Saturday, April 4, 2009

Louie the Lobster

I love lobster!

I have a thing for lobster. I think it's the best! When I vacation in Cape Cod I adhere to the "lobster a day" plan. In some form, I eat lobster every day while I am there. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

I took this photo from the dock on Nantucket and it has been the wallpaper on my computer for a few years now. Reminds me of lobsters and Nantucket every day.

New England is known for their lobster rolls. I like recipes that do not call for a lot of mayo. More lobster and less mayo - that's the ticket.

I found the absolute BEST place to get lobster rolls on Cape Cod last summer. Try The Clam Shack at 227 Clinton Ave., Falmouth Harbor, MA. You can sit outside and watch the boats coming and going and the fishermen unload their catch. Perfect lobster rolls and a great view.


· 2 lobsters, about 1 1/4 pounds each, or about 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked lobster
· 1/2 cup diced celery
· 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· dash Creole or Cajun seasoning, optional
· freshly ground black pepper, to taste
· 3 to 4 split toasted buns, New England style if you can get them
Have your grocer steam the lobsters or follow directions for a boiled lobster.Combine coarsely chopped lobster with remaining ingredients. Arrange lettuce in the buns then add lobster mixture. Serve with fries or chips, along with sliced dill pickle. Makes 3 to 4 lobster rolls.

To see information about the LOBSTER WARS on the Discovery Channel click here.

A lobster weather vane from the Emporium of Nantucket.

Lobster rug from L.L. Bean

Pillow from Williams Sonoma Home

Very cute baby lobster in a pot.

Tommy Hilfiger sheets

Patti and I eating our lobsters on the "lobster a day" vacation plan.

This is a wonderful lobster recipe. Sometimes I think it is a crime to do anything to lobster other than eat it plain with a little butter. But...this recipe for pan roasted lobster is VERY YUMMY and definitely worth trying.


Pre-cooking the lobster for 1 minute makes the job of cutting them in half easier. Alternatively, have your fish-monger split the live lobsters in half and don’t blanch them.


Four 1-1/4 lb. live lobsters
¼ c. tsp. saffron threads, crushed
¼ c. dry white wine
5 tbs. olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb – trimmed, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 scallions, white and tender green, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
½ cup chicken stock or canned broth
Salt and pepper
5 tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the lobsters until they start to turn pink, about 1 minute. Drain and let cool. In a small bowl, cover the saffron with the white wine and let steep for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat 2 tbs. of the olive oil in a large nonreactive skillet. Add the fennel, onion, scallions and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until tender, about 20 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and boil over moderately high heat until the wine evaporates. Add the stock and boil until reduced by a third. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450. Halve each lobster lengthwise. Removed the brain sac, sand sac, tomalley and roe, if necessary. Crack the claws well all over.
4. In a large, heavy-bottomed roasting pan set over 2 burners, heat the remaining 3 tbs. oil until almost smoking. Add the lobsters, cut side down, and cook over moderately high heat until the meat is browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 5 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Transfer the lobster to a platter, season the salt and pepper and keep warm.
5. Re-warm the fennel mixture. Removed from the heat and stir in the butter, a little at a time, until the sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the fennel mixture among 4 large plates and arrange the 2 lobster halves on each. Enjoy!

This is a photo of the child's lobster chair that my husband, Steve, and I made for a children's hospital fund raiser. A furniture showroom in Akron (APG), purchased the chair and has it on display in their window.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A rare chance to purchase a Frank LLoyd Wright home

Have you ever thought that it would be "oh so cool" to own a Frank Lloyd Wright house? Now is your chance; there is one available! And it is a refined and wonderful expression of the Wright style that is a perfect marriage between his art and the surrounding landscape.

The beautiful Fawcett house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Randall & Harriet Fawcett, in
Los Banos, California, and it is now on the market. Commissioned in 1954 by the Fawcett's, this California home was one of Wright's final projects. The architectural masterpiece was completed in 1961, two years after Wright's death at the age of ninety one, and has remained in the Fawcett family since it was first built. Randall Fawcett passed away in 2006 and the home is currently in the care of Mr. Fawcett's two daughters.

The Fawcett home is perfectly situated on the site to shield against the north west winds and the hot summer sun, all the while taking advantage of the spectacular views of the central California Coastal Mountain Range. The home is sited in the middle of hundreds of acres of agricultural land in the central valley of California. It was designed around a central core with two wings radiating out at 120 degree angles.

Some of the notable features of the home include the colored concrete floors, scribed with grid lines, that intersect at 60 degree angles, an extraordinary fireplace that is 12' wide by 6' tall to accommodate the owners 5' long x 3' diameter firewood (burned for days), cinder block walls with raked horizontal joints and flush grouted vertical joints (emphasizing the horizontal line), mahogany interior walls, cabinets, shelves, doors, windows and posts, open floor plan, wonderful central kitchen...the details go on and on. I am SURE it is a MUST SEE.

The vitals
List price: $2.7 million
Details: 6 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, about 3,700 square feet on roughly 80 acres.
Listing agent: Crosby Doe Associates, (310) 275-2222;
Address: 21200 S. Center Ave., Los Banos

1961 - photo by Joe Monroe

View of home today

Wonderful pool

Love this outdoor firepit!!

Front Entry - note the scribed floor pattern and pivoting door

Living Room with view to shielded Courtyard

Living Room with view of massive fireplace

Centrally located kitchen

Bedroom with mahogany paneling and built-ins

Great historical information on the Fawcett home by Henry Whiting II in his piece "The Fawcett House: A Memoir"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Journal Posting - Cabinet Estimates

Today we met with two mill work suppliers to discuss the kitchen cabinets and we hope to receive their estimates in a few days. This was my first meeting with these suppliers and I had a packet of floor plans and elevations ready for them to use as they prepare their estimates. We are honing in on our wood selection for the cabinets. On our list is ash, elm, and white oak. We are looking for a nice compliment to both the hickory on the ceiling and the reclaimed oak flooring in the adjacent area.

Pictured right are Lawry and his contractor, Rich Klesta. We had some very nice morning sun today.

Our space is very tight in the open area that makes up the kitchen and living room. We spent some time reviewing the measurements and the best size and location for the high counter at the kitchen.

We reviewed possible television locations, the fireplace in the Master, Master Bath counter heights (Lawry likes his counter height at 39" which is a bit higher than the standard), and then finally the ceiling materials. Busy morning on the site.

Journal Posting - Timberframe Flooring

It is time to select the flooring material for Lawry’s timberframe home and the first choice on our list for the bulk of the floor area is reclaimed wood. It is perfect for the rustic feel that we are going for and its being reclaimed adds an extra bonus in knowing that we are being good stewards of our natural resources.

I have often wondered exactly how they recovered the wood from these old structures. I discovered an interesting video from Olde Wood Limited on the reclamation process. A little PR for Olde Wood in the video, but still good information.

Click here to see their video on the "Step by Step" process of reclaiming wood for floors.

When we first started to consider wood, I began a search for reclaimers here in Ohio and found Olde Wood in Malvern, Ohio. Perfect! They have a good supply of wormy chestnut and oak in various board widths for us to consider.

I am also a big fan of Carlise Wide Plank Floors. I have used their products many times and love their wide range of offerings; many different wood species are available in a wide range of board widths. They have beautiful wood floors with several antique (reclaimed) options. Carlise could also be a terrific source for our floor. Wide plank flooring – love it!

We have narrowed our selection down to wormy chestnut and oak. The wormy chestnut is a rarer find due to the blight on the chestnut tree and it’s resulting status of near extinction. Old chestnut is still available, however it is priced accordingly. The oak samples that we received are very nice (not that I typically like oak) and at this point it appears that we are leaning toward a mix of 4” and 6” boards in white and red oak. It’s a great price point and available here locally from Olde Wood.

Do you have a favorite?

Olde Wood Antique White and Red Oak

Olde Wood Antique Chestnut

Olde Wood Antique White Oak

Olde Wood Antique Cherry

Carlisle Milled Barn Siding

Carlisle Milled Barn Siding

Carlisle Antique Elm

Carlisle Antique Chestnut

Carlisle Antique Oak

Carlisle Antique Oak

Monday, March 30, 2009


My friend just told me about a wonderful contemporary art show, CRAFTBOSTON, which took place this last weekend in Boston MA. The show is produced by the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston and featured a wide range of artists (200); both well known and emerging, national, and international.

Nicholas Kekic - picture right

The artists in the show present their crafts in clay, glass, fiber, metal and wood media. Looks like it was an interesting show. I hope that I can plan a trip to Boston to visit my family later this year so that the trip will coincide with their fall event.

The Society of Arts and Crafts has a wonderful web site where you can view a few selections from each artist and obtain more information about the upcoming fall exhibit. I have put together a few fun samples from the show for you to see. Enjoy.