Thursday, May 31, 2012

Old West End Festival

Toledo's Old West End Festival happens the first full weekend in June. We celebrate an awesome neighborhood full of beautiful Victorian and Craftsman architecture where Toledo's captains of industry as well its working stiffs lived. There a beautiful mansions, quaint cottages and a world class Art Museum. I highly suggest the house tours as long as the weekend is not too hot. The art and music fair plus the unending sea of garage sales make for big fun and light wallets. But the very best part is hanging with our dear friends. Purchasing Christmas decorations is not important. I have enough Christmas decorations. It doesn't matter how inexpensive they are. I don't need more Christmas Decorations.

Where was I?  Oh yes, the importance of spending quality time with our dearest friends. And also the eating. Lots and lots of food and cold drinks.

The day kicks off with the King Wamba Parade. Originally meant as an alternative to Mardi Gras it was a big deal back in the day and has now been revived as part of the OWE Festival.

There are bands

Crazy cars and just lots of fun.  Best of all, it goes right by our friends' house so we just sit there in our lawn chairs.

Usually we sell a few things. Comic books. Tim with his apprentice Comic Book Guys

Custom fascinators by the fabulous Savy Lough. I bought one!

It's an extravaganza of Art!

But the best part comes after the house tours, garage saling, parade watching and comic book selling are finished. Then it's time to eat.  What's on the menu for this year?

Piggy Pops - bacon lollipops that will amaze your friends. Click on through for the recipe.

Salsa-mole - my easy take on guacamole that is my most-requested recipe.

Hawaiian Potato Macaroni Crab Salad. Fresh from its debut at the Marvel Movie Marathon.

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope it involves some of your favorite people in the world.

And Horsies!

And Royalty

A jam band in your back yard

Plenty of good food and drink.

And great people!  Have the best weekend ever! I know we will!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Bat Baby - Half Bat, Half Baby and off on a European Vacation

This is Bat Baby.

Half Bat - Half Baby. One of the few anthropomorphic Halloween Decorations with its very own Facebook Page.  Like Bat Baby to get updates on recent adventures.

Bat Baby first came into my life at a flea market. I offered five dollars, the lady selling insisted it was a valuable collectible sure to go up in value. I said five bucks. She said that she would just as soon give it to her granddaughter. I said go ahead, then. She accepted my five dollar offer. Bat Baby returned home with me to Stately Mackley Manor and took over as the official ambassador of Halloween.

 Bat Baby loves meeting people, like my good friend (and Bat Baby stalker) Kelly.

Bat Baby loves playing Rock Band.

And the occasional cocktail

And, of course, Halloween parties!

But Bat Baby got a little tired of being packed away with the Halloween Decorations. So I decided to send Bat Baby to Europe to visit my grade-school friend Cindy in The Netherlands.

So Bat Baby hopped in a box with a passport and got ready for a discount European vacation.

Bat Baby arrived in time to spend the holidays in The Netherlands. But plans to ice skate on frozen Dutch canals were derailed by unseasonably warm weather. However, once spring came, it was time to see the sights.

First, Bat Baby needed a drink.

It was time to hop on a train and head out to see the sights!

A visit to the beautiful Ijsselmeer - the largest lake in the country.

Time to look for a posh belfry.

And visit tulip fields!

And see a genuine windmill!

There was even a visit to the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

Those coffee shops are not serving latte.

There was a brief scare when Bat Baby got lost for a bit there, but fortunately Cindy found the little bugger. Bat Baby loves to fly away at the most inconvenient times.  Then it was pancake time!

Bat Baby was glad to get back on the train and head home to Cindy's house.

And have a glass of wine.

To be continued ....

Marvel Movie Marathon Day with theme food!

To celebrate the release of The Avengers, my husband and I decided to host a Marvel movie marathon all day Saturday before going to see the movie on Sunday. Above you can see one of our beloved godchildren is well dressed for the occasion while his brother is taking the opportunity to photo bomb him in a hat. Because one needs to be well-fed to have the stamina for five movies and because I am, well I am me, I decided to make theme menu to provide three meals for our intensive movie watching.

The movies were ready upon their comic book altar. Now time to feed seven of our closest friends breakfast. I readied a coffee and tea bar. I am obsessed with coffee syrups and teas. It's a lot cheaper than paying for your hazelnut latte at Starbucks.

Tying breakfast foods into Marvel movies is not the easiest. Especially when you want something that holds up well for a crowd. Here's what I came up with:

Tony Stark's Hangover Hash - click for recipe.

It was a hearty start to get us ready for Iron Man. After watching Iron Man & The Incredible Hulk, it was time for a green-themed lunch. A little something I like to call: Hulk's Smashing Crudite.

Green veggies, Green Goddess Dressing, green cheese plus my semi-famous Salsa-Mole. I also cooked up Thor's HAMmers - which are my Bacon Lollipops. HAMmers? Do you get it? Cause they're made out of bacon.

It went over well.

Then it was time for a break to visit Monarch Cards & Comics for Free Comic Book Day.

We make an event out of it every year. The folks there are so nice.

Free Comic Books Make everyone smile!

Alaina, Charles, Cameron and Mal. Our own personal Hat Squad.

After the comic store trip we celebrated Cameron's 20th birthday with Black Widow's Death by Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache. They're spiced with cinnamon and cayenne and are to die for.

Look at that boy's lung function. So darn proud of him. I'm surprised he let's me bake for him after this incident. He's a forgiving soul.

Then it was time to go back to movie watching. Iron Man 2 is better than I remembered. Thor would be better if there were less shirts in the movie.

Movie watching is hard work. Even with snacks.

Between Thor and Captain America it was time for an All-American supper.

Captain America's hot dogs with Coney Sauce.

Served along with Hawaiian potato-macaroni-crab salad. I'm not sure how that ties into Marvel characters. I just wanted to make it. If you have suggestions, please let me know. It fortified us enough to finish the wonderful Captain America. We toyed with idea of going to a late showing of The Avengers. But decided that a Sunday show would be best. We were all kind of tired.

Wake up kids!

The ending of Captain America is very sad.

That was fun guys! We should do this again sometimes. How about a Lord of The Rings Extended Blu-Ray edition Marathon before The Hobbit comes out? I'd better get to work on the Middle Earth Menu.