Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oahu, a breath of fresh air in winter (winter 2011)

I love Oahu. And on a day like today I thought that I would revisit my photos.  It is cold here.  Snow closed the schools and I've had a fire in the fireplace all morning.  Tonight the temperature will go back into the single digits.  
So on to Hawaii!!
 The water was beautiful.
 The beaches were plentiful.  
The flowers were so fragrant.  On my first night there my son and I stood on the edge of a mountain and looked over the city. The smell of the flowers permeated the air.  

And the island started working it's magic on me.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cranberry Muffins and Dandelion Honey

Years ago my brother-in-law and his wife owned an apartment in the Fan District in Richmond Va. They lived in the second story apartment which was chocked full of personality. High ceilings, nice woodwork, a wonderful living area for relaxing in. They were also my introduction to New Age Music/Wyndham Hill, melt in your mouth spare ribs and cranberry muffins. Great memories. So with the snow coming down on Tuesday and being home from school I decided to make muffins after I took a walk in the snow.
And here is the recipe.
 Cranberry Muffins
 1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
 2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
 1/2 cup milk
 2 cups cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 Cream butter with sugar. Add eggs and beat til smooth. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add to mixture alternately with milk. Add cranberries and walnuts. Bake at 350* for 25 - 30 minutes.

 **I made mini muffins this time. Cooking time was 15-20 minutes. Also my sister-in-law made them with 1 cup white flour and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour. I generally do the same. The walnuts I grind fine. **Enjoy with drink of choice. Mine was with tea a student brought back from South Africa and Dandelion Honey made by another family. Dandelion Honey is fabulous and I look forward to Spring to try and make my own.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Seven Hour Layover in Paris - What to do

This was the question posted to the Travel Talk column of the Washington Post. The answer man for that question mentioned that the couple could use the train and get off at various stops to see different sights during that 7 hours. I would also have suggested to look into booking a tour guide. One that will meet you at the airport, hopefully with their own transport. Make a list of the things that you would like to see, if only to drive by. Then make a list of things that you want to tour. And pick a few out of each list. Assume that you will be back. I would pick the Eiffel Tower to visit. But you may say - I've heard that the lines to go up are long. True, but if you are in reasonable health consider taking the stairs. The line is usually shorter there, the stairs are wide - plenty of room for stopping and resting while taking in the view and it only goes to the second story - about 600 or so steps. That is plenty high enough to get a great view of the city in all directions and take some photos. Plus, going down is easier :-). Also, once you have your list of things to visit make sure that they are open on the day you plan to tour the city. Various sights are closed at least one day during the week. You don't want to waste time and energy.