Archive for the ‘Blast from the Past’ Category

In reruns: The Fabulous Housewives of Stonington

December 13, 2010

Remember when I used to do Food Fridays? Remember when I used to blog almost every day? Sigh. I’m hoping my brand new spanking blog and whole new look in 2011, designed by Chocolate Creative Design, will change my deplorable blogging habits.

In the meantime, I had so much fun reading Heidi ‘s guest post on shoes over at  Glitter, Glue and Fireflies (if you haven’t been following along in the gift guide, catch up now!) that I had to go back and watch the entire Fabulous Housewives slide show. Boy, that was fun. Boy, that was a lot of bronzer. I think next up the fabulous housewives are planning a 70s fondue evening, but I’m hoping a 50s housewife party, complete with retro aprons will be on the docket someday!

Food Friday: Fabulous Housewives and a Champagne Dinner for Eight


Who needs to be real housewives when you can be fabulous ones? A few brilliant and creative friends, (including Lucinda Wesson of creative design studio True & Wesson) recently engineered a send-off to a friend leaving our staid New England shores for sunny Florida. The send-off involved, among other things, a can of hairspray, seven pairs of false eyelashes, several pairs of tube socks and an awful lot of bronzer as we channeled a retro Florida fabulous groove in her honor.



Thankfully, the evening also involved a fantastic progressive meal (plus a stop in a local establishment before the main course to be SURE our outfits were appreciated). The menu? From “A Party with Fizz” in the June 2007 issue of Bon Appetite. The food? Fabulous.


The complete menu is available here, and it was just terrific, from the Shiitaki, Goat Cheese and Chanterelle Pizza appetizers,  the salad, the Roasted Shrimp in Champagne-Shallot Sauce, the delicious Orzo Risotto and the amazing Blue Lake Green Beans with Lemon and Thyme that we all raved about.


Menu cards and table design by Chocolate Creative Design/Lucinda Wesson, china and stemware from the extraordinary and lovely collection of the bronzest housewife of all, Heidi,  who bravely hosted this dinner.

I can only take responsibility for the Lemon Cream Tart, and hardly at that because (come closer, I’m going to whisper this) I didn’t actually make the crust, but used a premade one. I’ve never done this before, and I was really surprised at how okay it was. Or perhaps it was the champagnes paired with each course that dampened my ability to be critical of pie crust. In any case, the recipe is easy and so darn good, especially with a bit of Raspberry-Apricot Compote with Champagne and Lemon Verbena on the side. I’m just saying.

Lemon Cream Tart Crust

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large egg yolks


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For crust: Butter bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Blend flour, sugar, grated lemon peel, and salt in processor. Add butter; blend until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolks; blend until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Press onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Freeze crust until firm, about 15 minutes. DO AHEAD Crust can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep frozen. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake crust 5 minutes. Press up sides with back of fork if falling. Continue to bake until golden, pressing up sides as needed, about 18 minutes longer. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature. For filling: Whisk sugar, eggs, yolks, and lemon peel in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in lemon juice and wine. Cook over medium heat until custard thickens and just begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Cool to just warm, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Pour filling into crust. Bake tart until filling is set in center and begins to puff at edges, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.


If you have your own party, you’re going to need a little of this–SERIOUS hairspray and nearly illegal coral lipstick.

For the full, fabulous experience, enjoy our extremely fabulous slide show here.  And let me know if you are having your own fabulous housewives party, because I want to come!


Not possible

August 29, 2010

Will, age 13 months, August 2005

Seems like a big yellow school bus is coming down our street tomorrow morning with plans to pick up this little fella for the first time ever.


I say not possible.

And pass the tissues.

For those of you that know him, look how clean and new his thisy is!

Still sleeping with it right now, though it lacks a certain freshness these days.

All photos by Nicki Pardo.

Blame that fussy baby new year

January 1, 2009

Since life has conspired to keep me from finishing my now annual photo roundup of the year just past, I give you last year’s as a place holder.

You know, in case you had nothing else to do for a few minutes.

Click HERE.

I hope to finish it by tomorrow. Got any good song suggestions for me? I’m having a hard time topping the one I used last year.

Happy new year to you all!

Because I had nothing else to do

November 10, 2008

My husband and I discovered tonight, and this is one of those moments we’ll look back and laugh about someday when watching TV on your computer is commonplace, like next week.

“Honey! Come quick! I’m watching this here teevee on the computer–see, you press the button, like dat and you watch a teevee show!”

Before you fill my comment mailbox telling me this isn’t EXACTLY new, I KNOW you can download shows from iTunes or stream them on network sites and YouTube. But this is different. Clearly someone was listening last year when I wrote about our favorite reruns during last November’s writer’s strike.

Because now? I can watch a show I missed last week (SNL Election Special) or I can watch a show that I last watched in 1984 (Square Pegs) while sitting next to my sister in our flannel nightgowns, looking like this.


I can watch this and this. (I can’t figure out how to embed. But worth clicking on.)

If they ever get Moonlighting, I’m completely finished.

How about you? What are you going to watch on as soon as you finish commenting here?

Got to go, I have a date with Sonny Crockett.

(Only click if you want to hear the Miami Vice theme song. I do!)

Why I love Facebook

October 29, 2008

Because when I got to my desk this morning, I had a message saying a dear high school friend of mine had tagged me in a photo. And this is what I saw when I clicked through.

OMG the glasses. OMG.

Apparently I needed a major fashion intervention way back in 1989. And a harness to support the wingspan of my glasses.


Thanks for the laugh, Lucia!

I DARE the rest of you to find something else like this and post it. And leave it in the comments for me to see. Because NO ONE had glasses like this.

Edited to add:

P.S. Can you make out the person wearing “topsiders” on the background? The 80s left their mark on us all.

Theme Thursday: Multiple Multiples

October 2, 2008

This week’s Theme Thursday theme over at photographer Stacy’s is MULTIPLE and I just had to participate since I had a ready-made entry—these fantastic triplet boys, taken way back in March when they were just weeks old. Now, of course, these handsome fellas are so grown up they are practically ready to drive and go to the prom.

I think these are new shots to the H & W world—I held back on some until Mom & Dad had chosen for their birth announcement. And if they aren’t new? Who can’t gaze in wonder at newborn triplet boys again?

If anyone local knows of twins or trips on the way, let me know, I would LOVE the chance to get some practice working with multiples again. Double or triple the fun, for sure!

For more interpretations of multiple, click over to Theme Thursday.

This one’s for the ladies

September 3, 2008

Okay, I leave you for days on end with a picture of a foot, sorry about that. I even had a PR person pitching me on a product start by saying, “Ouch, I hope your foot feels better!” Definitely a sign that I left that post up too long.

I hope you’ll forgive me. Since we were last together we managed to sneak in a mini beach getaway and a family gathering seating 10 people at every meal. I’ve also picked more than 100 pounds of tomatoes since I last wrote, too, so expect more on that soon.

But today I’ve got a burning question for the ladies, because, despite being something of a PR hack myself, I just can’t really buy into or fully understand this product name.

Pro comfort? What exactly is pro comfort in a tampon? Because some of us are amateurs, and wouldn’t seek PRO LEVEL COMFORT?

Believe me, I’m sympathetic to the agency working on the old tampon account. I picture an old-style agency guy holding a cigar and barking from behind his massive mahogany desk as his dark-suited junior account reps quake in front of him, holding the storyboards (representing three all-nighters of work) that he has summarily dismissed in less than 30 seconds. Also? This scene is playing in black and white with the crackles of a reel-to-reel projector.

“Fred, Bob? Give me something fresh, something new, something unexpected in a tampon pitch. On my desk by COB today or you’re finished in this business!”

What Bob and Fred came up with in 1967.

But honestly, PRO-LEVEL COMFORT?

Would it be going out on a limb to suggest a man might be behind that line?

Because I’d don’t think I’d want to meet the woman who thinks that way.

Wayback Wednesday

May 14, 2008

My 15th college reunion is coming up this weekend, and as a class officer doing the behind-the-scenes preparations, I’ve had my head squarely stuck in the late 80s and early 90s. You know, listening to my (thanks, Jess!) “Eighties Child” mix tape now on iTunes, reminiscing on our class blog and adding to our class Flickr pool of RIDICULOUS photos. And it wasn’t even that long ago. Yeesh.

So, in as a place holder for of some of those embarrassing photos I promised you for your generous March of Dimes donations (and I WILL post those next week, really!), today I give you this brief peek of my college years.

In the interest of full disclosure, these photos are specifically chosen for some of the people who read this blog regularly AND happen to be in some of those photos. For the rest of you, enjoy and DON’T ACT LIKE YOU DIDN’T WEAR LAURA ASHLEY DRESSES, TOO.

Who needs a handbag when you have an attempt at cleavage? You do see what we have stuck in there, right? Oh, and like our matching curls and matching pearls? Off to a formal dance, I think this was 1991 or 1992. I also think I may have had a bubble skirt on the bottom of that dress.

Michelle, I hope you are reading today, this one is for you! 🙂 Nice decor, eh? NOT MINE

Our senior formal dance. The flowers are blinding me.

I had to find different people to pose with–fewer flowers.

Sorry for the double post, Sarah, but I love this photo!

Easter weekend, senior year of college. These visitors were trying to distract me from my organic chemistry woes. They succeeded—I haven’t used organic chemistry since.

Oh Rebecca, can’t wait to see you this weekend!

First one to find me gets a prize! (No fair if you were in the photo with me.)

Wish you were coming this weekend, Anne! And p.s., can we all please admire how skinny my arms used to be?

From our senior week White Glove Brunch. I wonder what they wear now that Laura Ashley is out of business!

Kind of hard to explain what we were doing, but it was a time-honored college tradition.

Hope you enjoyed the peek back at 1992-93–and be thankful you aren’t wearing a Laura Ashley dress, white pumps and nude panty hose today!

NOTE: I did NOT ever wear the white pumps and hose. Some people in that era did.


Pat yourself on the back, part 2

April 21, 2008

So as promised this morning, the photo.

And a brief tutorial to help you understand just how incredibly fabulous this photo is. Which may not have been obvious as first glance.

The March of Dimes WalkAmerica event, April 1984, suburban New York.

Celebrity walker? Local resident John Schneider of the Dukes of Hazzard.

That’s me in the glasses and disdainful look. And the purse.

1a. The Expression

Facial expression is fabulous example of bershon, perhaps earliest known example in my photo collection. Frequently accompanied with eye roll and no-paparazzi-please-hand-in-front-of-face-gesture. If my children ever do that to me, I will buy imported chocolates and fine wine with their college funds. My mother was a SAINT to put up with me.

Friend Joanne graces my mother with a pretty smile. No bershon for her.

1b. The Glasses

While I looked like an owl or giant bug in my apricot-colored frames, I was part of a HUGE trend sweeping St. Mary’s School. When I searched the albums for this photo, I noticed TWO OTHERS in frames just as big and bug-like as mine. HOT, you might say

2. The Purses

If I remember correctly, Le Sport Sacs were the required vessel for us in seventh or eighth grade which is, I think, when this photo was taken. Joanne’s was a sophisticated gray and navy pin check; mine was classic navy. I’m sure both of them had these in them:

And maybe one of these:

And definitely one of these, even though I was walking with a friend. She had hers, too.

We were both listening to either:

A) Madonna

B) The Police

C) Michael Jackson or possibly

D) Air Supply

3. The Other People in the Photo

Not related to me or my friend, yet in my photo album for all time. My whole photo album from childhood looks like this.

4. The Outfits

Matching ‘big shirts” and while I have no idea what shirt I was wearing underneath (though I can see it is turquoise and my collar is up), I can tell you I was wearing some AWESOME jogging shorts. Probably these:

Those people on my right and left? No relation. I don’t know them.

I can confirm that these were all taken in 1984, though.

That’s my baby sister Maggie, born in June 1984. That’s me, proudly displaying my WalkAmerica teeshirt. And jogging shorts.

* * *

You’ve done it!

The team has exceeded the goal of $2,000 raised for the March of Dimes, in large part thanks to H & W readers.

I can’t begin to tell you how amazing you are. I’ll give you a few days to recover from the visual assault above and then will post the other promised gems. You know, to REWARD you.