Friday, February 29, 2008


As a true 80's kid, there are any number of things that are sacred to me that many other people--younger people--wouldn't understand. Snoopy Sno Cone Machines, the He-Man cartoon, original Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, The Facts of Life. These are all experiences from the 80's that we thirty-somethings fondly remember, but deep down we know they weren't any good. It hurts to admit it sometimes, but let's be realistic. Have you watched a re-run of Family Ties? I adored that show as a kid, and now I'm aware that it really kinda sucked.

But there were some truly great things that came out of the 80's. Cheers was a great thing. The Slip'n'Slide. My Little Pony (although my mom wouldn't let me have one because it looked "like a pig fetus." Years later, my younger sister had several.). And Magnum P.I. Magnum was a great thing.

Apparently the carnies think so, too. There we were, walking down the Midway at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. And amidst the run-of-the-mill Gravitron, The Zipper, and the Himalaya, there he was. A poorly painted Thomas Magnum (look at the shape of his head! say it ain't so!) smiling down upon us, most likely trying to solve the mystery of what the hell is really in Deep Fried Pepsi. Either that or wondering why instead of the terrific Mike Post Magnum PI theme song, revelers were spinning around to the tune of Ice, Ice Baby.

*photos courtesy of Marc

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Since Marc's job as a baseball writer doesn't exactly align with that of the public school teacher (I sleep while he's covering a game, he's off from Oct.-Dec. while I'm off from June to August) we have a pretty limited window of chill time together. In honor of the last weekend before spring training, we headed south to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

We both love traveling, but it's especially refreshing to go somewhere fun and beautiful and realize it's only 3 hours from home. We're pretty lucky to live in an area that's so close to so many great destinations. We spent Friday at Captiva, enjoying a very quiet beach and a decent meal at The Mucky Duck. Saturday was much more thrilling for me, as we spent at least five hours at the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. The Refuge consists of mangrove swamps, woods, and coastline. There's an 8-mile wildlife drive that you can hike, bike, or drive and it is chock full of great animals and birds. We didn't catch any manatee action on this particular trip, but we did see plenty of pelicans, oyster-digging raccoons, and beautiful salmon-colored spoonbills.

We finished the day with a wonderful late lunch at The Island Cow (coconut grouper sandwich!) before we headed to Sarasota for an evening of microbrews and college basketball.

I'm so glad I found someone who shares the same love of packing up the car at the last minute and heading somewhere new. I have a hunch there will be lots of happy adventures in our future.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Maltese Chicken

I can't get enough of this stuff. I've made it 4 times now, and it's been great every time. Also great? Anything tasty that takes less than hour and isn't completely full of fat.

So here you go. I have done this with both chicken parts (skin on) and regular boneless skinless breasts. Both come out juicy and with plenty of flavor, so if you're opting for the healthier version don't be afraid to try the lean chicken.

Cut Chicken (parts)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup dry red wine (marsala, shiraz, zinfandel)
2 tbsp honey
fresh chopped parsley

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until golden (about 15 min. per side). Skin side up, cook uncovered till done. Place on platter and set aside.
Spoon fat out of pan. Add wine and honey to skillet. Simmer till reduced to about 1/3 cup, stirring often. Add Salt and Pepper. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with parsley.
* Because of the extra sauce, this is good with rice or mashed potatoes.