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Archive for October, 2013

October 31st, 2013

All Hallow’s Eve, Celebration, AboutMyBeaches, Halloween Night, Delaware Beaches, Agave, Restaurant, Review, No smashing pumpkins, No Scary Movies….Plenty of Fun!! Southern Delaware

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“Under the moon, we heard a dreary howl.  ‘Twas an orange cat on a prowl.  Disguised?  Oh, no!! He would play wicked tricks that caused us fright.”

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Halloween started with 3 friends getting together for dinner.  Susan, Joan, The Pearl Lady, and I decided on Agave as our dinner destination on this frightful night.  We arrived…and surprised!!  No waiting.  That’s what I like.  We decided on some chips and guacamole.  Always delicious.

Agave is a true success in Historic Lewes, Delaware. It has been serving consistent delicious meals at very affordable prices.  Location?  137 Second St., Lewes, DE 19958.  Tel. 302-645-1232.  No reservations, but you can call in a put your name on the list when crowded.

Favorites at Agave and the ones we ordered were:

Fish Tacos – Puffy

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Chiles en Nogales – A signature dish at Agave.

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My Tamal was outstanding….the corn bread spicy.  So good, I bought some for home.

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We were totally satisfied….no way we could attempt to have dessert.  We would have to leave that for another time.  But, take a peek!

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The night was still young, so many begging for candy.  Out and about, my neighborhood was in a Halloween kinda of a mood.

My Gatekeepers tried not to le me in.  Susan was scared…..Joan had taken off for Milford.

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Halloween was turning out to be one heck of a frightful experience!  I had never seen my neighborhood this way.

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A bad hair day no matter what holiday it is.

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Another encounter and it was time to go home….See you next year!!

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October 29th, 2013

Destination? Bethany Beach, Delaware, The Quiet Resort, The Second Season, Southern Delaware, Delaware Beaches

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In 1901 the Town of Bethany Beach was founded.

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In 1903 the first Boardwalk was constructed.

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In 1934 the first paved road from Bethany Beach was completed.

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Those are a few of the milestones that happened so many years ago.  Bethany Beach is a thriving vacation destination.  In the Second Season it is considered The Quiet Resort.  Don’t get me wrong, the residents love it.  It is their time to reclaim their oasis.

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They have the town all to themselves.  The life of the town is its Boardwalk.  It is a place for peace and relaxation at this time of the year.  A walk on the beach or on the Boardwalk is always a must.

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These photos were taken on Monday, 10/24 late in the afternoon….you can see what I mean.

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The wide and gorgeous beach is amazing.

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Stop by and check it out.  Talk to you later.

October 29th, 2013

Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Beaches….Lucky!!

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It was so early in the a.m. a year ago when I turned on the weather channel only to learn that Rehoboth Beach was in North Carolina.  Big mistake because plenty of residents took to Rehoboth Beach to let them know that we are in Delaware.  Already the weather channel principals were in place, thinking that Rehoboth Beach would be taking a direct hit.  How lucky were we?  Amazingly lucky!!

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It was beautiful that day.  Little did we know what a destruction and loss of lives Sandy would cause.  Rehoboth Beach was celebrating Seawitch Festival and no storm was going to stop this coastal town from parading and floating around town.  The weather channel principals were completely surprised….how could they not be preparing?  A major hurrican was coming in the next 24 hours.  They just did not understand how Slower Lower worked.

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Next day was a different story with the town in preparation mode as the ocean got closer to the Boardwalk.

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The waves were gigantic, warning us of nature’s force.

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The WWII Towers at a distance on Whiskey Beach were ready….they had been tested numerous times.  Being there and done that!!

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The town boarded its establishments….

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A little clean-up…Rehoboth Beach was whole again in no time!!  Thanks!!

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October 27th, 2013

Rehoboth Beach Eats, Crowd-Pleasing Casserole, Baked Cheesy Pasta with Veggies, Fix it Now, Serve it Later, Comfort Food

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Casseroles are a favorite this time of the year.  The weather is cooler; they are such comfort foods.  Casseroles can be assembled and even cooked ahead of time.  Otherwise, just place in the oven before guests come for a simple dinner that can be a main meal or a side dish.

This Baked Cheesy Pasta with Veggies is very easy to make and it only takes from start to finish about 45 minutes.  Hope you like it.

12 ounce bowtie pasta

1 bag (12 ounces) broccoli florets (I buy the smallest ones I can find.)

1 tablespoon butter, plus a bit more to grease the dish

2 chopped shallots

1 package (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms

4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach

5 ounces fontina cheese, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)

1/3 cup plus about 2 extra tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a shallow 3 quart baking dish.

Cook the pasta per package directions.  Add broccoli during the last few minutes of cooking.  Drain and return, both, the broccoli and pasta to the pot.

Melt butter in a large deep skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and mushrooms.  Saute until tender; about 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, flour, salt and pepper.  Pour into skillet and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, simmer, stirring, until it thickens.  Stir in spinach.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the fontina cheese and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

Pour the sauce over into the pot with pasta and broccoli, making sure you toss and coat.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining fontina and Parmesan cheeses.

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Baked until the cheese melts and it starts to brown…depending how you oven is, it might take about 15 minutes.

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For the most part I think people do love casseroles.  Share them with family and friends!!  Enjoy!

October 27th, 2013

What’s Going On? Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Southern Delaware, Sussex County, Delaware Beaches, The 24th Annual Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers’ Festival Continues

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The 24th Annual Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers’ Festival opens early with activities and events already going on.  Check the schedule by visiting http://www.beach-fun.com.  Click on Sea Witch Festival on the left side of the website.

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Some of the events to look forward to are:

Stop by Cake Break, located at 7 S. First Street – They make the best cupcakes.  They have gluten free baked goods and vegan cupcakes, as well.  Guess the number of sprinkles in the jar.  They are open right now and until late in the day.  Also, stop by their vendor’s booth at the Bandstand from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and decorate your own Halloween cupcake.

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Stop by Tomato Sunshine at 19791 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach for some Pumpkin bowling and spider building from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

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Stop by the Bandstand in Downtown Rehoboth Beach…plenty of events there today, including at performance by Coastal Dance Academy at 10 a.m. Check Scales & Tails – Birds & Reptiles at the Bandstand, from 10 a.m. until Noon.

Pony Rides on the Beach at Wilmington Avenue from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  $5

Rock Climbing Wall at Grub Grocer Parking Lot at 305 Rehoboth Avenue, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  $6

Hayrides through the side streets of Downtown Rehoboth.  Ticket sales are at the Visitors Center at Grove Park.  Noon until 5 p.m.

Old Fashioned Beach Games begin at 1 p.m. on the Beach at Rehoboth Avenue.

Music & Entertainment with The Funsters at 1:15 p.m. until 2:45 p.m.

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At 3 p.m. is the Best Costumed Dog Contest Parade  –  I still love the name Sea Witch Monsters.  The costumes are so funny….our pets humor us…and the handlers are pretty funny, as well.  The parade starts at the north end of the Boardwalk.

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Have fun!!  Perfect Fall weather at the Delaware Beaches!!

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October 25th, 2013

Rehoboth Beach Dines, Bramble & Brine, Downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Traditional Fare, Fresh Ingredients, Restaurant, Review, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware…Autumn Menu

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What makes a good restaurant?  To me, those 5 key ingredients do not fail:  Quality of Ingredients, Culinary Competence, Service, Ambiance, and Price.  The ingredients should be the best money can buy.  The culinary competence …the new chefs at Bramble & Brine are bringing to the table traditional fare with fresh ingredients prepared with innovative ways..sounds good, right?  The restaurant just opened, but it is already the talk of the town.  The service should be attentive; not intrusive, always anticipating the customer’s needs.  The ambiance should be tranquil and relaxing, conducive to great conversation. And, the prices should reflect the establishment…restaurants in Rehoboth Beach are known for serving quality food.  Jody and I found that these fit the bill at Bramble & Brine.

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Jody and I are usually on the same page.  We love finding new places to eat or just taking a road trip to check out Southern Delaware.  Bramble & Brine is located at 315 Rehoboth Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Tel. 302-227-7702.  Website?  http://www.brambleandbrine.com.  You can find them on Facebook as The Bramble and Brine.  Open every day, except Wednesday.

I loved the idea that I had not read one single review.  First impressions were good.  The building looks fantastic and the renovations had been ongoing for months.  The owners are Megan and Joe Churchman, locals who are undertaking the big task of feeding all of us with discriminating palates in Rehoboth Beach.  The town is known for its culinary excellence….it is actually a foodies’ destination.

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Megan greeted us with a big smile and introductions were made.  Bramble & Brine does accept reservations.  We arrived early so we could take plenty of photos.

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The Bar is located as you enter the restaurant with views to Rehoboth Avenue.

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Vintage chandeliers, roses in the designs, a soft, yet cottage style decor with unassuming good taste…Bramble & Brine is Shabby Chic; elegant but not opulent.

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We started with bread and a rosemary butter…a little sparkling water, as well.

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Our server gave us some suggestions and I am glad we took them.  We started our dining adventure with a Savory Pumpkin & Sunchoke Pate.  It had crispy speck, parmesan and thyme crisp, and a balsamic caviar.  The bacon was so thin and crispy and the balsamic caviar was delicious.

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I love calamari.  These were different.  They were Smoked Calamari with shaved artichoke, radish, lemongrass and squid ink dressing, grape oil and a pistachio dust.  Really great combination of flavors.

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Jody ordered a Chestnut Smoked Ricotta Salata.  It had beets, cucumbers, pea tendrils, micro basil, bread and butter pickle dressing.

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For my entree I ordered the Pan Seared Halibut with sage brown butter, artichoke, celery-scented couscous salad.  The halibut was crispy on the outside and perfectly seasoned, as well.  The couscous salad was particularly good too.

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Jody’s entree looked amazing.  It was a Seared Butternut Squash Filet with squash trio puree, crispy taro root, grilled rapini, and a mushroom demi.

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For dessert we chose French pressed coffee and Bramble & Brine Churros with Chocolate Sauce for sharing……a perfect ending for a perfect evening.  Just the right amount of sweetness!!

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The Second Season in Rehoboth Beach brings plenty of events and festivals.  Bramble & Brine is open and waiting for you.  Let me know how you like it.  Talk to you later.

October 24th, 2013

John Merryman, III…10/24/46-8/31/13, Husband, Father, Friend…Always…The Way We Were

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Today I celebrate John’s life.  My husband, John, passed away peacefully on August 31st.  All the emotions are there; sadness, anger, and even relief for him.

John’s birthday was October 24th.  This date is also our anniversay.  I did not want him to forget it.  He also would be mortified to be featured on my blog.  This post is for me.  He was private, conservative in his dressing and views, and had a very dry sense of humor.

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John and I met in Puerto Rico in 1973 and nobody thought we would last.  They would say “Gloria is dating a gringo”.  No kidding, they never thought it would.  The funny part is that we did and only a few that married at the time stayed together.

Life was, definitely, simpler then.  John and I were so young; no worries, no responsibilities, and practically, no bills.  This photo says it all.  It was taken in 1975 in St. Thomas.

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John lived in El Yunque, way inside the rainforest in Puerto Rico.  The house was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright; all open with the jungle staring at you all the time.

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We used to spend time with Louie who also lived even deeper into the rainforest, in a thatch roof hut that was out of a novel, collecting rare orchids and anthuriums.

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When we moved from Puerto Rico, we chose the Delaware Beaches to live.  We never lived away from the ocean.  We really enjoyed it.  Plus, we were just a few hours drive from Baltimore, Maryland, where John was from.

Bethany Beach, 1977

Bethany Beach, 1977

We, actually, have 2 anniversaries; In Virginia and in Puerto Rico, married in different years.

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Family, business, and responsibilities, then followed.  And, plenty of friends along the way.  He loved to hunt, golf, fish, ski, and the beach.  John was the original “foodie”, when that word was not even part of the vocabulary. We showed Michael and John how to work the blue crabs early.

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His passion was real estate and the company he founded in 1988, in Bethany Beach, was his baby.  Tidewater Realty, Ltd. was a boutique style real estate firm catering to customers who appreciated personal and individual attention.  He sold a lifestyle that was also his own.

John loved good craftmanship and one of the last things he wanted was a box to be made for his Mariner’s Compass, circa 1885.  Scott Angelucci of Angelucci’s Fine Woodworking in Milford, Delaware, was commissioned by John to make the box.

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The main wood is Tiger Maple.  The dark trim and the dark wood on the compass rose is called wenge and grows in the Congo River.  The lighter wood on the compass rose is yellow heart and grows in South America.  The repeated inlad design is cherry, maple and walnut.  Inside, the box is lined with velvet on the bottom and the rim is zebra wood, which grows in Africa.  The box is gorgeous and John would have loved it.

I opened one of my Kind Notes and it said:  “Gone from our sight, never from our hearts.”

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I can close my eyes and turn the pages of my personal album.  Forty years together is a lifetime.  And John always said he had a good life.  He had his family’s back and I had his back.

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And, until we meet again…for now, it is one foot in front of the other.

October 23rd, 2013

Frank & Louie’s, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Italian Specialties, Cheeses, Olives, Ciabatta Heros, Sandwiches, Homemade, Baked Goods, Catering, Take Out, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware

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Frank & Louie’s is located on the very quaint and trendy Baltimore Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; 58 Baltimore Avenue. Tel. 302-227-5777.  You can find them of Facebook.

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When they decided to open their own shop on Baltimore Avenue, they were already well known at the Delaware Beaches.

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Meet Frank & Louie.  On the photo, Louie is on the left and Frank is on the right.  These brothers always have a friendly smile to offer customers and friends and a bear hug, as well.

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So, I decided to stop by and say hello on Monday.  The Second Season in Rehoboth Beach is great.  Plenty of parking available, beautiful weather….and it was time for lunch.

Beautiful cheeses…they will let you sample.l

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Italian products and olive oil.

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Frank and Louie’s offers catering.  The foods are priced and sold in a 1/2 sheet, deep catering pan which feeds about 8 to 10 people; meat or cheese lasagna, eggplant parmesan, chicken parmesan, sausage and peppers, baked ziti, meatballs with sauce, risotto balls, you name it!  Their food is made with traditional Italian family recipes, including their homemade tomato and basil sauce.  The orders can also be customized for special needs.  You should give them at least 24 hours advance notice…then, you will be good to go.

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So, as I was looking at the Board…I asked Louie….what should I have?  With no hesitation, he said “Sal Special”… how about some hot peppers…oh yes!!!

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Sal Special had Coppa, mortadella, genoa salami, prosciutto cotto, and sharp provolone….plus my hot peppers, on a ciabatta roll, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.  The ciabatta bread is elongated and it known for its distinctive flavor.

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Have you ever had their mother’s baked goods?  If you haven’t then, please do so, because you will be hooked.  Always available and custom orders for holidays, parties, etc. are welcomed.

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I went home to sample my own tasting…..Sal Special…loved the bread, the meats were outstanding and the hot peppers gave the hero an extra punch.  And for dessert, ricotta cookies, chocolate chip cookies, lindser cookies, and almond macaroons.  Nothing that a few long walks could take care of.

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Holidays are around the corner, just remember that they are in town and very accessible to arrange goodies for your customers, family, and friends.

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Have a good one!!

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