Archive for August, 2014

It’s been a while since I posted one of my signature bicycle photographs… So here’s a site I captured recently in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza:

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BBThere are two food groups: bacon and bourbon.

There, I said it.

And on this special day I celebrate these two gifts to mankind by featurimg a book that pays tribute to them: Southern Living’s Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South’s Favorite Foods by Morgan Murphy

About Southern Living’s Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South’s Favorite Foods by Morgan Murphy: “’This is not a diet book,’ says author Morgan Murphy, who takes readers on a rollicking trip as he explores the South’s favorite flavors. A high-proof adventure, Bourbon & Bacon includes 140 of the South’s most amazing recipes that use one (or both) of these smoky ingredients. Morgan’s collections of cocktails, new infusions, punches, appetizers, main courses, sides, and desserts will be a hit, whether you’re hosting a cocktail party, backyard barbecue, or elegant dinner. For bourbon enthusiasts, Morgan rates more than 75 of his favorite whiskeys and takes readers on a cheerful tour of many of the South’s top distilleries. Bacon lover? Well, of course you are. Bourbon & Bacon is full of bacon secrets, farm tours, bacon ratings, and tips and tricks to make the best of everyone’s favorite meat.”

I don’t think I really need to say anything else.

Southern Living’s Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South’s Favorite Foods by Morgan Murphy is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.

CityMarket8.14.1Last weekend I finally made it to the City Market in Kansas City, one of the great attractions in the historic River Market District and it was fantastic.

About Kansas City’s City Market: “Open daily and featuring an eclectic mix of dining, shopping, entertainment and attractions in a unique open-air setting, the City Market offers visitors a variety of fresh produce, meat, specialty groceries, flowers and gift items from nearby farms and around the world. Steeped in over 150 years of tradition, the City Market offers shoppers the region’s largest farmers’ market and the opportunity to purchase the best of the heartland direct from producers, every Saturday and Sunday, year-round. The City Market has an extensive calendar, hosting concerts, festivals and other special events.”

Here are a few shots I took on my tour of the market:

Visit Kansas City, MO’s City Market online here.

DLFAnyone who has spent some quality time on Lost Cowboy over the years will surely know that my favorite flower is the orange daylily. Although many find the flower to be common, I love that they bloom at the height of the summer and each glorious flower lasts for just one day. One day they are ubiquitous, and the next day they are gone for another year.

Through the years I have admired these flowers, cut them, photographed them, dried them, and painted them. But I never once thought to EAT them. Until now.

I was surprised (and delighted) to see this Kitchen Vignette on my PBS Food app: “Daylily Fritters: an Edible Flowers Recipe for Summertime.”

About the recipe for Daylily Fritters: “Summer flowers are not only fragrant and beautiful to look at, but some of them are also delicious to eat. I’m a long-time fan of cooking with flowers. On my blog, I’ve shared recipes for lilac scones, dandelion marmalade, and rose coconut semifreddo. But I haven’t yet shared my love for one of summer’s most prolific and yummy flowers: daylilies. Daylilies are a popular staple in Asian cuisine and they are used both fresh and dried. Every part of the daylily plant is edible: you can pluck the young shoots, boil the tubers like potatoes, or spruce up your salads with its bright orange petals. But my very favorite part is the flower bud.”

The Kitchen Vignette for Daylily Fritters is fun to watch and the page on PBS Food includes some great pictures and of course, the recipe.

I can’t say I am going to try eating my favorite flower… but is nice to know I can.

See all the great “foodie” resources of PBS Food here.

Visit the Kitchen Vignette blog here.

Kansas City is known for its fountains – here is the JC Nichols Memorial Fountain as I found it yesterday…

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About the JC Nichols Memorial Fountain: “This fountain is the best-known and most-photographed of all of the city’s fountains. It is located at the east entrance to the popular Country Club Plaza district. The figures were sculpted by Henri Greber in 1910 and adorned the mansion of Clarence Mackay in Long Island, NY. Over the years the fountain was vandalized and eleven parts were missing. The Nichols family initiated the purchase and installation which was funded by the family, the city and private contributions including a collection by school children in the Kansas City area. It was brought to Kansas City in 1951and refurbished by Herman Frederick Simon and dedicated in 1960. The J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain has four heroic horsemen which are said to represent the four rivers of the world: the Mississippi River (the Indian riding the horse and beating off an alligator), the Volga River (with the bear), the Seine and the Rhine.”

Learn more about KC MO’s fountains on the City of Fountains Foundation’s website.

13bI don’t need much help in picking bourbons and I can find one for every occasion. But I am happy to share this gallery I found recently on Men’s Journal’s website for my readers who may need a little guidance: 13 Bourbons for Every Occasion.

About 13 Bourbons for Every Occasion from Men’s Journal: “Bourbon is a workhorse. It anchors a catalog of favorite classic cocktails, it plays nicely with a glass full of rocks, but it’s also great neat as a slow sipper. This versatility also makes it solid choice year-round, no matter what the temperature is outside. The one problem with bourbon today is choice: there are so many good bottles out there, it can be a tough call deciding what to drink when. To make this decision easier, we put together this guide to some of the best bourbons out now — taking both price and quality into account — and the right occasions to consume them.”

See the full 13 Bourbons for Every Occasion feature from Men’s Journal here.

See more features from Men’s Journal here.

Well, it doesn’t look like I am going to make it to Chicago this summer, which breaks a streak that goes back at least to 1999. But I am not going to let that stop me from posting about a few shops I have on my list to visit on my next trip.

FF: Aosta Furniture & Décor

aostI love vintage furniture stores – they can be like walking through a museum. Aosta Furniture & Décor in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood promises to be a super hip museum of mid-century cool.

About Aosta Furniture & Décor:

“Vintage Furniture Gallery – Specializing in Danish Modern – Mid Century Modern.”

Aosta Furniture & Décor is located at 509 W Diversey Pkwy in the great city that is Chicago, IL USA.

FF: Arhaus

arhArhaus may be a big chain, but I first visited one of their locations on a visit to Chicago a few years back and was looking forward to popping in again to see what is new now that I am in the market for some well-designed home furnishings.

About Arhaus: “We started in 1986 with a passion to provide unique, high quality, well designed home furnishings. Our philosophy was to design our own products, search for the best manufacturer while controlling quality, and bring the furniture direct to our customers. Our product developers travel the globe working directly with skilled artisans to craft pieces that can only be found at Arhaus, ensuring that every Arhaus piece meets our high quality standards. We promise you Cherry, Elm and many other natural hardwoods. Natural stone tabletops. 100% organic cotton fabrics. True wrought iron beds, made with forged iron using time honored methods and uncompromising handwork.”

I am looking forward to checking out the office furnishings.

Arhaus is locates at 1980 N. Clybourn Avenue in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

FF: Art Effect

effI am also looking forward to popping into check out the eclectic offerings of Art Effect.

About Art Effect: “Located on Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park, customers love Art Effect because they can “one stop shop”. Our constantly changing selection of women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories alongside unique home decor, and bath and body products make us a favorite of locals and tourists alike. We stock gifts for every occasion, things that are funny, whimsical, even a little crazy! Esther Fishman opened Art Effect in 1984 to sell her artist-friend’s clothing and jewelry. The shop has evolved over the years becoming a true shopping destination and modern day general store with a chic high-low mix.”

Where else you can get a Ceramic Chicago Smile mug: “A sunny yellow mug to brighten your day! A classic smiley face on both sides shows everyone how you feel about this great city.”

Art Effect is located at 934 West Armitage in the great city of Chicago, IL 60614.

FF: Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques

krausFinally, now that summer is coming to a close and I never really got my container garden off the ground – I can dream about what a real garden is like by stopping in at Chicago’s Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques.

About Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques: “Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques is a charming, gracious, elegant neighborhood flower shop in Chicago specializing in custom floral designs and floral arrangements and flowers by delivery for homes and businesses. Reflecting Nancy’s emphasis on customer service and passion for color, fragrance, and design, the atmosphere in this Lincoln Park floral shop is warm and inviting.”

Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques 1101 West Webster Street, Chicago, IL 60614.

anteaI love these whimsical Animal Sayings Tea Towels I found at Hudson, a fine home interior store in Boston.

The Animal Sayings Tea Towels from Hudson Boston include these animals with these sayings:

  • Bird – Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come
  • Billy Goat – Enjoy yourself its later than you think
  • Dog – Never trust a man a dog doesn’t like
  • Donkey – Never mix your liquor
  • Elephant – Life is beauty full
  • Hippopotamus – Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty
  • Pig – Never trust a skinny cook
  • Rhinoceros – Honey catches more flies than vinegar
  • Turtle – Eat drink and be merry
  • Camel – Loose lips sink ships

See all the hip, sophisticated and just plain cool home furnishings of Hudson Boston here.

JWAlthough he has been dead for more than 30 years, few Hollywood stars today loom as bright as John Wayne. There is plenty to study and read about “The Duke” as he left an indelible mark on popular culture. However, like most iconic figures, Mr. Wayne’s public persona and resume are only part of the story. In his wonderful biography, John Wayne: The Life and Legend, author Scott Eyman goes beyond what we think we know about the man and paints a much more complicated portrait than that of a screen icon.

About John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman: “John Wayne was one of Hollywood’s most famous and most successful actors, but he was more than that. He became a symbol of America itself. He epitomized the Western film, which for many people epitomized America. He identified with conservative political causes from the early 1930s to his death in 1979, making him a hero to one generation of Americans and a villain to another. But unlike fellow actor Ronald Reagan, Wayne had no interest in politics as a career. Like many stars, he altered his life story, claiming to have become an actor almost by accident when in fact he had studied drama and aspired to act for most of his youth. He married three times, all to Latina women, and conducted a lengthy affair with Marlene Dietrich, as unlikely a romantic partner as one could imagine for the Duke. Wayne projected dignity, integrity, and strength in all his films, even when his characters were flawed, and whatever character he played was always prepared to confront injustice in his own way. More than thirty years after his death, he remains the standard by which male stars are judged and an actor whose morally unambiguous films continue to attract sizeable audiences.”

In John Wayne: The Life and Legend, Mr. Eyman gives us plenty of the Hollywood biography treatment, but manages to cover new ground by showing us how image can transcend the person and almost quite literally take on a life of its own. Few such images from the century just past endure as that of John “The Duke” Wayne’s.

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman can be found at Amazon and other fine booksellers.

I’ve been inspired by the countryside to the west of Kansas City in the Kansas countryside, where there is plenty to photograph and a lot of it… as it were.

Here are a couple of my more artists photos from a recent journey out on the prairie:

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Kansas Corn, August 2014

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Kansas Hay, August 2014