Archive for April, 2013

A Rainy Day in Wilmington NC

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Ok…so it’s raining pretty hard and the forecast is iffy for the rest of the day. Do not despair! There are quite a few unique and fun
indoor activities in the Wilmington NC  area to keep you amused.

  • The Cotton Exchange provides an eclecticshopping experience among a whole bunch of indoor shops in an historic setting.
    There are also a couple good restaurants in there and don’t forget to sample the ice cream at the Trolley Stop.
  • The Cameron Art Museum is a nice, compact space that you don’t feel guilty leaving after an hour or two of artistic
    contemplation. There’s also a nice restaurant inside, as well.
  • The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher s a great place to while away a few rainy hours. They don’t try to show you every
    fish in the sea — instead, they focus on two habitats: the Lower Cape Fear River and the near-shore Atlantic Ocean.
  • Believe it or not, most of the action and interest at the Battleship North Carolina is inside. There are seven decks
    below and it’s fascinating to see how this “city under the sea” actually worked.
  • Would you like to visit old hiss and slither? Our serpentarium downtown can’t be beat for its variety of beautiful and not-so-beautiful reptiles.
  • Want to curl up with a book in a great book-reading and browsing atmosphere? Old Books on Front Street also can’t be beat. Nor can the friendly and helpful and lovely staff

Last but not least, our wide and welcoming porch at Camellia Cottage Bed and Breakfast in wonderful Wilmington’s downtown historic District can be the site of your rainy day picnic, snooze, wine tasting or _________ (fill n the blank.)

A Beautiful (and easy) Spring Brunch

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Here they come!  This
year’s strawbs, cucumbers, tomatoes are starting!  Can eggplant, corn and blueberries be far
behind??  It’s all so exciting!  Here is a recipe for a fresh start to Spring
and your morning.  The dreamy thing about
this French toast is that leaving it in the fridge overnight makes it creamy
and puffy and lets you have an extra cup of coffee in bed.  The crumb topping keeps it crunchy and it
doesn’t need any syrup.

Baked French Toast with Fruit

1 small loaf day-old French bread, challah or brioche
(sliced in 3/4 inch slices)

8 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1/4 cup flour

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 stick butter

2 cups strawberries or mixed fruits of your choice

1 cup chopped pecans

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Layer bread in the pan, fitting snugly.  In a bowl,
lightly beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Stir in the milk.  Pour over bread, turn bread slices over.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  This is really important to getting the puffy
French Toast in the morning and will make your life a whole lot simpler.  In the morning, pre-heat the oven to
375.  In a bowl, combine the flour, brown
sugar and cinnamon.  Cut the butter in
bits add to the flour mix and rub together to make a crumb topping.  Remove the pan from the fridge, carefully
turn the bread pieces over and scatter berries and pecans evenly over the
bread.  Bake 35-40 minutes till puffy and
golden.

 

 

 

A Beautiful (and easy) Spring Brunch Favorite

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Here they come!  This
year’s strawbs, cucumbers, tomatoes are starting!  Can eggplant, corn and blueberries be far
behind??  It’s all so exciting!  Here is a recipe for a fresh start to Spring
and your morning.  The dreamy thing about
this French toast is that leaving it in the fridge overnight makes it creamy
and puffy and lets you have an extra cup of coffee in bed.  The crumb topping keeps it crunchy and it
doesn’t need any syrup.

Baked French Toast with Fruit

1 small loaf day-old French bread, challah or brioche
(sliced in 3/4 inch slices)

8 eggs
1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1/4 cup flour

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 stick butter

2 cups strawberries or mixed fruits of your choice
1 cup chopped pecans

 

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Layer bread in the pan, fitting snugly.  In a bowl,
lightly beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Stir in the milk.  Pour over bread, turn bread slices over.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  This is really important to getting the puffy
French Toast in the morning and will make your life a whole lot simpler.  In the morning, pre-heat the oven to
375.  In a bowl, combine the flour, brown
sugar and cinnamon.  Cut the butter in
bits add to the flour mix and rub together to make a crumb topping.  Remove the pan from the fridge, carefully
turn the bread pieces over and scatter berries and pecans evenly over the
bread.  Bake 35-40 minutes till puffy and
golden.

 

 

 

Another Best of Wilmington Blog

Monday, April 8th, 2013

This is another Best of Wilmington NC blog. Once again,  I have been thinking about the best
experiences money can or can’t buy in downtown Wilmington,  so here goes.

Best Cobblestone Street — South Fourth Street between Dock
and Castle Streets

Best Church Bell Music — St. James Church at 3rd and Market

Best Reptile Hangout — The Serpentarium on Orange Street
(they’re expanding so beware all you herpetolophobes!)

Best View of the Cape Fear River — Level  5 Bar on Front Street

Best Hole-in-the-Wall Place to Have a Beer, Listen to Live Music
and/or Rent a Kayak — Ted’s Fun on the River on Castle Street

Best Wall of Hot Sauces — Fire & Spice Gourmet in the
Cotton Exchange

Best Beer Selection in a Dog-Friendly Establishment — The Satellite
on Greenfield Avenue

Best Place to Gather and Share “Best of Wilmington “Information
— Camellia Cottage Bed and Breakfast