green beans and coe Luxe

The food and drink debauchery which was my “Birthdaypalooza” has finally ended. I never thought that I would say such a thing; however, I don’t think that I could’ve gone on much longer and survived.

tuna with white bean Luxe

Thanks to my bff M I had a birthday to remember with all of the trimmings.
The big day was Saturday the 24th, however, we started at Lilly Chocolates on Thursday, then we head over to Athen’s Pastries then to M’s for wine.

016 shrimp

Friday night he entertained me and some friends in grand style at his beautiful home, fireside with fancy cocktails from his wickedly creative mind! J suprised me with a beautiful bracelet and made me feel like a princess. We all went to Luxe for a fantastic dinner. I had the tuna and far too many champagne cocktails!

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<p>Gifts, chocolates, Champagne! What did I do to deserve so much Love!</p>
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Saturday was an afternoon of lunch and shopping with mom, (More on her in another post!) an early supper with D at Tartine then off for cocktails with C, G and D at the Market Avenue Wine Bar. Again, far too much wine.

011 lobster

Sunday, my daughters thought that it would be nice to have a family dinner; lobsters, shrimp, scallops, mashed potatoes, two bottles of wine and one bottle of champagne later I officially surrendered.


Clambakes make for Fast Friends!

clambake pantry diaries

I had an unexpectedly great time last night. Not the least of which is due to the fact that I was with my bff M. He brought me along to a clambake given for employees of the hospital where he works.

I had forgotten how much I love Clambakes. Not just the food but the idea of a clambake.

The very nature of the meal creates a convivial experience due to the complete informality of the meal; cracking lobsters with your hands, crunching on corn-on-the-cob, butter soaked fingers prying open clams; those lobster bibs! I even managed to fling a lobster claw across the table, Julia Roberts’s style in Pretty Woman.

Although I was a little embarrassed the “flinging” only served to create laughter and friendly open conversation among virtual strangers. I was seated next to the most charming couple. I spent the evening chatting with a physician from Peru who enjoyed sharing with me his favorite books. He and his lovely wife were looking forward to a trip to Hungary next month.

Drinking Chardonnay from a box never tasted so good. We had Little Neck Clams, lobster, corn on the cob, red skin potatoes, sweet potatoes, filet mignon, and fried chicken. By the end of the evening we were laughing like old friends sharing dieting stories and our favorite brownie recipes.

Not just a dinner party a clambake is a way to enjoy the company of old friends and an easy way to make new ones!

Below I’ve included an easy clambake menu but you can always vary it to include your favorites or what is readily available. The internet has a wealth of information to help you plan the clambake that is perfect for you. The most important ingredient is the spirit of fun and friendship and to relax. It’s about casual fun, friends, beers and wine from a box!


1. 3 pounds new potatoes
2. Twelve 1-pound lobsters
3. 12 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
4. 2 pounds dried chorizo sausage
5. 1 dozen ears of unhusked corn
6. 6 sticks (1 1/2 pounds) unsalted butter, melted


1. In a large, deep pot, cover the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well.

2. On a flat beach, dig a 6-by-4-foot pit 2 feet deep. Line the pit with 90 rocks. Dig a 2-foot-wide pit nearby, also 2 feet deep.

3. Using 8 logs, build a bonfire in the large pit. Over the next hour and 45 minutes, add 6 logs to the fire every 15 minutes, building the fire outwards so that it covers the base of the pit. After the first 45 minutes, as the logs turn to coals, add 20 rocks to the fire. When the logs have completely turned to coals, after about 2 hours, shovel the 20 rocks to the sides. Leaving a 1-inch-thick layer of coals atop and between the rocks, shovel the rest of the coals into the smaller pit and extinguish with water.

4. Meanwhile, using a screwdriver, perforate the baking pans, punching holes in the bottoms about every inch.

5. Arrange the lobsters and potatoes together in 6 of the pans. Arrange the clams, chorizo and corn in the 6 remaining pans.

6. Wearing mitts, line the pit with a 1/2-inch-thick layer of rockweed. Arrange the pans on the rockweed in a single layer. Top the pans with a 1-inch-thick layer of rockweed. Fold the tarps in half lengthwise to measure 5 by 8 feet. Stack them on top of the rockweed. Weight down the edges of the top-most tarp with the remaining 10 rocks to trap the steam. Bake for about 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. The lobsters and potatoes should be done; the clams, corn and chorizo will need another 15 minutes. When cooked, the lobsters will be bright red, the clams open, and the corn and potatoes fork-tender. Serve with melted butter.


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