Friday, December 30, 2011

Margherita Pizza

This basic pizza recipe is set off by the whole wheat dough and the homemade pizza sauce!

1 pkg. prepared whole wheat pizza dough
2 tbsp. exta-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can of tomatoes
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
Dash of pepper
3/4 tsp. organo
Yellow cornmeal
6 oz. sliced mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

To make pizza sauce:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute about 1 minute.
Remove tomatoes from can with a slotted spoon and reserve juices. Crush tomatoes.
Stir tomatoes, juices, 3/4 tsp. salt, pepper and oregano into skillet.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

To make pizza:
Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand until it reaches room temperature.
Punch dough down and press to make a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal and crimp edges. Cover dough with plastic wrap.
Sprinkle a pizza stone with cornmeal and place on lowest rack of oven. Preheat oven to 550 degrees F. Preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes.
Remove plastic wrap from dough and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt.
Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch border.
Arrange mozzarella slices over dough. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Slide dough onto pizza stone with a spatula.
Bake at 550 degrees F.  for about 11 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and top with basil.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids Giveaway

As a special thanks for making A Seamaiden's Dream a splashing success this year, the Seamaiden is offering a fintabulous New Year's gift to one lucky reader. A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids is sumptuously illustrated by artist Margaret Datz and chock full of useful advice for nurturing and celebrating your inner sea nymph. Here's my favorite little pearl of wisdom: "A mermaid is not frightened by her own duality. She is a walking contradiction of piety and lust, sobriety and ecstasy, brilliance and stubbornness, the sacred and the scandalous. The tug between the tail and the head is at the very core of our own evolution toward inner harmony. Duality dwells at the heart of all truth, so dance with your own inner paradox." Oh, and the guide for navigating relationships with sailors, fishermen, pirates and mermen is a treat as well!

To win this new copy of  A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids, email your name to The winner will be chosen by random numerical draw on New Year's Day 2012.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Seamaiden Takes the Plunge!

Yes, it's spectacularly true! The Seamaiden has most enthusiastically accepted the Seamaster's proposal of marriage, which was accompanied by this scrumptiously beautiful pink sapphire and diamond engagement ring and diamond wedding band set. The plan is to wed, with our nearest and dearest present, at the local courthouse on Halloween 2012! Then we will be off on our honeymoon. The destination is yet to be decided, but there have been discussions of a haunted honeymoon visit to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts. When we return, the Seamaiden's parents will host a simple wedding celebration with our family and friends.

Now, the key word is "simple." However, the Seamaiden has the sneaking suspicion that, as our ten-month-long wedding season progresses, our elegant splash of an affair will form into a full-out tidal wave of a party. Hmm...we will wait and see.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seamaiden Shrimp Marinara

A great marinara sauce to prepare in the slow cooker!

28 oz. can of tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 lb. shrimp, cooked and peeled
8 oz. cooked pasta of your choice (I used angel hair pasta)
Grated cheese of your choice (I love Romano!)

Combine tomatoes, parsley, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, organo, tomato paste and seasoned salt in a 4-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
Stir shrimp into sauce.
Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes.
Serve over cooked pasta and top with grated cheese.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Congrats to the Winner of the Decoupage Book Giveaway!

Congratulations to Thea McGinnis, the winner of the Decoupage Book Giveaway. Thanks again to my wonderful readers for sending in entries. Check back often for more giveaways from A Seamaiden's Dream!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decoupage Book Giveaway

Ever wish you could transform a beat up old chest, table or vanity into an amazing artefact using nothing more than paper, scissors and a few coats of varnish? In Decoupage, author Maggie Pryce offers easy-to-follow instructions for a stunner of a nautilus bathroom cabinet (What a treat for the landlocked seamaiden!), a cherubim headboard, a toy chest, a kitchen table and much, much more!

To win a free copy of Decoupage by Maggie Pryce, simply email your name to The winner will be chosen by random numerical draw on Friday, December 16.

Good luck, my fellow artisans!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Creamy Seamaiden Pasta

This creamy seafood pasta dish is visually enhanced by the Zanier multicolored farfalline pasta. However, you may substitute with any farfalle pasta.

2 cups sour cream
3 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. bay scallops, sauteed
1 lb. medium cooked shrimp, peeled
8.8 oz. Zanier farfalline multicolored pasta, cooked according to package directions

Combine sour cream, cheese and butter in a 4-quart slow cooker.
Stir in pepper, scallops and shrimp.
Cover and cook on low for 1-2 hours.
Serve over farfalline pasta.
Makes approximately 4 servings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Congrats to the Winner of the Sea Glass Hunter's Handbook Giveaway!

Big congratulations to Pam Farrell, the winner of the Sea Glass Hunter's Handbook giveaway. Thanks to everyone who visited and sent in entries. Check back on Monday, December 12. The Seamaiden will announce yet another fintastic giveaway!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bel Air's Own Flavor Cupcakery Is the Cupcake Wars Winner!

The Seamaiden is always delighted to give props to businesses from her hometown of Bel Air, Maryland when they make a big splash. And that splash is more like a tidal wave for Flavor Cupcakery, the latest winner of the Food Network's scrumptious series, Cupcake Wars. Now, the rest of the world knows Bel Air's delicious secret: Flavor Cupcakery bakes the best gourmet cupcakes on this side of the Atlantic and Pacific!

Stop by Flavor Cupcakery to sample the winning flavors, inspired by the Nutcracker: Chocolate Cherry Wassail, Orange Chocolate Clove Marnier, Chocolate Peppermint Coconut Macaroon and Modern Fruit Cake. Trust me. These cupcakes are worth the drive (or the swim)!

Flavor Cupcakery is located at 118 N. Tollgate Road in Bel Air, Maryland.

Christmas Greetings, Seamaiden Style

The Seamaiden can't wait to mail these retro and oh-so-apropos Christmas greetings to her family and friends. Want to send your holiday greetings in similar seamaiden style? Visit these card companies today!

What's Buzzin?
Marshmellow Mermaid
Greeting Card Universe
Cafe Press

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sea Glass Hunter's Handbook Giveaway

Just in time for Christmas, the Seamaiden is offering the perfect little gift for the seaglunker, or sea glass hunter, in your life. The Sea Glass Hunter's Handbook by C.S. Lambert is the ultimate guide for collecting these gems of the ocean, complete with a sea glass dictionary and list of the best sea glass hunting beaches around the globe.

To win a new copy of The Sea Glass Hunter's Handbook, send an email to with your name in the body of the email. Please write "Giveaway" in the subject line. The winner will be chosen by random numerical draw on Friday, December 9.

Good luck, my readers!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black bottom cupcakes are a staple at the Seamaiden's lagoon during the Christmas season!

8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/8 tsp. salt
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and salt with an electric mixer.
Stir in chocolate morsels; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, 1 cup sugar and baking soda. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
Fill 24 greased or paper-lined muffin cups one third full with batter. Top each with a heaping spoonful of cream cheese mixture.
Bake 30-35 minutes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tomato Shrimp Supreme

Another hearty shrimp dish from the slow cooker!

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 green peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 tomatoes, chopped
6 celery stalks, sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup white wine

Saute the mushrooms, green peppers, and onion in butter over low heat until soft. Add flour, salt and pepper. Stir until sauce thickens. Transfer to slow cooker.
Add tomatoes, celery, sugar and shrimp to the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
Add wine 1/2 hour before serving.
Cook in a 3-5 quart slow cooker.

My Shabby Streamside Studio: Books & Ballet Slippers Giveaway

Don't miss this fintastic giveaway! Vintage ballet slippers, a signed copy of Rachel Ashwell's Inspirations, the December 2011 issue of Jeanne d' Arc Living, a copy of Amazing Retreats, and a $20 Shutterfly gift card! The Seamaiden's tail is aflutter!

My Shabby Streamside Studio: Worldwide Annual Holiday Giveaway 2011: Books & Ba...: I offer my second giveaway, gifts only one of you will receive but my heartfelt intent is to give them to every one of...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Retro Advertising Signs on Yardsellr

Love retro advertising signs? Visit me on Yardsellr to purchase Coca-Cola, Mustang, Chevrolet, Texaco, Shell, Corona signs and more!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cream of Shrimp Soup

The Seamaiden has fallen head over tail fin for her new slow cooker!

1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 medium-large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. white wine
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 lb. large shrimp, precooked and cut into pieces
2 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Asiago)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

Place the potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, water, broth, white wine and thyme into a 4-6 quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high heat for 4-5 hours.
Add the shrimp and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
Add the cheese, milk and Old Bay to the cooker.
Cook on low heat, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour or until cheese is completely melted.
Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beer Beef Soup

This hearty soup is the perfect accompaniment to Sunday football!

6 red potatoes, cut into cubes
30 baby carrots, peeled
3 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 cups beef stock
1 1/2 lb. skirt steak, cut into large cubes
1/2 pepper
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves
12 oz. beer of your choice
2 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan, toss potatoes and carrots in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Roast until golden and tender. Set aside and keep warm.
In a medium-large pot, bring stock to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3 cups. Set aside and keep warm.
In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil. Season steak with remaining salt and pepper. Cook to desired doneness. Remove steak from heat and keep warm.
Add remaining olive oil to skillet. Saute onions and garlic until tender.
Return stock to heat. Add beer, mustard, soy sauce and thyme and simmer. Add potatoes and carrots and steak to stock mixture and cook until heated through and broth reaches a slightly thicker consistency.
Serve with French bread.
Makes about 4 servings.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring Our Veterans 11-11-11

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
-- Elmer Davis

The members of the Historical Society of Harford County and various volunteers from Bel Air and Harford County have worked tirelessly over recent months to create a celebration that is truly worthy of the sacrifice and dedication of Harford's veterans. In the Seamaiden's humble opinion, they have succeeded admirably. I only wish my two WWII veteran grandfathers were still here to take part in the festivities.

Festivities in downtown Bel Air today include a parade at 10 a.m. and the rededication of the Bel Air Armory at 2 p.m. In addition, a two-day exhibit, including maps, uniforms and memorabilia from every major conflict dating back to the American Revolution, will open at the Bel Air Armory. Many items have never before been exhibited to the public.

For all the details and a schedule of events, visit Celebrating Harford Veterans.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Project Indoor Lagoon

For the landlocked mermaid, the bathroom is refuge #1 when the workaday world starts to get her tail in a bunch. There, she can let Calgon carry her away to the bubbly waters of a warm, tropical lagoon to rejuvenate her fun, frisky sea nymph tendencies.

But for now, the Seamaiden must make do with the laundry room shower while the Seamaster remodels our spacious bathroom into an updated substitute lagoon. I thought it would be fun to chronicle the transformation, beginning with these photos of our stripped down, formerly blue-tile haven. For the sake of convenience, the commode, vanity and sink will stay in place while the other areas of the room are being addressed.

And as you can see, our lovely Sasha also patiently awaits the return of her personal comfort station.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jack-O'-Lanterns are Lit!

Even though the Seamaster and I will be snuggled up for a romantically spine-tingling carriage ride in Gettysburg this Halloween night, we will still have our spooktacular jack-o'-lanterns in place for the trick or treaters at home. (Thanks to Mom and Dad for agreeing to dole out the candy!) I carved the ghostly pumpkin, and the Seamaster created the adorably freaked-out face.

Need inspiration to create some creepy carvings of your own? Look no further than the links below.

Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meatball Mummies

Edible mummies appear to be a recurring theme with the Seamaster and me this Halloween!

8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp. pesto
18 Italian-style meatballs
1/4 lb. cooked fettucine noodles
6-inch wooden skewers

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and pesto.
Skewer 3 meatballs and cover with cream cheese spread.
Wrap with fettucine noodles.
Add capers for eyes.
Makes 6 mummies.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mummy Meat Loaves

You know the Seamaster and I are truly in the Halloween spirit when even routine evening meals take on a decidedly spooky theme! But these yummy mini meat loaves are just like your "mummy" used to make. Get the recipe from Woman's Day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Little Pink Poncho Crochet Project

For the seamaiden who believes that a little peachy-pink poncho is a fall essential! This crochet project with a darling floral motif is based on the Susie poncho pattern (pp. 1-3) in Snappy Wraps to Crochet by Treva G. McCain. I simply shortened the pattern a bit and added my own edging for a touch of originality. The yarn pictured is Bernat Softee Baby in soft peach.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Breakfast Quesadillas

These quesadillas are a delicious way to break up the monotony of the typical bacon and egg breakfast.

4 medium whole-wheat tortillas
6 oz. bacon
4 eggs
salt and pepper
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
7.5 oz. black beans, rinsed
fat-free sour cream
Salsa (optional)

Place the tortillas in the oven; heat to 200 degrees F.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Leave about 1 tbsp. of bacon fat in skillet, reserving the rest of the fat.
Cook the eggs over easy in the skillet, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove eggs from heat.
On a work surface, lay out the torillas. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese, some of the beans, 1 egg, and some bacon strips. Fold tortillas to enclose.
Heat reserved bacon fat in skillet. Add the quesadillas to the skillet and cook, turning once, until cheese is melted.
Top each quesadilla with a dollop of sour cream and/or salsa before serving.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free Mermaid Stories and Books for Kindle and Nook

One of the best perks of having a smartphone is being able to download Kindle and Nook apps. And the Seamaiden makes good use of both Kindle and Nook whenever she feels the need to dive into a good mermaid romance tale (or is that tail?). Here are a few seamaiden stories that are now available for free!

The Mermaid: A Love Tale
The Mermaid of Druid Lake and Other Stories (about a mermaid who once lived in the lake of Druid Hill Park in Baltimore)
Strands of Mermaid Hair
The Golden Mermaid, and Other Stories from the Fairy Books

Monday, September 26, 2011

Antipasto Spaghetti

Another pasta dish to savor on some cozy autumn evening.

1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup almond-stuffed olives
3 oz. prosciutto, chopped
1 (6.5 oz). jar of basil pesto
1 (8.5 oz.) jar of sun-dried tomatoes with pesto, drained and chopped
1 (6 oz.) jar of marinated quartered artichokes, drained and chopped
8 oz. uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup fresh Romano cheese, grated

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, omitting salt.
Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes.
Place pepper halves, skin side up and flattened, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened.
Seal pepper halves in a plastic bag for 5 minutes. Peel and chop pepper and place in a large serving bowl.
Stir in olives, prosciutto, pesto, tomatoes and artichokes.
Drain cooked spaghetti and add to bowl.
Stir in 1/4 cup of grated cheese and toss pasta mixture to combine.
Sprinkle remaining grated cheese over each serving of spaghetti.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Seamaiden's Secret Treasures: Mermaid in a Shell Teapot

One of my favorite tea-related quotes comes from Eleanor Roosevelt: "A woman is like a tea bag; only in hot water do you realize how strong she is." Well, when this Seamaiden feels like she has more than proven her strength, there is nothing more enjoyable than detoxing from my overbooked and overextended life over tea with friends. For me, calm conversation over fine bone china and aromatic peaches with flowers tea is the perfect prescription to achieve renewal, revival and plain old relief.

My next tea gathering will include this delightful Richard Parrington teapot, "Mermaid in a Shell," as a decorative centerpiece surrounded by seashells and water lilies. Parrington's teapots are highly collectible. Teapot Island dates this one back to 1981 and values it at $39.29-$111.59 (converted from the British pound). I snagged this one on eBay for a mere $10!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marinated Beef Kabobs

The Seamaster and I dined on these scrumptious kabobs last night. We're doing our best to keep the summer grilling season alive as long as possible!

1 cup red wine
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 lb. top sirloin beef cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 orange bell pepper

In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Pour half the marinade into a large plastic bag. Add the beef and seal the bag. Turn the bag to coat.
Pour remaining marinade into another plastic bag. Add the tomatoes, onion and peppers and seal the bag. Turn the bag to coat.
Allow beef and vegetables to marinade for 2-3 hours.
Coat a grill rack with cooking spray. Drain the marinade from the beef and vegetables, reserving the marinade for basting.
Thread the beef and vegetables onto eight metal or soaked wooden skewers.
Grill until beef reaches desired doneness. Baste with marinade and turn occasionally.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vintage Box Purse Now on Etsy!

This unbearably cute wood box purse is octagonal in shape and depicts a charming painted Main Street scene all around the panels--including a candy store, apothecary, firehouse, ice cream shop, church and more! It has a Lucite handle and moss green felt lining inside. Visit my Etsy shop to purchase today!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Seamaiden Pops

With all the rain that has deluged Bel Air recently, my time might have been better employed building an ark and rounding up two of every animal. But I just couldn't resist whipping up a few of these white chocolate seamaidens this afternoon.

To create your own Seamaiden Pops, simply place 4 squares each of two 4 oz. white chocolate baking bars into plastic bags and melt in the microwave for 40-45 seconds. (You will needs 4 squares of white chocolate for each mermaid candy mold.) Cut a corner off of the plastic bags and squeeze the chocolate into each mold. When the molds are half full, place a lollipop stick into the molds and fill the rest of the molds with chocolate. Carefully wipe away any excess chocolate from the molds. Refrigerate for 2 hours and then carefully remove Seamaiden Pops from the molds. Yields 4white chocolate Seamaiden Pops.

Visit Amazon to purchase this mermaid candy mold.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas

1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled,deveined and chopped
6 tsp. apricot preserves
6 whole wheat tortillas
6 slices Havarti cheese
2 tbsp. butter, melted

In a foil grill pan, saute mushrooms and 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil on a grill until tender. Add shrimp and saute until heated through.
Spread 1 tsp. of apricot preserves on each tortilla.
Top each tortilla with 1 slice of cheese, shrimp and mushrooms.
Fold tortilla over and brush with melted butter on each side.
Grill quesadillas uncovered until each side is golden brown and cheese is melted.
Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sea Glass and Starfish Shadow Box

This little shadow box project kept the Seamaiden from going stir crazy during Hurricane Irene. I hope all my readers weathered the storm safely.

8" x 10" x 2 1/2" shadow box in white (or use flat white spray paint)
3 lb. glass gems with glass seashells by Marble Accents
12 oz. sea green glass gem/rock mix by Akasha
19 authentic or imitation pink sea glass shards in varying sizes
Large and medium decorative starfish by Panacea

Using goop, affix glass gem/rock mix around the front edges of the shadow box frame as shown. Let dry thoroughly.
Using goop, affix remaining glass gem/rock mix and sea glass shards to each side of the shadow box. To keep gems and sea glass shards from sliding, it is best to turn each side of the shadow box upright and glue on the gems and shards. Let each side dry thoroughly before beginning to work on the other sides.
Carefully arrange the glass gems with glass seashells onto the backing of the shadow box. Place the starfish on top of the glass gems and glass seashells. Carefully place the backing onto the shadow box frame and fasten in place.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicken Caprese with Bacon

A nice comfort food dish for riding out Hurricane Irene. Stay safe, my wonderful readers!

12 slices of bacon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 small-medium tomatoes, sliced
8 fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices Provolone cheese

Place bacon in an ungreased baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until bacon is partially cooked but not crisp. Drain bacon slices on paper towels.
Place chicken in an ungreased baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Top with tomatoes, basil and garlic. Wrap chicken with three slices each of bacon.
Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.
Top chicken with cheese slices and bake for 1 minute, or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Staying Fit, Seamaiden Style

So just when the Seamaiden begins to mull over fun ways to stay fit after swimming pool season, Whitehouse Trading Company in downtown Bel Air comes through with the golden ticket. This adorable mermaid jump rope, priced at $8.95, will be the perfect way to stay seamaiden-svelte this fall and winter!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grilled Marinated New York Strip Steak

This Seamaiden is ready to jump back into the ocean after experiencing a 5.8 magnitude earthquake here in Bel Air, Maryland. And this grilled marinated steak recipe should shake things up even more (but in a strictly flavorful way)!

1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. honey
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
3 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 lb. New York strip steak
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced

In a baking dish, combine the first six ingredients. Place the steak on top and coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Remove steak from marinade and grill until it reaches desired doneness. Remove from grill.
Coat the mushrooms with the marinade. Place mushrooms in a grilling pan and grill several minutes until tender.
Serve the steak topped with mushrooms.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fire Up Your Creativity at the Blue Dog Coffee & Arts Cafe

The Blue Dog Coffee and Arts Cafe has dreamed up one of the most charming cafe concepts the Seamaiden has ever encountered. You can choose from among hundreds of pieces of bisque and paint up a ceramic creation over coffee and sandwiches or dessert! The helpful staff will then glaze and fire your masterpiece.

I stopped in today and picked up a delish iced mocha and one of the yummy sandwich or wrap combinations (The Retriever--made of sliced turkey, Asiago cheese and pesto mayo) cleverly named after breeds of pups. And if I hadn't been pressed for time, I certainly would have conjured up a fine (or at least tolerable) work of ceramic art. If I find a mermaid among the bisque during my next visit, there will be no stopping me!

The Blue Dog Coffee and Arts Cafe is located at 802 Conowingo Road in Bel Air, Maryland. For more information about art classes and workshops or to make reservations for parties and events, visit the website or call 410-420-2371.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Seamaiden Crab Royale

This is a crab dish fit for a sea king or queen!

6 tbsp. butter
4 green onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup mayonnaise
Dash Tabasco sauce
1 lb. lump crabmeat
6 tbsp. sherry
Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

In a large skillet, saute the green onions and bell pepper in melted butter.
Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, chili powder and flour and mix well. Remove from heat.
Stir in milk gradually. Return to heat and cook until sauce is the consistency of heavy cream.
Blend in mayonnaise and Tabasco. Remove from heat.
In a separate skillet, heat crabmeat and sherry. Then add to sauce and mix well.
Place the mixture into a baking dish or divide into 6-8 ramekins or individual baking dishes. Sprinkle with Panko, dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Grilled Shrimp with Seamaiden Dipping Sauce

The famous Maryland State BBQ Bash is in full swing in our hometown of Bel Air. But after an absolutely grueling week at work, the Seamaster and I are planning to chill at home tonight with a little ol' bbq bash for two. Oh, and the Seamaster told me to add that the Seamaiden Sauce is great on a salad, too.

1 cup fat-free sour cream
3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 green onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh dill leaves
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves
1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
2 garlic cloves
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. cooked shrimp, tail on and deveined

To prepare Seamaiden Sauce, combine first 10 ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Cover and chill at least one hour.
Arrange shrimp on a grill pan and sprinkle with additional sea salt and a bit of Old Bay, if available. Grill shimp until heated through.
To serve, dip shrimp in Seamaiden Sauce. You may garnish the sauce with parsley or dill sprigs.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Sentimental Journey to Gettysburg This Halloween!

The Seamaster and I are over the sea, moon and stars to be taking A Sentimental Journey to Gettysburg this Halloween! Planted right in the heart of Gettysburg's historic district, A Sentimental Journey Bed and Beakfast sits on the property once owned by John Rupp, whose tannery was occupied by Confederate sharpshooters during the Battle of Gettysburg. The house also sits on the path that Abraham Lincoln rode to give the Gettysburg Address and looks out over the sycamore tree that bore witness to both the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's iconic speech. Today, A Sentimental Journey offers walking distance access to the National Cemetery, Culp's Hill and Pickett's Charge, as well as all the restaurants, museums, ghost and bus tours and shops within the historic district.

After some ghost hunting, a candlelight dinner at the Dobbin House Tavern and a carriage ride, we will spend the witching hour in the Beautiful Dreamer room (how romantic is that?!) with its private entrance, kitchenette, bathroom with antique clawfoot tub and cozy Victorian decor. Take a video tour of the Beautiful Deamer room here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bay Scallop Crescents

The Seamaiden is always happy to add yet another scallop recipe to her seafood arsenal.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 lb. bay scallops
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Neufchatel cheese, softened and cut into pieces
2 cans crescent rolls (8 crescents in each can)
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tbsp. chopped chives

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and minced garlic over medium-high heat. Add scallops and saute for several minutes until done. (I like to saute until the edges just start to brown slightly).
Remove scallops and set aside.
Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to skillet. Add mushrooms, green onions, bell pepper, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook until browned.
Reduce heat to low. Add Neufchatel and stir until melted.
Add scallops and combine until well mixed.
Remove skillet from heat and cool mixture for several minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Separate crescents into 16 triangles and place on a surface for preparation. (I like to use wax paper.)
Spoon some of the scallop mixture along the long end of each triangle and roll up to make crescents.
Place each crescent on the baking sheet.
Brush each crescent with melted butter and sprinkle the tops with panko and chives.
Bake 20 minutes or until crescents are golden brown.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Honey-Pecan Cheescake Minis

These little cheesecakes are perfect for a party or just a short and sweet anytime treat.

1 pkg. cheesecake filling of your choice (I used Jello No Bake Cheesecake)
2 pkgs. mini fillo shells
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Prepare cheesecake filling according to package directions.
Place 1 tsp. of cheesecake filling in each fillo shell.
In a small bowl, combine pecans, honey and cinnamon.
Top each cheesecake with a small amount of pecan mixture.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 30 cheesecake minis.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Scallops with Creamy Pesto Sauce

This scallop dish works great with jumbo steamed shrimp. The Seamaiden cheated a bit and had these shrimp steamed at the grocery store.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. sea scallops
Sea salt and pepper
1/3 cup prepared pesto
2 tbsp. heavy cream

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the scallops, seasoned with sea salt and pepper, until slightly browned.
Remove scallops and remove skillet from heat.
Combine pesto and heavy cream in skillet.
Serve scallops in creamy pesto sauce or with sauce on the side.