Monday, March 29, 2010

Yum! Clam Linguine

One of the best things about living on the coast is our bounty of seafood! As you all know, I am not an oyster fan, but I do love clams, and they are easy to find at the local seafood market or grocery store.

I have had this recipe for over 20 years - the poor recipe card is almost in shreds and is curiously decorated with drops of butter? cream? clam juice? white wine? So easy to make and so incredibly rich and yummy! Simply take your time, and have all of the ingredients ready to go before starting....

1 lb. of manilla clams shells still in their shells, scrubbed clean
6 T. of real butter (don't skimp!)
4 cloves minced/chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
3/4 c. dry white wine (or more to taste if you're anything like Julia!)
1 1/2 cup cream (again, don't skimp!)
1 T lemon juice
2+ T fresh parsley chopped - I like Italian parsley for its flavor
2/3 c. Parmesan Cheese; shredded or shaved
Pasta - doesn't really matter what kind, this recipe is good on every kind of pasta. We've had it on spinach linguine many times, gorgeous presentation!

Melt butter,  then saute garlic and red pepper  in the butter til golden, add white wine and cream. Bring to a boil over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, parsley and part of the Parmesan cheese, then add the clams. Put lid on sauce pan and let gently simmer while the clams slowly open in the sauce.

Cook pasta while clams are simmering, then drain. Toss pasta and clam sauce together and serve immediately topped with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Decorating Coastal for the New Apartment

Slowly by surely putting it all together in our new bay view apartment. Exciting project for me, as my goal is to blend beach cottage with some modern coastal touches. Mixing our new memories, old memories, new experiences, special treasures.. thank goodness Tom trusts me, and is not too picky!

Our apartment is vintage 1960's.  Kind of cool, and a great space to work with, with floor to ceiling windows and tons of space.  Walking in the front door, the first thing that struck me and convinced us that we needed to live here, were the three built-in wide book shelves that stretch the entire wall.  Perfect spot for all of our cherished books, (there's a lot of those!) beloved family photos, my ever growing sea glass finds and favorite tropical shells.  Since we are also both magazine junkies, this is a perfect spot for the ones that we can't seem to throw away. Tom is a better recycler than than me, I have stacks  for inspiration and ideas that I just keep hanging on to.

Wanted to share just one corner of my new bookshelf, stay tuned for the complete tour in the coming weeks.  Still need a dining room table, a real desk, bedroom nightstands....

Could not resist the impulse buying of these beautiful peachy-orange tulips yesterday!  There is just something about a fresh bouquet of simple spring flowers that make the whole room feel alive. 

The "At the beach" sign hung in my entry way at my old house - I  think it belongs it here too. 

Big pink conch shell came from my mom many years ago - I think it actually traveled with me to Hawaii in 1983 when I lived there for 3 years.  It  was  brought home from the island of Tobago in my mom's suitcase when I was still in high school.  Has been a great little traveler!

Love the tropical fish and colors in Tom's signed watercolor.  Am drawn to the dark turquoise,  the perfect compliment to my vignette - so  glad that we could find a place of prominence for this underwater fantasy.  Color just makes a room happy.

Framed picture of me sleeping on a driftwood log at Beach 4, on the North Coast of Washington, up by Forks.  Memories of bringing home piles of driftwood for art projects, wild wind, crazy wild water and skipping rocks with Alex.

The  leopard print sunglasses are just too fun for words! Found them in a "retro-beach" store in Ocean Shores the weekend after I moved out of my house.  (Yes, I do wear them!)

I use these glass jars for displaying some of my larger pieces of beach glass and my shell collection.  They also make great book-ends - as long as the jars have something in them to weigh them down. Love the glass and island wicker mix together; simple, with unlimited possibilities. At Christmas, could see these filled with  gorgeous white shells mixed with Christmas gold and silver....

More to come, especially after I find the perfect dining room table.  Trying to wait until I can go to the Alameda Flea Market the first weekend in April, but I might not make it that long - am anxious to unpack my vintage inherited blue willow dishes.

Have a great weekend! We will be out exploring more in San Francisco...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunday Drives..

After all of the moving, packing, unpacking, cleaning, and sorting inventory, I desperately needed a break last Sunday. (was approaching a melt-down stage!) Thank goodness Tom doesn't mind heading to the ocean, and walking with me on the beach. He will even hold my hand...

No beach glass to be found, but the sounds and sights of the thundering surf did the trick! There is just something soothing and so incredibly beautiful about driving on Hwy 1, in California. We headed south after turning at Half Moon Bay, simply driving along the winding, curving road, finding it difficult to not want to stop at every state park and vista along the way! So much to see and admire; long stretches of golden sand, the bright pinks and neon yellows of the spring blooming coastal flowers with the extraordinary dark swirling aqua and turquoise shades of the Pacific Ocean.

Tom definitely had to hold my hand, while I took DEEP breaths walking out along the cliffs, with a very strong wind blowing. There was a big sign - "Caution" Unstable Cliffs... guess we missed that! Hope you all enjoy the pictures - so many bright colors!

Pigeon Point has become one of my favorite stops along Hwy 1, there is always something different to see and enjoy. Crumbling, falling down lighthouse, weather beaten buildings and a picket fence...

A rope these colors!

Wild Calla Lillies everywhere!

Look at these wild strawberry plants covering the dunes at Scott's Beach... brings back so many memories of strawberry picking in the dunes at Ocean Shores...

Ice Plants

Love our Sunday drives, and I think Tom does too - because we stop at New Leaf grocery store in Half Moon Bay, and we buy oysters. (not for me!) This time we also brought home a wonderful swordfish steak.

Where are your favorite Sunday afternoon drives?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Night Dates with a View of the Bay...

Tonight we will celebrate our first official Friday night in our new apartment overlooking the central part of the Bay. What a treat to be able to sit out on our deck in March, enjoying the early spring warm weather and the lights of the San Mateo Bridge.   Tom will be grilling steaks, and roasting yummy red potatoes. Maybe I will try to figure out how to roast artichokes, or better yet,I already bought some wonderful asparagus earlier this week.

Thought I would try a new cocktail creation to celebrate!  Might even have to go unpack some inventory boxes to find some fabulous new glasses to pour it into.

Who knows.. this drink might turn our evening at home into a tropical fantasy - it certainly is romantic!
1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. real grenadine
1 1/2 oz. dark rum
1/2 cup crushed ice
Fat lime wedge

Measure juices, grenadine, banana, rum, and ice into a blender (where the heck is the blender??)  Blend until pureed. (Texture will be thick, but not frozen) Pour into a large old-fashioned glass, then squeeze lime wedge over drink and drop into the glass! Serve with 2 straws.

Pina Colada
So simple - dessert in a glass!

1 1/2 oz. coconut cream
3 tbsp crushed pineapple
1 1/2 oz. light rum
1 cup crushed ice
1/2 lime

Measure coconut cream, pineapple, rum and ice into the blender, blend until slushy.  Pour and scrape intoa chilled old-fashioned glass, large tumbler, or highball glass an squeeze lime over drink.  Serve with a straw - and a spear of pineapple, wouldn't this be fun served with drink umbrellas?  Now where did I put those??

If all else fails though, we do have a wonderful bottle of  "The Oracle" a VERY nice 2006 red wine blend  from the Miner Family winery in Napa. Gorgeous when  poured into those etched fish wine glasses...hmmm

Cheers to you and your Friday Night Date!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Favorite Coastal Places from Caron's Beach House Fan Page -

Thanks to all of the fans that chimed in with favorite beach destinations!

Shirley said - "I thought Gulfport,Miss.was pretty before the storm hit and tore it up,don't know how it is now"

Danielle said - I have so many favorite coastal beach retreats!

JoAnn said -" Mine is Captiva Island, Florida. And luckily I live nearby and can visit whenever I wish."

Candice said - "in California it's The Pleasant Inn in Morro Bay...
in Washington it's The Shelburne Inn in Seaview...
in Oregon it's Hallmark Inn in Newport
and Pelican Shores, in Lincoln City..."

Imageglow Candles said - "Can it be an east coast beach retreat? I lived in Maine for many years + have several favorites"

Leslie said - "We used to take our RV to Refugio, El Capitan and another state park (can't remember name at the moment). They are all within 8 miles of eachother. Have wonderful memories, and plenty of photos"

Where's your favorite coastal hideaway, some where that you dream about, or simply need in order to recharge your batteries??

Me? I don't have one special beach destination - having the best time exploring!
Make sure to leave your comments on the blog! 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The BIG Move....

Am finally moved to California.  What a monumental task this has been!

*Sell the house (took almost a year!)

*HUGE garage sale and multiple trips to Goodwill, Saint Vincent DePaul's. Gave living room furniture to Jeff and Kristy...

*move temporarily into my parents beach house, and my childhood bedroom for 6 months (the last 3 weeks with no furnace!).  That was just a little weird...

*baby steps with a new business - start ordering inventory (what was I thinking?????)  Coastal home decor inventory shows up by the truckloads...

*Find an apartment/storage unit/UPS store/grocery store/Post Office/etc in California... still looking for a car wash

*Load the U Haul (again, what was I thinking???) with boxes of unopened Caron's Beach House inventory, a few pieces of my left-over furniture, my precious beach cottage dinnerware (nothing matches!), favorite home decorating coffee table books, cookbooks,  antique glasses and plates, PILES of sea glass and shells (couldn't part with those)   How did I get so much stuff??

*Drive 2.5 hours the first night to a beautiful Econo Lodge in Kelso, Washington,  AFTER loading the truck.  It was a deal! $39.99 for the night and included free wifi AND breakfast!  Me driving the truck, Alex driving the car and the 17 year old black cranky cat. (+ cat box)

*Leave Kelso at 6:30 am,  and drive 15 hours to Belmont, California. Stopped for Burger King breakfast in  Salem, gas in Eugene (love how someone else puts gas in your car in Oregon!) KFC in Yreka, gas in Redding + chocolate and bad gas station coffee. Listened to anything that would come on the radio while rattling along on I-5. (that's right, I listened to lots of country music and old rock and roll!)  Up steep, windy, beautiful mountain passes in Southern Oregon and Northern California, while trying to get the truck to go even 50 miles an hour.... Many many hours driving through farmland in California, while the sun set on acres of emerald green fields.

*EXHAUSTED!! Thank goodness Tom had pizza and red wine waiting when we got here. Had a few tears....

Ready for my new life here, whatever it might look like. Excited about finally being able to market to my old Caron's Beach Cottage customers, and to finally really get all of the marketing in place for Caron's Beach House.  Stay tuned... there's will be so many more adventures at the beach!

P.S. Had a blast with the kids when they came to help move and to be tourists in my new town!  Here's a few shots of them having fun -

On our new deck in Belmont, overlooks the San Mateo Bridge and the Oracle buildings in the background.

On the trail to Point Bonita - they were a little freaked out on the one-lane road through the Marin Headlands... Alex did not even want to venture out to the lighthouse, I will admit that it was a little scary!

Allison at Point Bonita Lighthouse

Somewhere along Hwy 1 .... so many beaches to explore!

Scott's Beach on Hwy 1  - great spot to watch kite surfers and play in the sand and surf!

Pigeon Point Lighthouse overlook - we had gorgeous weather!

All of us at San Francisco's famous overlook on the Bay and on the Golden Gate! Fab lunch in Sausalito that day too in the sunshine on the deck at Horizons - great food and service! 

See you soon! 

Relax and Live at the Beach Every Day of the Year!

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