Thursday, July 31, 2008

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Global Gifts is having a sale August 1st and 2nd. What a great excuse to shop and support this worthy store.
We think that it is very cool that there will be Shakespeare in the Park in downtown Indy on Saturday. We hope that this is the beginning of a trend (although we wouldn't have minded an earlier start time than 8PM).

Buck Creek Winery

We are a little guilty about not giving equal time to all of the Indiana Wineries so, when we saw signs for Buck Creek Winery off of I-74, we felt compelled to stop and buy a bottle. They have daily tastings in their little shop where, if you're lucky, you'll be greeted by a sweet Dalmatian. The Der Champion wine caught our eye since it is made with the Riesling grape. We tried a sample first and then purchased a bottle. It's a little sweeter than we expected but quite good. Many of their wines seem to have fruity influences so they are great for those just easing themselves into becoming wine drinkers. Be sure to notice the really cool "wine bottle tree" just before you get to the Winery.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Johnny Depp has been signed to play the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland 3D movie? We have really high expectations for this flick (and we're sure that they won't disappoint).

Cow Palace in Shelbyville, IN

We gladly continued our ice cream shoppe series on a 90 degree day at Cow Palace. They do more than ice cream here so you can actually have a sit down meal but we just sampled the Turtle Sundae. When you first walk in, they have the ice cream area with a few tables and chairs so that you can enjoy it there without delving deeper into the restaurant. The Turtle Sundae was vanilla ice cream with caramel syrup and hot fudge topped with pecans, whipped cream, and a cherry. It was just as delicious as it sounds. The restaurant was hopping when we were there as was the ice cream bar. You can get cones, malts, shakes and sundaes. They even have a freezer full of ice cream from Compton's Dairy that you can get to take home. The Cow Palace looks like a big brown barn and, coming from I-74, it is before the downtown area so be sure to stop before you stroll Public Square or on your way out of town.
318 N. Harrison Shelbyville, IN

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A little Starbucks obsessed? There's a Starbucks gossip blog.

By the way, in case you are into gambling, here is the new Indiana Live! casino in Shelbyville by Indiana Downs. The white structure is their temporary home while they finish the permanent location adjacent to the track.

Scenes from...Shelbyville

Shelbyville has possibly the cutest downtown that we have seen in Indiana. We love old signage and Shelbyville has it in spades and, even better, the establishments are even still in business. Look at the picture of Sanders. If we lived nearby, we would go buy old broken watches at antique stores and take them here just to keep this cute place in business. As you approach Public Square (which is really more like a roundabout) an awesome statue of a guy holding bears in each hand greets you. It turns out it is a tribute to Charles Major, author of The Bears of Blue River. There is a sweet little bookstore called Three Sisters with an adjoining small coffeehouse called, appropriately, The Bookmark. They made us a much needed iced coffee which was delicious. There are a couple of other shops with antiques and gifts and there is the Bonnie & Clyde's restaurant (which some readers might remember from their former Mt. Comfort location). Many occupants of the buildings are services such as banking, insurance, accounting, etc. As you make your way down S. Harrison off of Public Square, you will find Linne's Pastries (again adorable sign) a Merle Norman store, and the historic Strand Theatre. Unbelievably, the Strand has been here since 1916! SA-LUTE to the people who kept the place not only standing but vibrant. We saw posters throughout downtown promoting the Divas & Duets at The Strand, a fundraiser for the Shelby County Players. In summary, charming Shelbyville really beckons us. If we could get a Yat's and a Trader Joe's in their downtown, we would gladly make it our new address. They even have their own Statue of Liberty!

Monday, July 28, 2008

What's the catchy song in the new Target commercial with the girls decorating their dorm room? It's Calabria 2007 (Club Mix) by Enur which we recommended you download way back in February (after we heard it all over Miami's radio stations).
Appreciate great photos? The Library of Congress is working with Flickr. We love the one of the canning jars in the USA Today article. There is something really beautiful in its simplicity.

New Bethel Ordinary restaurant

We should preface this by saying that we are really picky about our pizza. We eat healthy foods most of the time so we usually just make our own pizza with a whole wheat crust and healthy toppings. However, awhile back, we got an email inquiry about the pizza at New Bethel Ordinary in Wanamaker so we thought that we owed it to our blog reader to go there. Frankly, Wanamaker sounded vaguely familiar in that heard-of-it-on-TV-during-tornado-season kind of way. It turns out that it is not that far to the east of Indy on Southeastern Avenue. It is a cute, modest place that you can tell the residents of Wanamaker feel like is a second home. There is a lounge side and a family dining room side. We sat on the family side on a recent Saturday and ordered a 10" pizza with ham, black olives, and mushrooms. The pizza was served straight from the brick oven. The pan had that old charm; you could tell it made a lot of meals for a lot of people. The pizza was covered in mozzarella, the heat from the pizza oven caused some of the cheese to get brown in spots (we love that). The cheese was so generous, we had to pick up a slice and dig in to check out the other ingredients. There was ham in virtually every bite. The mozzarella was so fresh that it formed this creamy sensation in our mouths. We were embarrassed to have that string of cheese hanging from our mouths to the slice, until we noticed all of the other diners were sharing the same experience. It was a really satisfying non-homemade pizza. Of course, about half the pizza came home in a to-go box. The only way to really judge a pizza is to see how it tastes cold the next day and it made a wonderful breakfast.

We'll have to go back on another mission in the future since they have Turkey and Beef Manhattans- almost impossible to find unless you are in a hospital or middle school. (click menu picture for larger image)

New Bethel Ordinary Restaurant & Lounge
8838 Southeastern Ave. Wanamaker, IN 46239 317.862.5020

New Bethel Ordinary on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thanks to Smaller Indiana, we were alerted to the fact that you can be part of The Longest Dinner courtsey of IndyFringe.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Attention lady bikers: BGI has "Ladies' Night" coming up on August 1st. It is free but they want you to register by July 30th. An evening of wine, chocolate, and bikes? That gives new meaning to the phrase "sweet ride".


Sangria is a little bit like meatloaf; everyone has slightly different recipes and everyone is sure that theirs is the definitive one. As we near the end of July, there is precious little summertime left to enjoy this refreshing drink so here is our favorite recipe for it.

1/3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 large sliced orange
1 large sliced lime
approx 1/2 of a 20oz can of cubed pineapple
750 ml bottle of any red wine (2 buck Chuck works just fine)

Stir together sugar and water, using a pitcher or other large container, until sugar is dissolved. Add fruit (we peel the orange and then divide the sections, we don't bother to peel the lime- just slice it and halve those slices). Pour in wine. We usually like to let it all get happy overnight before imbibing it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Unique Indianapolis area wedding spot?

A friend just asked us for suggestions on where to have a wedding for no more than 200 people, preferably indoors, not a church, and that doesn't cost a boatload of cash. Tall order, right? We recommended checking out the following (although we have no idea about the prices) the ACD Museum (it's in Auburn but it is the one place that we wish that we had known about for our wedding- how slick would it be to have your ceremony around all of those great cars?), IMA, Conner Prairie, the Indiana Historical Society, and the BEAUTIFUL Paramount Theatre in Anderson, IN. However, we are putting it out to the blog readers, any thoughts?
Feeling nostalgic for the 80s? Claim your free ticket to watch a Motley Crue concert live online.

The recipe for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie?

A couple of weeks ago, The New York Times put all of its investigative resources into something really worthwhile- the perfect chocolate chip cookie. They had a great article that outlined how the author went to various renowned bakeries to uncover tips that the pros had. That research then went into creating the recipe for the perfect cookie. How could we resist making a batch after all of that legwork? What were our findings? That preferences for chocolate chip cookies are very subjective. We thought that they were incredibly tasty and more like cookies that we would get from a professional baker than the cookies that we usually create in our own kitchen. However, some tasters didn't like the sea salt that was sprinkled on top. Some thought that they were too sweet (Too sweet?? We're not even sure that it is possible that those 2 words can go together). Then again, some thought that they were just right. We'll keep the recipe but, most likely, we will just implement some of the tips in our usual recipe. We will definitely refrigerate our dough before baking. We have been hearing this a lot recently from professional bakers. This is a little tidbit that Mom and Grandma never told us. The article explains why this is important and we must say that we did achieve that marriage of crunchy outside/soft inside after leaving the dough in the refrigerator for 36 hours.

By the way, if you are going to give the recipe a try (and how can you not after seeing these pictures?), we had luck finding the ingredients at the Allisonville Rd./82nd St. Marsh. We wanted to share that with you since it was the second grocery that we went to looking for both cake flour and bread flour. We also went with some Nestle 62% cacao Chocolatier morsels that they had which worked really well.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We love it- classic Supermodel Christy Turlington looks great in the August issue of W Magazine.

Good Hair Days in Fort Wayne

We're not into pretentiousness. So, when we go to a hair salon, we don't need champagne, we don't need multiple people for shampooing, cutting, coloring and styling; we just want someone to do a quality job without charging the equivalent of a mortgage payment. That is exactly what Lori Wolff at Hairspray in Fort Wayne, IN does. She's in the funky orange building in the heart of downtown (just down a little bit from the Carole Lombard house). She gives great haircuts and is a genius colorist. If you talk to her about what you want, she'll listen and then weigh in with her professional opinion about the best way to achieve your results without damaging your hair. Men's haircuts are $20, women's haircuts are $30, solid color starts at $65, highlights start at $75, and it is $10 for each additional color. To get a more exact quote, and to find out what she can do for your hair, schedule a free consultation with her. When you call, she'll probably be the one who answers the phone; which is another reason that we love this down to earth salon that gives you the look of high-end tresses.
Hairspray 260.420.3404

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You might already be a fan of Bryan Kest and well know what great power yoga DVDs he has created or you might just be looking for a fabulous strengthening yoga class. Either way, you should know that he will be teaching a master class at Cityoga here in Indianapolis on October 23rd and registration is now open for it (and available through Cityoga's website). It will undoubtedly sell out so register soon.

Tuttle Orchards is the answer

What, you may wonder, is the question? The question is "where can I go if I love farm fresh foods but am getting stressed by the farmers' market crowds or their hours don't work for me?". Here's a place that is conveniently open year round from 9AM to 6PM everyday except Sunday. They also conveniently take credit cards if you forgot to bring some cash. This is a really zen place where you can truly enjoy buying local as you check out the farm that you are patronizing. We bought some ears of corn that were picked that day (and for only .50/ear). The ones that were picked the day before were discounted- you've got to love that. These were delicious ears of corn too with plump, sweet niblets. We also bought some tasty green beans and tomatoes along with some Amish noodles (yum) and retro drinks like Birch Beer. They have a wide variety in their market with tons of preserves and jellies, candies, frozen fruits, honey, syrup and a lot more that is listed on their comprehensive website. This is our kind of grocery shopping.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yay for Zest! Exciting Food Creations. They heard us and now do have a 1/2 order option for their awesome biscuits and gravy!
1134 E. 54th St
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Sure we know that Loretta Lynn is a country legend who has been making music for decades, but the CD that we really liked was her last one, Van Lear Rose, when she collaborated with Jack White. We liked it so much that we think it is worth the drive to the Honeywell Center in Wabash, IN to see her in October. Tickets go on sale today.

Sandra Rice and Noodles

It took us too long to get here. It just seemed like a big cliche. The strip mall Asian restaurant with the $4.95 lunch special. We all recall the greasy noodles and questionable meats, but Sandra is the anti-cliche. The decor is clean and modern, and the service was immediate. This is a very welcoming environment. It was a cool sanctuary from the bustle of Pendleton Pike on a hot day. We selected the Shrimp Pad Thai from the ten choices of lunch specials. It comes with a cup of their steamed rice soup and a chicken spring roll. We ordered the appetizer shrimp spring rolls to try too. The soup was nothing short of amazing, the only regret is that we didn't get a quart of this concoction to take home. The Thai Basil provided this incredible fresh flavor, and the rice and chicken made it very satisfying. Likewise, the spring roll was very fresh and tasty. Sweet and sour dipping sauce is provided, but you really should avoid it and just embrace the flavors. The Pad Thai was executed well. The rice noodles were cooked perfectly, and the seasonings left a little heat in our mouths. We would get this again, but the rest of the menu looks so appealing that we might have to try something else. Next time, we might skip the lunch special and get the Vietnamese dishes (which is their specialty). It is amazing food at an amazing price. Why would you want to give your $4.95 to a drive thru window when you can get a nutritious, complete meal at Sandra? (check out their menu by clicking the images)

Sandra Rice and Noodles

10625 Pendleton Pike

Indpls, IN 46236

Sandra Rice & Noodle on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 21, 2008

Scenes from... Middle Eastern Festival

Did you go? Did you love it? Was the food delicious and were the people nice? We want to hear from you if you went. We had a great time as always. We really can't bear the thought of them leaving this gorgeous church for the one in Fishers that they have an artist's rendering of on their website.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

There's a Mad Men marathon on AMC today starting at noon. Get caught up on this awesome series before the second season starts on July 27th.
Check out the tasty menu for the upcoming dinner event at Zest! Exciting Food Creations:

Hurry & Make Your Reservations NOW for the
Zest! Fabulous Food & Wine From Spain Dinner!

Call and make your reservations to make sure you and your friends get seats for our 'Zest! At Night' Fabulous Food & Wine From Spain Dinner on SATURDAY, JULY 26 at 7:00 p.m. Take a look below at the details and AMAZING menu for the five-course dinner that will be paired wines from Spain. Chef Valerie and her staff will prepare the delectable dinner, and the wine will be presented by wine expert Bill Kennedy. Those of you who have joined us for our previous Zest! At Night events know how much fun you’re in for! For even more fun, if the weather permits, we’ll be eating outside under the stars in our outdoor seating area. Call NOW at 317-466-1853 and make your reservations.
Spanish Wine Supper Menu
1st Course
Catalan Tomato Bread with Cabrales : Crusty Bread rubbed with Fruity Spanish Olive Oil, Fresh Garlic & Juicy Tomatoes, served with Cabrales Blue Cheese
Paired with Ostatu Rioja Blanco 2007 (Rioja)
2nd Course
Tapas Trio: Date Rumaki with Green Olive Relish (Goat Cheese & Almond-Stuffed Dates wrapped in Proscuitto), Red Wine Soaked Chorizo Lollie Pops,
Manchego & Quince on Serrano Chips
Paired with Garciarevalo Tres Olmos Verdejo 2006 (Castilla y Leon)
3rd Course
Gazpacho with Garlicky Hot Pepper Shrimp
Paired with Avinyo Cava Rosat NV Sparkling Rose (Penedes, Catalunya)
4th Course
Paella with Salmon, Spinach, Chickpeas, & Pine Nuts
Paired with Vina Sastre Crianza 2003 (Ribera del Duero)
5th Course
Cream Cheese Ice Cream with Hot Banana Sauce & Strawberry Fritters
Paired with Gutierrez Colosia Moscatel (Jerez)
Details: Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 7 p.m.
Price is $70 per person
. (Price includes food, wine, tax, and tip.)
At Zest! Exciting Food Creations Cafe
Call and make your reservations NOW!…317-466-1853
Important Note: We typically have a waiting list for our Zest! At Night Events, so we have found it necessary that if you make reservations and find you cannot attend, your reservations must be cancelled by Tuesday, July 22, or we must charge your credit card for the seats you reserved that could have been filled by someone on standby. We want to be fair to all our valued customers, and sincerely appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who knew? Jackie Collins' daughter owns a company that makes natural bath & body products for children.

Scenes from...Lebanon, IN

As is typical of small towns, Lebanon has a gorgeous courthouse that catches your eye right away. There's a charming square around it with Balloon World Coffee House, Mason's Used Books, and Bijou restaurant. We didn't get to check out much when we were there last weekend because, just like back in old timey days, things close early on Saturdays. Most places seemed to close by 3 (except for Bijou which starts dinner service at 5PM). Mostly, we got a great sense of potential from their cute downtown. There are some fabulous old vacant buildings just off of Main St. that are just waiting for unique shoppes or restaurants. They also could be the "befores" on a show like Re-zoned where owners make cool homes out of structures not originally intended to be residential.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wow, Dark Knight + Imax= really good! What a shockingly big crowd there was at the 9:15AM showing.

It's Middle Eastern Festival time! It's Middle Eastern Festival time!

Don't forget the Middle Eastern Festival this weekend. There is no excuse to miss it because it is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so surely you can make it there one of the days. It is held at the St. George Orthodox Christian Church and, since there is a sketch of their "planned new church in Fishers" on their website, we fear that future festivals might not be held at this gorgeous church. It is really beautiful inside with stained glass and a gothic altar. They encourage you to tour it even though the festival mostly takes place outside and in a big auxillary room inside. We don't know anyone at this church but they are always so warm and friendly to us. The food is, of course, delicious. If you are a carnivore, there's lamb, beef gyros, baked kibbee, shawarma, and meat pies. If not, there's spanakopita, falafel, spinach pie and much more. So, you load up on all of that outside (maybe hear some good music and see some dancing), and then head inside to the huge array of desserts (they have that amazing sesame fudge that we learned about in New York- halawa!). The perfect accompaniment to the sweets is the super strong, slightly sweetened, coffee. It is so strong and so good. Then, you can check out the bazaar that is in the same room and the church store for CDs and some very cool iconic art. Do not miss this festival. We will post scenes from it on Monday and we want the pictures to bring back great memories of the event for you- not make you sorry that you weren't there.

Three Dog Bakery

Our Pomeranian thinks that we would be remiss if we didn't highlight our local Three Dog Bakery. We typically visit the Broad Ripple location and always find adorable treats and great service there. We love that there is usually a dog behind the counter, we love that they do seasonal treats, we love that their treats smell so good that we even get hungry when we walk in, and we love seeing the dogs that shop there prop up on the counter to watch the mixer when a fresh batch is being made. Pictured here is one of their small pupcakes and a watermelon shaped cookie- both of which were big hits.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here's a heads up for fans of the Olympics.

Money Raised will Help Send Olympian’s Family to China to See Diver Compete

WHAT: Don Pablo’s in Carmel, Ind., will donate 10 percent of all sales on Sunday, July 20, to help send the family of local Olympian David Boudia to Beijing, China, to see him compete as a member of the U.S. Olympic Diving Team. David Boudia’s sister, Shaila Boudia, is a server at the restaurant.

Diners will also have the chance to meet the Olympian when he visits the restaurant and signs autographs from 2 to 5 p.m.

WHO: Boudia is a 19-year-old Noblesville resident and a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Diving Team. Boudia will compete in the 10-meter individual and the 10-meter synchronized platform events. The Beijing diving events begin Aug. 10 and conclude Aug. 23 with the men’s platform semifinals and finals.

WHEN: Sunday, July 20
Restaurant Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
David Boudia Appearance: 2 – 5 p.m.

WHERE: Don Pablo’s Restaurant
14758 U.S. Highway 31 N.
Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 571-8040 Olympics.
The local Imax theatres are starting Dark Knight showings at 9 and 9:15AM tomorrow morning? Breakfast with Batman? We are there!

Don't you love it when you hear a little snippet of music that really resonates with you, you manage to figure out the title or artist and then discover this whole library of fabulous music that you had no idea existed? Mrs. WYA! heard a great tune being used as bumper music and found out that it was Jaco Pastorius, an artist that she had never heard of but who's "Essentials" album she quickly downloaded off of iTunes. This consequently caused a musical memory flashback for Mr. WYA! who admitted to having a brief period of wanting to learn how to play the bass guitar and became familiar with Jaco then. If you are new to this artist like Mrs. WYA!, be sure to give him a listen.
Joan Lunden invented a way to keep track of your little ones.

Summer at Tiffany- sweet summer read

Already made your way through your summer reading list or just realized that we're more than halfway through July and you haven't read any good books yet? We highly recommend Summer at Tiffany. It came out last year but it is one of those books that you'll want to re-read every summer. It is by Marjorie Hart who spent the summer of 1945 working in New York City's Tiffany store. She was a college student from Iowa so this was quite an adventure for her and her girlfriend. It's an absolutely charming read about the big city complete with the sparkle of movie stars and the allure of servicemen on leave. The hardcover book itself is a treasure with pleasing tactile pages with rough edges adding to the sense of a time gone by. The first page asks the question, "do you remember the best summer of your life?" which will either conjure up good memories or sound like a challenge if nothing comes to mind.