Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living

Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living.
Welcome to our blog "Coastal Creations & Design." We hope that you'll visit us often and read about our favorite coastal destinations, beach-inspired products, inviting seaside spaces, original artists works and people living the coastal lifestyle.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ringing in a "Seriously Seaworthy" New Year

I walk the beach looking for words and thoughts of inspiration

It's early in the morning and I find myself sitting here at my desk (as usual) looking for a bit of inspiration for writing the next Coastal Creations & Design blog. The end of the year 2010 is just a few days away and I'll have to say that I am really looking forward to ringing in the NEW YEAR! Not that 2010 was all that wasn't, but I can only think that each year is a stepping stone to the next and that each year we build upon our experience, knowledge and life skills and bring a little bit more to the next table. I think that years, like chapters in a book of life, needs closure and a new chapter opened to be written. I find that to be quite inspiring, especially now sitting here looking for the right "seriously seaworthy" words to express myself- to write something with great meaning to end this year.

But, instead of me sitting here trying to describe my past year and state my new resolutions for the upcoming year, I'd quite honestly rather hear about your year and your new years resolutions. What great things happened to you during 2010? What are you thankful for? What plans do you have for the upcoming year?

Hopefully you will write a comment and share your thoughts with us. If not, then I hope you take a minute and reflect on the past year, think about what you brought out of it and truly move into the new year with renewed energy and great expectations! What's the title of your new chapter?

Love the life you live, live the life you love.

Happy New Year!
Joe Elder
Coastal Creations & Design

Walk into the new year with great energy and expectations! Coastal Creations & Design.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great Winter Weather Recipes from Virginia Living Magazine

Baby, It's Cold Outside
French Onion Soup
What better way to get warm when the weatherman whips up a recipe for cold days and nights than by savoring a steaming bowl of soup and sharing it with some of your nearest and dearest. Too busy this season to host another gathering? Say no more. Soup to the rescue! There is no better—or simpler—way to entertain friends and family at this hectic time of year than with a soup party: Two kinds of soup, several loaves of crusty bread, a salad and you’re done. Add easy-to-make brownies to the offing and you have the perfect casual cold-weather menu, a boon to the busy holiday host.
Here are some of our favorite soup recipes to get you started. Now, invite a few folks and get comfy. It's time to take turns stirring the pot!
French Onion Soup with Beer
6 large yellow onions, sliced very finely
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups lager-style beer
herb sachet: Tie into a bit of cheese cloth 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs marjoram, 1 small sprig rosemary.
Melt butter, add olive oil and sauté the onions until golden brown. Add the garlic and continue to cook on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes. The onions should be cooked at a fairly low temperature so they will not burn—this may take 20-30 minutes. Next, add the warm beef and chicken broth and the beer. Simmer with the herb sachet for about 20-30 minutes, and season well with salt and pepper.
For the croutons:
Use sliced French bread (or your favorite bread) and, for each bowl of soup, cut a crouton from the bread with a circle cutter. Toast the bread and rub with a smashed clove of garlic, then top with one slice of Gruyere cheese and 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan. Pour soup into ovenproof bowls, and place a crouton on top of each soup. Brown nicely under the broiler.

Curried Winter Vegetable Stew with Brown Rice
1 large butternut squash
16 cups water
2 carrots
2 parsnips
2 ribs celery, diced
one small onion
1/2 ounce fresh ginger, cut into nickel-size slices
1 ounce fresh cilantro, with stems, chopped
2 tablespoons salt
2 whole cardamom pods, crushed
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small bay leaf
For the stock:
Peel the squash, carrots and parsnips, and remove the seeds and fibrous membrane from the squash. Place all the peelings and seeds in a large oven-proof pot with the water. Add the onion, cilantro, salt, cardamom, peppercorns, fenugreek, cumin and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, skim any foam that rises, and simmer over low heat for one hour, until reduced by half. Strain—you should have about 8 cups.
For the stew:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups parsnips, cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups rutabagas, cut into 1-inch dice
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch dice
1 head cauliflower, in florets
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
In a large roasting pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes. Add the other vegetables—except for the cauliflower—and sauté over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add all the spices and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and the cauliflower florets. Add 6 cups of strained stock. Bring to a boil and bake, covered, in a 350-degree oven for one hour. Correct seasoning as necessary, and serve with brown rice.

Pork and Green Chili Stew
1/4 cup safflower oil
4 cups pork, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 large onions, diced medium (about 6 cups)
3 large poblano peppers, deseeded and diced medium
1 4-ounce can diced, fire-roasted green chilies
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. When very hot, add the pork and brown well. Remove the pork and drain on paper towels. Sauté the onions and poblanos 5-6 minutes, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the spices and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes. Return the pork to the pan. Add the diced green chilies and the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 40-45 minutes on low heat, until thick. Check the seasoning.
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