Breakfast in Bed: Broiled Florida Grapefruit

Post by Alison Hein.

Kevin and I have the best neighbors in the world. Ann and Frank are always adventuring off somewhere, never failing to bring us a small (edible) memento. (You may recall an earlier post that featured Frank and his fabulous Frittata Italiana-Mexicana. Last year our neighbors traveled to Italy and returned with a small stainless canister, filled with luscious golden olive oil from 1,000-year-old trees! When they visit Florida, we often find a surprise gift box on our doorstep, bursting with citrus bounty from the Sunshine State.

I opened just such a box recently, and tucked inside was a mixture of Florida Valencia oranges and Ruby Red grapefruit – so fresh and so lush, the citrus aroma wafted from the package and filled my kitchen with the scent of sunshine. I closed my eyes, inhaled deeply… suddenly, a vision of Broiled Florida Grapefruit popped into my head. It was one of the first dishes I learned to prepare in my seventh grade home economics class, and it sounded pretty dumb to me. Until the taste of warm, caramelized sugar mingled with the tart, juicy citrus fruit snap, each spooned segment a sweet-tart delight. Then, scraping against the inner fruit rind, and filling my spoon to the brim with juice turned elixir from heating and sweetening.


Add a maraschino cherry for garnish if you like, for a pop of color and a retro look for your breakfast tray. Then serve up your loved ones (or beloved neighbors) a little sunshine along with breakfast in bed.

Ingredients
1 Florida grapefruit (any variety)
2 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar
2 maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)

Preparation
Slice grapefruit in half. Using a grapefruit knife, cut all the way around one half of the fruit between the skin and fruit. Slice along fruit segments remaining in grapefruit. Place in ovenproof dish or pan. Repeat with second grapefruit half.

Turn on broiler. Sprinkle each grapefruit half evenly with 1 to 1½ teaspoons of brown sugar. Place fruit under broiler, approximately 3 inches from heat. Broil for a minute of two, until sugar starts to melt and crystalize. Remove from oven and place each grapefruit half in a small serving dish. Garnish with maraschino cherries, if you like. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

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Creative Ceilings: Things are Looking Up!

It’s 3:05 AM, 3:19 AM, 3:23 AM…… You can’t sleep and the day ahead is gonna suck. Staring up at your cracked ceiling is not the answer. It’s a roadmap to despair. You know what wouldn’t suck? Having a gorgeous ceiling to look at while you count sheep/drink warm milk/curse your life. Why not dress that ceiling up with some fabulous wallpaper or an interesting design treatment? Yessssssssss………..

Here are a few examples of spectacular bedroom ceilings to get your wheels turning in a positive direction:




Source: houzz.com

WOW, right? The light fixture in this room is awesome, but it might get lost on a basic painted ceiling. This snazzy wallpaper MAKES the room. It has got great interest and it sets the color story for the space. The modern heart pattern makes me love it even more. WOW, WOW, WOW!

Source: lonny.com

This jacquard-like pattern is genius! It adds fantastic interest to this white room and allows the owner to accessorize the space using corresponding mats beneath the artwork. Lonny.com calls this a Moroccan room. I call it perfection!




Source: http://whimsicalworldoflaurabird.blogspot.com/

Here’s a pattern that really moves! How smart that the bold colors of the painted wall are broken up by a strip of white molding before your eye travels to the ceiling. Also appealing is the mix of traditional furnishings, white with a stripe bedding and some modern touches. It’s mix and match eclectic beauty at its best.


Source: http://design-milk.com/press-conference-room-by-h2o-architectes/

Source: http://www.mrspollyrogers.com/

If wallpaper isn’t your thing, here are two alternate and unconventional ideas for working with or adding to what you’ve got: Wooden perforated ceiling panels and glorious tin ceiling tiles. Talk about thinking outside of the (bedroom) box!

The options for accentuating your bedroom ceiling are endless, just like your thoughts on a sleepless night. Use your imagination, choose patterns you love, and take some melatonin. With your ceiling problem solved, may you now drift off to sleep on a cloud of good design!

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Bedtime Stories: Stinky John and Stinky Skunk (or: made-up tales)

Post by Mark T. Locker

Sometimes you just run out of books to read. Sometimes you just can’t read THAT book one. more. time. Sometimes everyone is sick of every book in the house. And sometimes there just aren’t enough stories in the world to satisfy a hungry mind. I think a combination of these led to the creation of a new set of characters in the shadows of my son’s bedroom on Saturday night. The stories themselves are, needless to say, not remarkable. A fellow named John is stinky and loves stinky things: rotten onions, old socks, you name it. When he meets Stinky Skunk, their shared appreciation creates a new dynamic duo! I was going for the laugh factor here, and with a four-year-old, stinkiness is pretty low-hanging fruit.

My point here is more about the process. It’s sometimes utterly painful to try and make up a story off the top of one’s head. But the payoff is enormous. Letting my son input details into the story, like what kind of stinky stuff they like, or telling me what they find in a bush makes it much more fun. And he isn’t the world’s greatest literary critic, but seeing his eyes light up as I weave a silly, spooky adventure makes it all worthwhile.
So go tell a stupid made-up story to your kid or loved one today!

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Movies in Bed: Felix reviews Fix-It Felix

Post by Felix and Mark Locker.

Happy Friday, everyone! I have fallen behind in what’s happening in the world of movies lately, so I have asked my four-year-old to tell me about a movie he watched last week, Wreck-It Ralph. I can’t guarantee that his summary won’t include some spoilers and it is highly biased and perhaps difficult to glean actual meaning from. So here you have it, folks: my son Felix reviews Wreck-It Ralph:

Wreck it Ralph wrecks the building. And Fix-it Felix fixes stuff. Wreck-it Ralph wants a medal. He had to go to a game, it was called Hero’s Duty. But he had to get the medal by climbing a giant building! But he had to try to but first he had to really get the medal but he had to fight Cy-Bugs.

Fix-it Felix thought wreck-it Ralph was coming back. But it was Q-Bert. And Fix-it Felix said, “Look! It’s Q-Bert!” He says something so scary, but we can’t understand it. Q-Bert talks in…Spanish. Actually, he talks like this (makes computer sounds.) (Ed. note: It’s not Spanish.)

Turbo is the greatest racer in the world. The Candy King Wreck-it Ralph went to Sugar Rush. He lost his medal and he saw a little girl (Vanellope von Schweetz) who was a glitch. SPOILER ALERT The Candy King is Fix-it Felix’s dad. Under Turbo’s disguise is the Candy King!

Turbo is my favorite person in the movie.

Sugar Rush is my favorite part. I like it because it has candy. I don’t like Hero’s Duty because there are Cy-Bugs. At the end, the Fix-it Felix Jr. game was new and everybody really wanted to play it. There was new stuff. The bomb would go “Boom!” and the person would go, “Ahh!”

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Things We Like: Avoiding Jet Lag

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

I recently returned from a short trip to New Orleans, and I’ll be the first to tell you that I really enjoy traveling. Breaking up the daily routine, taking in new sights, meeting new people, and eating exotic foods are all check marks that keep me eager to explore the world. However, the inevitable downside of traveling (especially if you’re destination is overseas or cross-country) is jet lag. Even traveling across two or three time zones is enough to throw your body off, and nothing puts a damper on your day like a bad night’s sleep—especially if your body is confused about when it’s supposed to sleep in the first place. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks that can help you avoid the effects of jet lag and make the most of your vacation.

What is jet lag?

Jet lag is a relatively new phenomenon brought on by the advent of commercial air travel. In the medical community jet lag is known as desynchronosis, which is a physiological condition resulting from rapid travel across multiple time zones. Jet lag isn’t caused by the act of flying on a jet; rather, it is purely due to your body trying to adjust to a different sunrise/sunset schedule than you’re used to at home.

How to avoid jet lag

Jet lag affects people differently, and the amount of time your body needs to readjust depends on a number of factors. The general rule, however, is that you should allow one day per time zone crossed to let your body adjust to its new schedule. If you’re traveling from New York to Los Angeles, for example, which has you cross 4 time zones, you often don’t have 4 days to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to minimize the effect of jet lag.

While none of these recommendations are a surefire way to avoid jet lag, they are certainly worth a try­­­—especially if it means feeling rested and ready to make the most out of your travel adventure.

  1.      Drink plenty of water. When traveling on a plane, you are more susceptible to dehydration, which can result in a general feeling of fatigue. This one is pretty easy to avoid, and you should be drinking lots of water regardless of your travel schedule to improve your overall health. Drinking alcohol on a plane makes you more susceptible to dehydration, so save your Mai Tai’s for the beach.

  2.      Exercise before your flight. Regular exercise can help you sleep better in general, and is even more important for long-haul flights. Since you’re stuck on the plane anyway, you might as well try to recharge your batteries before arriving at your destination. While sleeping on a plane will never make up for a good night’s rest in your own bed, neck pillows and blankets can help make you more comfortable on the plane.

  3.      Fight your usual routine (don’t sleep during the day). If you land at night, then you should go to sleep and wake up as usual. However, if you land during the day it’s important to fight the urge to go to sleep and power through until a normal bedtime (for that area). This will help force your body to get used to its new schedule. Coffee (caffeine) can be helpful for powering through the first day, but don’t go overboard with it. You can also try adjusting your schedule to your destination time before your flight. Shifting your sleep schedule at home by a couple hours can help get you used to a different time zone before you depart.

For the ultimate regime, there are several apps available for download on your phone that will offer some steps you can take to combat the effects of jet lag. Many of these apps simply require you to set your home, your destination, your usual wakeup/bedtimes, and the length of your visit. Using this information, these apps will offer a number of recommendations, such as a pre-flight sleep schedule, that can help you offset the effects of jet lag.

Do you have any tips for avoiding jet lag? Let us know in the comments below.

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