Thursday, February 18, 2010

Style: 3 Fish Studios, Falling in Love with Affordable Art

It's not easy to uncover affordable art, but periodically, we'll stumble on a find that's worthy of sharing—in this case, two finds. Husband and wife art team, Eric Rewitzer and Annie Galvin, create so many lovely and whimsical paintings, digital prints, and blockprints (linocuts), it's hard to determine which ones to buy.

I first discovered the dynamic duo after my friends turned me on to San Francisco's Zinc Details. Later, at a Los Angeles' Renegade Craft Fair, I had the opportunity to meet Eric and talk about their creations first-hand.

For over three years, their studio has been a home to art classes, a space for community events, and a testament to their creative endeavors. Now, fans of their work can also browse and purchase online! From post cards to limited editions, 3 Fish Studios has an affordable, artistic find (or two) to fall in love with. Details:,,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gastronomy: A Good Muffin is Hard to Come By—Simply Delicious Sugar-Topped Muffins

This week I offered to bring muffins to a friend’s house for a Valentine’s brunch. The moment it flew out of my mouth, I thought, "what were you thinking?" To put it mildly, I don't enjoy baking. I LOVE to cook, but cooking and baking are not one in the same. Cooking allows a certain amount of creative license—add a bit of extra salt, substitute herbs, or swap broths and the recipe may change slightly, but certainly will not be ruined. Baking is just the opposite—an eighth of a teaspoon more salt and your cake might be bitter causing it unfit for human consumption. Those kinds of odds are not for me.

After scanning through my twenty-odd-some cookbooks, browsing the Internet, and not finding one muffin recipe to take to someone’s house untested, I decided to settle on an old stand-by recipe our mother has made for years. But, to my surprise, I definitely didn't "settle." These muffins are far from mediocre—they’re buttery, flaky, and the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The best part about them is that they’re incredibly easy to make and virtually full-proof, even for someone who doesn't bake often. I made them with fresh raspberries for Valentine's Day, but you can substitute any fruit (fresh or frozen). These no-fuss muffins were a big hit at the brunch and simply delicious.

Sugar-Topped Muffins
1 c milk
1/2 c butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1 c fresh or frozen fruit of choice

1/4 c melted butter
1/4 c sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, combine milk, butter, and egg. Add all remaining muffin ingredients, except fruit. Stir just until flour is moistened. Gently stir in fruit. Spoon in paper-lined 12 cup muffin pan. Bake for 24-28 minutes or until golden brown.

Dip tops of muffins in melted butter, than in sugar. Serves 12.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Adventure Charleston: Where Southern Cuisine Reigns Supreme

Charleston, South Carolina is a small city, but it’s peppered with some mighty amenities: Historical and quaint architecture, park-lined waterways, and unmatched down-home cookin’. In fact, there are so many Southern, Gullah, and Lowcountry offerings, it’s difficult to decide which restaurants to patronize if you’re only in town for a couple of days. Should I go to Fig, the “intimate, neighborhood bistro” that specializes in seasonal and locally-inspired dishes with a modern twist? Or maybe, Jestine’s Kitchen to indulge in some Southern classics like fried chicken and stewed collard greens. Crosby’s Fish and Shrimp Company, tempted by local gifts from the sea? Sweatman’s Barbecue for South Carolina’s finest smoked-meats?

When the vast-array of choices start to make your head spin, or if you only have room for one, the decision is actually quite simple—take time for the grand jewel in Charleston’s excessively-embellished crown: Hominy Grill.

Hominy Grill is run by chef Robert Stehling and aims to please for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Located in a residential neighborhood just outside the city center and mixed amongst historically dilapidated homes, this standout offers a private patio or quaint and unpretentious indoor seating. An ever-changing menu, we decided on the oh-so-lovingly-sesame-encrusted farm-raised catfish, served on a bed of Gullah-inspired peanut sauce and sautéed okra; shrimp and cheese grits, sautéed with mushrooms, scallions, and smoky bacon; and the Hominy Grill vegetable plate that, tastily enough, included homemade macaroni and cheese as a “vegetable” of choice! We managed to spend a large portion of our afternoon under the warm December sun, washing-down our dinner and flooding our conversation with local brews and ginger beer—truly enjoying the best Charleston has to offer. Details:

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Adventure (26) Gastronomy (38) Obsession (39) Style (26)

About Mod City Mom

After becoming mothers, sisters Sarah Romine and Leah Weyandt wanted to marry the activities and interests that they experienced before motherhood with their new found lives with children. This was not always an easy task—traveling to obscure places, shopping at off-beat boutiques, and sipping lazy-afternoon cocktails doesn't always fit neatly with parenthood. Stemming from their frustration, they meticulously searched, and continue to search, for activities, establishments, and entertainment that they take pleasure in and their families benefit from. The result? Mod City Mom.

About Sarah

Sarah is a passionate cook, fashionista, writer, actor, and mother. Like all actors, she ended up working at many-a-restaurant to make ends meet and shopping at countless bargain boutiques to maintain her sense of personal style. Her culinary journey, love affair with fashion, and desire to remain true to herself after becoming a mother are the inspirations for this site. Sarah lives with her husband and two sons in Chicago.

About Leah

A polymath wannabe, Leah loves books, films, music, cooking, and travel. After co-starting a writing and editing shop in 2002, Leah has spent her spare time frequenting her favorite cities, hangouts, and haunts. Her obsession with finding the new, innovative, and quirky is the impetus behind this site. Leah lives with her two sons and husband in North San Diego County.
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