June 16, 2011

A Day at the Museum and A Summer Luncheon

 Their main exhibit is the imagination of the children who play here and where touching and playing with the exhibits are encouraged. Where shall we begin? The Baby's Garden, Building Bridgetown, The Dig Pit, The Garage, Water Works or the Vroom Room? Wait, there's more! How about A Treehouse Adventure, A Twilight Trail or The Pet Hospital? I think we should not miss The Butterfly Bistro and Grasshopper Grocery and perhaps end our day with The Play It Again Theater! How amazing can this Children's Museum be for children to explore and let their imaginations soar? The Maine House grandchildren will have a day devoted to play at one of Portland's finest attractions.

A Maine House Mosaic

I know Luke and Noah will be going for Building Bridgetown, displaying a 17-foot-high, two-story house, where kids can panel a wall, connect plumbing fixtures, take measurements, work the “button and latch” board, and build with blocks on the custom-designed building table.

Next stop is The Dig Pit which is filled with rubber gravel plus plenty of buckets, shovels, dump trucks and a conveyor belt. They will actually get a full-body sensory experience as they wobble across uneven terrain and dig to China with a fleet of dump trucks.

Then it's on to the Vroom Room where we shall climb behind the wheel of a speeding ambulance, drive the city bus, or race toy cars and trains on the track.

Abbie will probably join in the fun at Water Works where they can crank, funnel, pour, squirt, measure, float! Water Works features a 12-foot high waterfall, a hand-cranked “conveyor belt” that carries water in whimsical recycled objects, a twirling bouquet of kitchen mops and an array of instruments that kids play by spraying the water cannon.

While the boys are in their "manly workshops", Miss Abbie can spend time in The Play It Again Theater where there are costumes and props, along with real stage lighting and sound effects – everything kids need to stage an impromptu skit or star performance!

After our Museum Day, we plan to head home,
enjoy the cocktail hour and
 fire up the grill!

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken
1/2 cup gold tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed fresh lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed fresh orange juice (2 oranges)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (1 pepper seeded)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 whole (6 split) boneless chicken breasts, skin on

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight.
Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. Cover tightly and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature

Estelle's Marinated Vegetable Salad
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup bottled cherry peppers, halved
3 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, sugar, and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cherry pepper halves, zucchini, carrots, and onion. Pour the dressing mixture over the vegetables, tossing gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Use a slotted spoon when serving.

Estelle's Summer Lemon Berry Trifle
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into thick slices
2 pint raspberries
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Lemon Cream
1 quart whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (11-ounce) jar lemon curd
1 store bought pound cake, sliced 1/2-inch thick

Place the berries into a large bowl and sprinkle with half of the lemon juice. Lightly toss.
Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and let cool; the mixture should thicken up as is cools.
In a clean bowl, whip the cream with the sugar and the vanilla to soft peaks. Put the lemon curd into a second bowl and stir in a little of the whipped cream to loosen it. Then fold in the rest of the cream.
To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake, breaking the slices into pieces that fit. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


1 comment:

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