Breakfast in Bed: Ebbitt Room Deviled Eggs

Post by Alison Hein.

If you find yourself in Cape May, New Jersey, make sure to stop in for dinner at the Ebbitt Room. The Virginia Hotel’s recently remodeled dining room will delight you with its shimmering charm, and its spacious yet cozy ambience. Even better, Chef Lucas Manteca employs a farm-to-table philosophy, showcasing fresh, local produce from the hotel’s certified organic Beach Plum Farm.

Sean, our friendly, professional waiter, wisely suggested the daily sampler of deviled eggs. Delicate Beach Plum Farm eggs are cleverly cut on the diagonal, artfully spiced, then creatively adorned with three different micro-toppings. Our selection? Spicy coppa with pickled garden hash and gouda crumble; cold beet purée with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and tobiko; and tuna tartare-stuffed Belgian endive with mint lime vinaigrette. (Sean kindly wrote all this down for me!) Believe me, a tiny farm-fresh egg, dressed with luscious seasonal accoutrements, is one perfect bite – a devilishly delicious, sophisticated combination of flavors.

Naturally, I had to try this out as soon as I got home. I purchased small eggs, to keep with the one-bite sizing. Then I foraged in my refrigerator for tiny amounts of topping ingredients (only ½ teaspoonful or so is needed per egg half). Here’s what I came up with: roasted asparagus with speck; fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomato, golden beet and basil salad; and smoked salmon with sour cream lemon-dill sauce. Perhaps not as sophisticated as Chef Lucas’ version, but still a devilishly delightful breakfast in bed!

P.S. If you dine at the Ebbitt Room, make sure to arrive early and enjoy a cocktail on the front porch of the Virginia Hotel. Overstuffed seating, a cool breeze, and hand-crafted drinks make it the perfect spot to people watch on quaint and busy Jackson Street.

Ingredients
3 small eggs
I tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon horseradish cream (or use fresh horseradish)
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup micro greens
Tiny portions of assorted meats, vegetables, cheeses, fruits, nuts, grains, etc.

Preparation
Place eggs in small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and cook for one minute or so. Turn off heat, and let eggs remain in hot water for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Immerse in cold water and carefully peel eggs.

Slice eggs in half at the center, so yolk openings are round, rather than oblong. Carefully slice a little bit off the end of each egg half, just enough so the egg white can rest flat on a plate. Scoop out yolks and place in small bowl. Mash yolks thoroughly, then add mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, salt and pepper and mix until smooth and creamy. Refill egg white halves, and place three halves on each of two plates.
Prepare three assorted toppings. Place a tiny bit of topping on eggs, garnish plates with micro greens, chill and serve cold.

Makes 2 servings.

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The Olympic Bedroom Part 2: Going for the Gold

Post by Laura Cheng.

As of last Monday, more than 2,100 medals designed by British artist David Watkins were awarded at the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, you don’t have to be a super athlete to bring in the gold medal. These gilded, winning bedroom ideas are a sure-fire way to bring a bright and modern update to any bedroom.

Wallpaper updates plain bedroom walls, but golden wallpaper can transform. A contemporary geometric pattern looks clean and crisp against the white nightstand and linens. A crystal starburst light over the headboard accentuates the gold and doubles the brightness of the room. A pair of translucent lamps and footstools further ensures there is no shortage of crystallized light in the bedroom.  Since the gold is so dramatic, it is best kept to an accent wall.

 

Source: http://ladies-trends.com/2011/07/26/golden-bedroom-decor-ideas/

The Olympic gold medal is not actually made of gold. The gold medal is made up of 92.5% silver, 1.34% gold, with the remainder copper (a minimum of 6g of gold). Although not a metal approved by the Olympic committee, brass can create a beautiful faux gold look. The Putnam bed by Charles P. Rogers is simple but classic four poster bed “traditionally crafted with pure brass tubing, trumpet finials and solid brass castings”. It is pictured here in a hand-polished brass finish, proving that an elegant brass can really make the entire room glow.

Source: http://www.charlesprogers.com/putnam-bed-p-64.html?cPath=5_81

For those that feel gold is too flamboyant a color, using natural light and transparent wheat colored curtains can create the same brightness gold metallic colors would. This works best in a sunny room where light can filter through the curtains to cast a warm golden glow.

Gilded drum lamps are also a great way to test the waters.  Lamp shades lined with gold fabric can be purchased to replace existing ones or follow these great DIY instructions from IkeaHackers.net to update current ones. It is a simple makeover with amazing results. The soft glow of the gold with the lamps on will add a new level of winning sophistication to the bedroom.

 

Source: http://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=88766

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Bedtime Stories: Gone-Away Lake

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Ahh, summertime. Or rather, ahh, summertime when you are a kid and have nothing to do but to run around and explore and discover. I love those old-fashioned stories of children embarking on summertime adventures, roaming around, unraveling mysteries, where parents are but a peripheral part of the tale. Upon hearing of my love for The Penderwicks, a librarian friend of mine suggested Gone-Away Lake published in 1958 by Newbery-winning author Elizabeth Enright.

Ten-year-old Portia Blake and her six-year-old brother Foster get to ride the train alone to visit their favorite cousin, Julian, and his family in Western New York. Portia and Julian quickly set off into the woods behind Julian’s new home and make amazing discoveries, including a row of abandoned once-beautiful homes on the shores of a bog which used to be a beautiful lake. To their delight and surprise, a pair of elderly siblings, who lived on the lake in its prime, have returned to the erstwhile lake and the children begin a summer of new friendships and new discoveries.

So much of this book is things that most parents today would NEVER allow their children to do: wandering off in the woods on their own; going into strangers’ homes; drinking homemade sherry at strangers’ homes! If this book were written today, the reader would be waiting to find out what horrific secrets the old lady and her brother were hiding. SPOILER ALERT: they’re not hiding anything. They’re just really nice people.

A lovely, fun, innocent book of childhood, summertime, and the passage of time.

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Movies in Bed: The Legend of Billie Jean

Post by Josh Zinn.

Back when I was an unattractive and rotund child, I often used to feign sickness in order to stay home so that I could play Metroid and watch copious amounts of television. Because there are only so many times a boy can defeat Mother Brain and subsequently reveal his bounty hunter’s true femininity (if you never owned a Nintendo this is probably going over your head), the videogames regularly took a back seat to the joys of daytime programming. From the lurid tales of Divorce Court; the demonic possessions that plagued The Days of Our Lives; to the scandalous biopics of Liberace and Susanne Sommers that defined a then-young Lifetime television, my real education came not from the classroom, but from soaking in the televised depravity of the human condition.

Amongst this sea of scintillation, HBO would frequently air a film entitled The Legend of Billie Jean. Now, I’m not sure what it takes to qualify as a legend these days or if a female vigilante fighting for the cash to fix her brother’s scooter truly qualifies as such, but for all intents and purposes Billie Jean was a revelation for me as to what young folks could achieve if they adopted a defiant stance, a Dolph Lundgren circa-Rocky 4 flat-top, and a wardrobe filled with neon-tinted leather. No, this wasn’t some cheap dramatization of Mr. Showmanship’s seedy late-night male deliveries; this was a rallying cry for a life beyond the borders of small-town oppression, where men with bandanas on their brow, beef jerky on their breath, and beer in their bellies ruled the land.

Billie Jean and her ragtag group of freedom fighters (including Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson!) taught me that I didn’t have to listen to naysayers who didn’t believe in the power of youth and the possibility of a life outside of a six-pack of Mt. Dew and a minimum wage job at the dollar store. Furthermore, as she handily evades both the police and the rednecks that have defiled her brother’s possession, she becomes a symbol for women everywhere that they are their own keeper; a veritable Susan Sontag of the trailer park.

Finding myself at my own crossroads as I finally graduate from college this week, it’s easy to get caught up in the memories of experiences that have shaped my life. While I would love to tell you about the amazing learning journey I had way back in junior high school, the truth of the matter is that most of that time was spent at home, “sick,” watching a media-savvy Billie Jean exclaim, “Fair is fair!” to anyone with a camera and credentials. For those words of wisdom alone, I am thankful every day my folks bought my numerous stories about the dog’s puke on the floor being my own.

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Bedroom Design: Tips for Designing A Contemporary Bedroom

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Carefully planned contemporary bedrooms look great, but can be hard to pull off. The reason most contemporary bedrooms fail is lack of follow through with the vision. If you decide you are going to design a contemporary bedroom, you have to be sure that it carries through in every aspect of the bedroom. For example, a contemporary bed frame placed amongst chunky, ornate furniture won’t look right no matter how cool the bed is. If you’re looking to create a contemporary bedroom, below are four areas you should focus on with tips to help get you started.

1. Color
You should limit the palette of your contemporary bedroom to one or two neutral colors. White is the most common color, because it is bright and clean feeling. Neutral colors also give you an ideal background that will make your statement pieces really pop. You want to limit your statement pieces to one or two items, so choose them carefully. Examples of statement pieces include a colorful piece of art, a standing vase, headboard, loveseat, or even the curtains and bedspread. When choosing a statement piece, brighter is better.

2. Bed Frame
Most contemporary bedrooms feature a low profile, platform bed. Clean lines and smooth surfaces are essential. You have a number of colors to choose from when selecting a bed frame, but the most common are white, black, or wood. Headboards are also optional, but unless you want your headboard to be the main focus of the room, opt for a color that matches the wall.

3. Light Fixtures
Having the right light fixtures shouldn’t be overlooked when designing a contemporary bedroom. Unless you want to make your light fixtures a focal point of your bedroom, you should look for pieces that are understated and blend in with the color of the wall. If you are having trouble selecting a color, it’s hard to go wrong with brushed stainless steel or glossy white. While it’s important for the fixtures to match the design of the bedroom, it is even more important that your light fixtures be functional.

4. White Space
There is no room for clutter in a contemporary bedroom. When designing a contemporary bedroom you need to be thinking minimalist. It’s easy to get carried away in decorating your contemporary bedroom with a lot of great pieces; however, this will hurt the effect you’re trying to achieve. Use negative space to your advantage, it will keep your bedroom looking clean and contemporary and really help your statement pieces pop.

5. Keep it Personal
Ultimately, your contemporary bedroom should reflect your personal taste. There are a variety of flavors within the broad category of contemporary that you can explore. Settling on one design approach that you like best, and that also fits in with the overall design of your home can be a real challenge. However, as is with any design project, remember that it’s a journey, not a destination.

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