held in the convention center and includes over 200 galleries from all over the world who show pieces from their collections (there were 260 galleries this year). Some of the galleries at Art Basel will have pieces for sale that cost several million dollars and you will definitely see works from some of the old masters. Due to Basel’s huge success and international artistic draw, other week-long art fairs and unique exhibitions started opening in Miami, during that same week (AHA, I thought… clarity was coming).
I pressed for more details and came up with a plan.
As an amateur to the Miami art fair world I knew I had to see Art Basel. My husband and I booked a sitter for Saturday night and bought half price after 4 pm tickets, for $20 each. We had such a great night. Both the art and the fashion of the patrons was FABULOUS and we had a blast.
If you happen to be new to town, a day spent strolling artist’s booths in 70 degree weather with a treat from the latest and greatest food truck makes for a great way to get to know someone a little better. The week of Art Basel proved to be a great way to spend time with a few of my new friends. I tagged along to ArtMiami, the largest and oldest satellite fair, with my information source, Grey, and ran into a new acquaintance at the funkiest fair I visited, Scope.
The week of Basel just left me wanting for more . I missed the Shop Bazzar event in the Design
district, where Bazar magazine debuted a new online site where you can purchase
items from the pages of their periodical. I would have loved to have visited the emerging artists showcased at the NADA art fair “mid-beach” or heard one of the great bands in town at the ultra sheik karaoke bar Jelsomino. Thank goodness for next year.
This weekend I am looking forward to taking my family to the 62nd Annual Beaux Arts Festival of Art, “Miami’s Oldest Juried Fine Arts Show” because I heard it has beautiful art, is not too crowded and fun for the kids
And I know, “the nation’s largest outdoor fine arts festival,”), the 50th Annual Coconut Grove Art Fest, on February 16-18 will be awesome because we got to go last year. How can you beat access to 200 artists from all over the world lined-up along Biscayne Bay? Last year my husband and I had fun talking to several painters about their craft.
But I’m sure I won’t have to wait until February 16th. South Miami, Coral Gables, North Beach and South Beach are sure to have fairs extraordinaire and I don’t think I should miss them. After all, what good is a Miami blogger if she can’t even make the city’s “Greatest Art Fair?”
I had 50 of these cute stickers printed about 4 years ago and still have 48 sitting in my stationary drawer.
I enjoy cooking. When I bought my kitchen labels I imagined meals delivered to new mothers, pies welcoming neighbors and homemade toffee for friends and teachers during the holidays.
But since our 3rd child was born and homework started coming home with all 3 children I have had a hard time getting a home-made meal on the table, much less tasty treats for my neighbor (Last week my husband promised to take charge of insuring my 4-year-old completed her homework after I threatened to start gathering troops to storm the school with sharpened pencils and silver protractors)!
After quickly growing tired of
frozen waffles breakfast for dinner and Annie’s maccaroni and cheese (the word “organic” on the box helps absolve a tiny bit of guilt when shaking the neon orange powder into the pan), I went to the internet for help. I found two tools on the web that have helped bring better food to our table.
I thought I would share here on the blog in case you’ve served your children one too many hotdogs this week or Heaven-for-bid SPAM (Diane Swartzendruber, don’t give me that “it’s a delicacy in Hawaii story”.. it is unrecognizable meat that comes in a can and I think we could all probably do without).
My family eats the best when I sit down on Sunday, plan our dinners for the week, pull the recipes, create a grocery list then go to the store for one big weekly shop. But with the multitude of fun weekend opportunities here in Paradise and the rising number of school/church/social obligations for all of my little people, carving the time out to make that process happen, well, has not been happening. And when the Sunday prep doesn’t take place the Kallaher Kitchen usually serves something with a side of Kallaher Ketchup and my worry of raising “Anti-Foodies”, or really just “Junk Food Junkies”, moves the need to provide healthy meal time solutions for my family higher on my mental to-do list.
The meal planning website No More To Go has really taken the time and stress out of the planning portion of weekday meals at our house. I paid a minimal fee for 5 complete meal ideas to be delivered to my inbox every Friday morning, complete with recipes, grocery lists and even kid friendly pointers. I’ve always liked the challenge of trying a new recipe and Stacey, the fabulous home taught chef behind No More To Go, includes a large variety of recipes in her weekly rotation (which means no searching on the internet for the new idea).
My favorite part of No More to Go is the grocery list. The weekly list is organized by department and coded by recipe. I haven’t been able to go 5 for 5 with the ’No More to Go’ recommendations, meaning cook all 5 meals on my weekly email, but that has not made the use of the week’s grocery list a problem. I just pick the meals I want to cook and then easily cross-off the ingredients that don’t go with the meals that I plan to cook for the week, then I still have a list of the necessary items I need to buy, organized by department, and it only took about 5 minutes to print and put in my purse before a trip to the store!
See my husband’s favorite recipe this month, white chicken chili, here
AND I promised my friend Texas that I would get her the homemade granola recipe that Stacey included as a bonus weekend treat. It was WONDERFUL and also made the house smell great. Click here.
For dinner parties I always go to Tyler Florence for advice (but could certainly use any of the No More to Go meals… Tyler has been with me long before I was introduced to my favorite meal planning website)!
Honestly, besides my recent soire last month, I can not remember the last time I hosted a dinner party. My recent Friendship Project has pushed me to try new things so a couple of weeks ago I made good on a promise I made on the blog to invite a family that I got to know at a child’s birthday party over for dinner (see the old blog post here).
On D-Day (“d”inner party day) I went to the grocery store on my way home from my half marathon training run and by 9:30 a.m. every burner on my stove was turned on high. My husband took our
wild child youngest to the golf course, while her siblings enjoyed a lazy day in the house and I had fun cooking and decorating for our 5:30 dinner date (Saturday night start times have gotten earlier, especially when the kids are included in the festivities).
”Tyler’s Ultimate” 30-minute show on the food network promises the tastiest recipe for whatever the day’s topic, irreverent of time, ease or budget. I’ve enjoyed recipes from Paula Dean, Rachel Ray and The Neely’s, but for complete meals I think Tyler really nails it. I’ve tried several of his combinations with huge success. On D-Day I fixed all 4 recipes from his “Ultimate Chicken Corden Bleu” show. This is the second time I have prepared the entire meal and it is fabulous, fancy, but not too hard to make. (click here for a list of his recently aired ultimate meals).
I need to work on my food blogging skills… I did not take any pictures of my recent D-Day until the food was gone….
I am hoping to don one of my favorite aprons a little more often over the holiday season (my stack of cute aprons are threatening to mock me like my tennis skirts used to do before I actually played tennis). I would love to hear about any kitchen short-cuts that make your life a little easier.Read More
This week my friend Texas and I took our little cowboys with us on our weekly exploration of Miami (weekly exploration described here).
We took in a little Cuban culture and visited Azucar Ice Cream Company on the “main street” (8th Street) in Little Havana, less than 10 minutes from my house.
Azucar is an artisanal ice cream and sorbet boutique. Normally I would not indulge an ice cream parlor by repeating their marketing material’s fluffy words, but the creator of Azucar went to Penn State’s Ice Cream University and has her abuela’s (grandmother’s) passion for creating tropical ice cream flavors “tattooed on her soul”, y’all. These Latino sabores are for real!
The Cafe Con Leche (coffee and Oreo) was to die for and the Elvis(peanut butter and banana) looked fabulous too. My little niños did not venture too far from chocolate and vanilla and honestly, I think both flavors could have received a gold medal for best in their class they were both just perfect (oh the fruity sorbet looked wonderful, but even so I always go for the chocolate, it’s just who I am).
So fellow Miamians if you haven’t been to Little Havana since last July (when they opened), run! Azucar is the ice cream bomb.
And to all the others, when you find yourself in this corner of paradise, Azucar is the sp0t where you can get a little taste of Heaven!
Find all of the information that you need on Azucar here on their website.Read More
I have had great luck with Tyler Florence’s recipes. I can’t think of one that did not turn out great, and this slow cooked pork shoulder in the oven did not disapoint. I made this recipe for a large group of 12 adults and 8 children and plan to make it again from my Memphis native in-laws, which should tell you it is good because I would not serve these barbecue experts a shoulder that wasn’t spectacular.
We did not use Tyler’s barbecue sauce recipe below because my husband likes to make his own and he says he will not share his secret recipe (I think because he doesn’t know what it is… his sauce is great, but always turns out different, so I think he just wings it!). I’m sure Tyler’s is great though!
Finally, putting the cole slaw on the sandwich really makes it perfect. I did not take the time to make homemade dressing but used fresh cabbage and Marie’s Cole Slaw dressing found in the refrigerated aisle of most grocery stores that I have been too, and it was great.
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse salt
1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 hamburger buns
1 recipe Spicy Slaw, recipe follows
Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you have time for, as little as 1 hour or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours. Basically, roast the pork until it’s falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F.
To make the barbecue sauce: combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, take 2 forks and “pull” the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat.
To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom 1/2 of the hamburger bun, and top with the spicy slaw. Serve with pickle spears and the remaining sauce on the side.Read More
I’ve always liked baking better than crafting. I have a closet full of craft potentials in the guest room, but when our new friends came over this afternoon while their mom was getting her hair high-lighted I just wasn’t in the mood for scissors and glue. Then I came across this recipe on “My Kitchen Addiction” blog and thought “A-HA” homemade OREOS, much more fun on a rainy day!
I lost a few of my helpers to a lizard hunt outside, but it was a lot of fun!
And the best part is THE COOKIES WERE SO GOOD! EVERYBODY loved them and said they tasted exactly like the real thing!Read More