Thursday, July 27, 2006


I'm getting out of Dodge for a few days. As I wrote to a friend, "I'm going primitive vamping." If you will look at your keyboard, you will notice the adjacency of the C and the V. Sometimes a typo is more descriptive than the original intent.

So, The Flaurella will be off communing with nature, cooking over a campfire, sleeping on the ground, (well, to be truthful, a queen size air mattress in a two room tent) and bathing from a bowl. I may be roughing it but rest assured, I will be taking my clever leather Geoffrey Beane martini travel kit and enjoying a most civilized cocktail hour at the edge of a babbling brook somewhere in the vast wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains each and every day.

Blue Ridge Mountains
. . . a' Vamping I will go

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Takes a Licking

... but keeps on ticking.

This used to be W4D's watch.
Then, Hammer Time.

Hammer Time

Those Casio's are amazingly durable.
It's still ticking and dinging on the hour.
The alarm went off at 11:55, just like always.

Takes a Licking

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Raw and Woody

My mind is blank today so you get food pix.

Getting ready to put fresh asparagus and peppers on the grill.

Ready for the Grill

Sprinkle with good olive oil and coarse salt and cook veggies for about 10 minutes turning once.

Chill the Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon because at room temp, you'll know why it is named after a tree - tastes a bit like sawdust unless you give it a light chill. To quickly chill wine, put wine bottle and ice cubes in a wine bucket or any tall container. Then, fill container with cold water. Turn the bottle a couple of times, spinning it in your hands. Red wine will be perfectly cool in about 5 minutes or less. White wine takes about 20 minutes this way. It's the fastest way you can chill wine at home.

Redwood Wine is Woody

I usually man the grill but it was hot outside so W4D did the grilling. His London Broil (marinated roast beef) is a little too rare for me but I enjoyed the roasted peppers and asparagus.

Rare Beef

And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Put A Cork In It

Here is this year's stash of corks from wines we have known and loved -- or choked down. Whatever.

Whole Lotta Corks...

We save the corks and annually, I make them into wreaths or trivets or line trays with them. Sadly, real corks are going the way of the dinosaur. Many stoppers you will find these days in decent bottles of wine are fricken plastic. They say it doesn't change the flavor of the wine but I detest plastic corks. One cannot make pretty cork wreaths with plastic crap.

This Year's Cork Collection

Worldwide cork demand has increased due to a larger proportion of wine being sealed with cork rather than being sold in bulk. Since an oak tree's bark can only be harvested once a decade or so, the supply is limited. Top quality corks are quite expensive, so many vinyards have switched to lower quality cork, synthetic plastic stoppers, or even screw caps.

We love wine. We buy a lot of three liters glass jugs with screw caps or we would have a few bushels more of corks per year. Still, we end up with a fair amount for we believe that dinner must always be enjoyed with a complimentary wine.

Yes, we are total wine sots. Some people buy a new car every year or two. We drink wine. Others eat out 2 or 3 times a week. We drink wine. I gave up Manolo's for Martini's but that is another story in itself.

And, as a point of interest, I have been to Cork, Ireland, and mostly everyone drank beer, ale or Irish whisky and there weren't any cork trees that I noticed. When I have time, I'll show you some cork wreaths.
Until then, Salute! Facciamoci un bicchiere!

No, I am not Italian but W4D is. The Flaurella is Irish, German and English and very fiesty.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dueling Shrimp

I am loving all the comments on the Flaurella tags! Y'all are very creative. I'm making a list and checking it twice, in July. (this gives me hope that winter will eventually arrive yet again) Anyway. please keep sending your suggestions. Hella and Flaurella seems to be a hot combo and there are lots of ways to combine the two. Since your Flaurella pronounces "hell" as "hay-ell," I've never thought of it rhyming it with my name. Totally cool beans!

It's been hot this week. Not as hot as much of the USA but still hot - but not humid - isn't that odd? I've lived in Florida all my life and never seen the humidity at 43% in July. Anyway, we've been eating seafood all week since that is what we do during summer when it's too hot to eat anything else. Here is a lesson in Shrimp:

This is Gulf Shrimp. Eat these shrimp any number of ways. Here they are boiled in spices and served chilled, with cocktail sauce.

Shrimp Cocktail ala Flaurella
Eat These Shrimp

This is a Shrimp plant in my yard. It grows in red (mottled) or green (as shown). Do not eat this shrimp. Just smile at the similarity and go have a refreshing adult drunk.

Shrimp Plant
Don't eat these Shrimp

Enjoy your weekend. Type atcha Monday.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Too Hot to Handle Cooking

What's for supper on a really hot day after you've been drinking many margaritas?

Mahi-mahi Ponzu Salad
Stir-fried Mahi-mahi (dolphin fish) with Ponzu and Everglades Seasoning atop a nice cool salad.

Ponzu is a Japanese citrus seasoned soy sauce. It's lighter and more flavorful than the plain stuff. You can find it in your market on the sauces and condiments aisle.

Everglades Seasoning is a special Florida blend of spices. We use it on everything from fish to chicken to pork, you name it. Visit their web site and then click on the "shopping lobby" to learn more.

Those skinny stick things on top are store brought
Alessi breadsticks. I like the rosemary flavored ones.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Come Fly The Friendly Flaurella

I've been thinking of changing the tag line for my blog.
What do you think of these?

I am stuck on Flaurella, 'cuz Flaurella's stuck on me.
Flaurella. It's what's for dinner.
I'm Not Gonna Pay A Lot For This Flaurella.
Just One Flaurella -Give it to me!
Leave the Flaurella to us!
Whatever You're Into, Get Into Flaurella
Strong enough for a man, made for a Flaurella
You're in Good Hands with Flaurella
The Curiously Strong Flaurella
The Flaurella of Your Life
All the Flaurella That's Fit to Print
Plink, Plink, Flaurella
Look Ma! No Flaurella!
An Army of Flaurella
I liked the Flaurella so much that I bought the company!
Flaurella Prevents That Sinking Feeling
Snap, Crackle, Flaurella!

. . . I'd Walk a Mile for a Flaurella . . .

Camels comprise 2.2% of our town's population.
I am not kidding.

Guess I had better keep working on it.
I sort of like my tiara tag anyway, because it's true.

Feel free to let me know your fave or suggest one of your own.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blown Away

As you may have noticed, this week, my Chernobyl theme is blow jobs. ::tick::tick:::tick:: That's the sound of my hit counter.

I love my dueling, opposing fans. There are sparring Galaxy fans blowing toward each other over our king bed from the north and south. There is also a big fan blowing from the west window and our large Hunter paddle fan dropped on a down rod over the bed, swirling the currents below. The air seems to blow from every direction at once and while I will admit that it is better when the air is cool, even when it is hot, it's still a major improvement over just a single window fan and the paddle fan.

The only drawback is my hair. If you think bed head is a problem, wait until you sleep with four fans blowing at you from every opposing direction. I awaken now with a sort of a blonde Woody Woodpecker pointed hair-do. I have extreme bed head and no, I will not be sharing photos.

I think I did levitate in the bed last night and at the very least, spun around 180 degrees due to the fannified air turbulence. I went to sleep with my feet pointed west and awoke with them pointed east. I am certain that I must have spun clockwise during the night. W4D however, remained undisturbed. Go figure.

Anyway, tonight, I made grilled salmon and orange pepper sauce with garlicked broccoli and sauteed grape tomatoes. I swear that we eat healthy foods. I don't understand why we are always worrying about losing weight. Maybe I can spin some weight off as I sleep.

Salmon with Orange and Red Pepper Sauce

Dream on.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blowing Off Work

It's Saturday afternoon. It's bloody hot here in Florida but apparently not as bad as the rest of the country. I am inside working on web updates. Landline rings.

Hello, this is Flaurella.

This is your personal weatherman calling from my blue raft. It is warm and sunny with intermittent clouds. The pool is 85 degrees and crystal clear. Predicting light clouds for another 10 minutes, then bright sunshine. It you would like to join me, I will be floating in the deep end.

Some offers are just to good to refuse.

Pool Noodles

Pool Rafts

Splashed Sunglasses

Pool Towels

I'll tell you about the fan experiment next time.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Big Blow

My friend Annie told me about a new way to keep cool. Annie moved from Florida to Texas so she understands the quest for cool. I always sleep with a big box fan in the window that blows at the foot of our bed, plus the Hunter 52 over the bed. We live in an 1885 house and don't have AC upstairs but we do have 12 foot ceilings and lots of ventilation upstairs so it stays fairly cool at night no matter how hot it gets during the day. In fact, The Lubricator sleeps under the covers all year long while I, the hot-blooded one, rarely even need a blanket unless it gets below 25 degrees in winter and even then, W4D has to sneak the windows closed during the night. But, I digress.

Annie, who happens to have a faboo modern house with central air, told me that she keeps cool by using opposing fans. Now why didn't I think of that?

It took but one little mention of the dueling fans and badda bing! The Lubricator arrived home with two new box fans. I plan to set one up on each side of the bed and aim them at each other with me in the middle. I will also turn on the window fan and the overhead paddle fan. I may be able to create a vortex and levitate or even twirl right off the bed! At the very least, I bet I can blow all the dust out of the bedroom.

Dueling Fans

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On the Way Home...

Artichoke with olive oil and lemon

W4D, since you check this blog every day before you head home from work, could you please pick up some more of those juicy, tart, sunny lemons at the market this afternoon? We're out of fresh, lemony goodness. I would drive to the market myself but you go right by Publix and gas is over $3.00 a gallon and your shrewdness in the grocery store is legendary. Won't you please save me from over-spending? I might be tempted to buy those limes that are too expensive for words.
xxx - (kisses - not porn)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Everyone is teasing W4D about being a cheapskate.

He has tried to bribe me by presenting me with a case of my fave Italian Bosca Asti Raspberry Sparkletini as compensation for having to use lemons in my margaritas. Oh, the dear man! The Flaurella, she can indeed be bribed.

My husband is a generous provider and a very smart shopper.
He selects beautiful lemons.
Margaritas with lemons are very tasty.
Who needs sour cream?

Sparkletini Bibery
Pink Sparkletini Bribery!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Frugal Bartender

Needed to stock the bar so we headed for the liquor store.
Everything we needed was on sale. Cool.
We got a cart and loaded it with:

Quart of Smirnoff Silver
Quart of Bombay Sapphire
Quart of Evan Williams
Fifth of Tequila
Fifth of Triple Sec
3 Litre jug of Paisano house wine

We've been in a margarita mood lately, enjoying drinking them in the pool in the late afternoon when the sun isn't so intense. A margarita buzz on a late summer afternoon is pleasant.

So we paid for the liquor, $115 plus change, stowed it into the car and headed on to the grocery store to pick up coffee and some sour cream I needed for dinner. I found some nice globe artichokes and some cut flowers and DH spotted the limes. Good idea. We needed limes for the margaritas. I dropped my artichokes and the bouquets of lilies into the cart and headed for the lottery station while W4D went for the coffee, sour cream and through the checkout line.

We got home and unloaded the spirits and the groceries. I looked for the limes but instead found a bag of three large lemons.

Where are the limes?

Didn't buy them.

Why not?

Limes were three for $1.29. Lemons were three for a $1.00.

You wouldn't buy limes because they were 29 cents more than lemons?


You didn't bat an eye at spending $115 for booze but you are too cheap to spend 29 more cents for limes?

The price seemed excessive.

Where's the sour cream?

I forgot it.

Artichoke and Lemons
Artichokes and Lemons

Alstroemaria Lily
Alstroemaria Lily

Friday, July 07, 2006

Frutti di Mare

It has been brought to my attention that I have been neglecting blogging about food lately. True. It's just that we eat a lot of seafood and grilled stuff in the summer. Seems sort of boring.

Here's one of my fave dishes: green and white fettucini with minced clams and mussels. I like a lot of garlic and fresh herbs and the best olive oil. It's a fast dinner, only taking about 20 minutes to prepare.

I know we shouldn't be eating pasta but once in a while, it tastes so good. Clams are always available and mussels can be bought fresh, frozen or canned as well. Please! Don't ever use garlic salt or garlic powder. Always smash and mince up fresh cloves of garlic. Mangia!

Mussels and Clams

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Flaurella's Watermelon Martini
3 parts Vanilla Vodka
1 part Triple Sec
1 Part Rose's (brand) Watermelon Infusion

Shake over ice, strain and serve wih fresh watermelon garnish.

Watermelon Martini

Tipsy Dessert
Instead of spiking a melon by tapping, filling with vodka and then plugging it and letting it sit; cut and serve the melon in a pretty glass and drown each serving in vodka. This melon was given to us on the 4th. Isn't it the most vibrant color? It was just as sweet and delcious as it looks, too!

Spiked Watermelon

It's juicy, sweet and sticky.
Grab some free watermelon wallpapers:

Click Here and HERE

Monday, July 03, 2006

Haute Couture

Pink Leather Prada Knock-Off Bag $65.00
Matinee Movie Tickets for The Devil Wears Prada: $15.00
One Popcorn and a Coke to share:
The eyeball shift on that chick's face from my pink bag insignia to W4D's fly when I asked if he had put the stallion back in the barn as he stepped out of the men's room: Priceless!

That was all I was going to share but perhaps, I should add a little more. W4D took the afternoon off so we could go see The Devil Wears Prada and then enjoy our traditional day-before Independence Day trek to the parade in a nearby small town.

W4D said while TDWP was on the verge of almost being too chickie-flickie for him but he did enjoy it and was particularly taken with the lovely Anne Hathaway and the scenes shot in Paris. I'm glad I have a man who will go see any film I hanker to see. That's the sign of a good hubby. But, back to the movie

I loved the clothes, the shoes and of course, the jewels. The make-up was... interesting... to be sure. I kept expecting to see Twiggy or Mary Quant pop into a scene. I guess we are hopelessly behind the times here in the South when it comes to big sooty, dragon eyes. Meryl Streep was, as always, perfection in her role. I had just watched her yesterday as The Baroness Karen Blixen in 1983's, Out of Africa. Yesterday was a good movie day on the tube, but I digress.

So, after the film, we dashed to the car and zipped out through the country for 20 miles to our favorite Independence Day parade in a neighboring small town. The country side was so lush, peaceful and vibrantly green in full blown summer that I had a hard time with the juxtaposition of verdant countryside after the frenetic pace of the New York fashion world. We do have some of the prettiest and richest farming and ranching country you'll ever see anywhere right here in North Central Florida but back to our annual tradition.

In the small Florida town where we headed, the horses are better dressed than the people. There were a lot of beautiful children in red, white and blue but it was the horses who were the fashionistas in their patriotic saddles and blankets, done up with stenciled RWB stars or stripes on their haunches, sequined or fringed stockings on their fetlocks, glittered hooves and spangles woven into their manes and tails. These were runway horses for sure, with real cracker cowboys and cowgirls riding their Quarter Horses, Walkers, Paints, and Appaloosas, as well as the elegantly dressed ladies with the huge long skirts riding their prancing Paso Finos. I am not talking a couple dozen horses, but hundreds of horses and their riders as well as mules and ponies, some pulling wagons and carriages loaded with country patriots.

The parade lasts about an hour and while the horses and children in patriotic clothes are the main attraction, John Deere tractors from every decade tow civic and business floats. The fire trucks and emergency vehicles from every neighboring town and community compete with their sirens and toss treats for the kids. Politicians handing out candy and propaganda only slightly outnumber the beauty queens in their sparkling tiaras and frilly formal gowns riding atop convertibles, big ass trucks and in classic cars.

Sorry, I'll never pay 3 grand for a handbag or 5K for a pair of boots but I may wear my tiara to our own town event in the park tomorrow. Since it's a real special occasion, I think I'll wear my jeweled flip flops, too.

haute couture
Country Haute Couture

Tall Uncle Sam
White Tie and Tails