The Moonlight Ramble is one of the coolest things to do in St. Louis. It’s a late night bike ride from Downtown to Forest Park and back and the two times we have done it have been so much fun. Last year was the first time and we definitely learned from the experience. This time around, we snuck our way to the front of the pack instead of waiting at the rear and we got out quite a bit sooner than if we had waited. There were are lot of people behind us:
The route this year took us from the Solider’s Memorial, down Market, onto the Forest Park Parkway, into the park, over the new Tamm Avenue (gasp — a north/south avenue in STL!?!?!) Bridge, down Oakland Ave., back over the Hampton Bridge, through the park, through the Wash U. Medical School Campus, back onto the Parkway, and back to the Memorial. It was a little bit shorter than last year, but I must say that the ride was much easier — probably a factor of all that exercise we’ve been punishing ourselves with. Art Hill wasn’t nearly as bad as I remember, in fact, I’d go so far as to say that Art Hill was positively Greenbergian. We did stop by the Grand Basin to get a nice picture of the Art Museum though:
The one downside to this year’s event was the massive wreck at the junction between the Parkway and Market Street. We had to dismount and walk our bikes past the accident, which left a woman on the side of the road with serious road rash on her face. Thankfully, the paramedics were on the scene, but that area was dangerous last year as well. Perhaps the organizers will look at a different route to avoid the hilly, narrow, curvy part with numerous storm grates that are perfect for snagging front tires.
Also this year, the weather was fantastic. It was a little bit cooler than last year, but that just made the ride more comfortable. You couldn’t ask for a better scene, and the ability to explore the city by bike is perfect for a STL junkie like myself. A trip to Uncle Bill’s afterwards is always nice.
Okay, so this really isn’t a photo of Murphy but we didn’t have a camera on us at the time and he is a Wheaten Terrier so he looks just like this one. While we were at the Peimanns’ new home, helping move in, a woman drove by, asking if we had seen a dog running around. She told us that his name is Murphy, he’s a Wheaten Terrier and is super-friendly. He’ll come up to you when you call him. As soon as she drove off, I spied him the backyard and called him over. And yes, she is absolutely correct, he is such an excitable, sweet, adorable puppy! I just wanted to take him home. But, alas, my conscience said no and we called her to let her know that her puppy has been found. Another dog reunited with its owner. My goodness, we are good!
So, running total: 7 families reunited. If you lost your dog, who you gonna call? The Sherrons!
In honor of the Top Chef Masters finale (I know, it was last week, but we were doing something else that week), Supper Club decided to choose Top Chef Masters recipes to recreate.
Appetizer: Edamame Hummus. None of the Top Chef Masters made an appetizer that would be appetizing to all in the group so Kate branched out. This was a fantastic hummus, made with spinach and edamame. Before you turn your nose up at it because of the spinach, you really don’t taste it at all. The chili paste gives this dip a nice surprise at the end of your bite. If you’re looking to be adventurous, let me know, and I’ll send you the recipe. (I didn’t want to type it up on the blog, I’m lazy, you see.)
Entree: Art Smith’s Fried Chicken Two Ways. Okay, I now understand why he won this challenge with this dish. Both ways were delicious, tender and moist. But if I had to choose one, it would be the fried chicken leg. Maybe it had to do with me craving fried chicken or something like that. Note, though, if you make the fried chicken leg, HALVE the batter mixture and flour! It was ridiculous how much batter that recipe made. We threw most of it away.
Side Dish: Hubert Keller’s Potato Gratin with Tarragon. Oh, Hubert, you have not disappointed me. The potatoes were very rich and tender. No complaints about the dish except for the baking time: 1.5 hours! We didn’t eat until 8 pm that night. Good thing we had an appetizer.
What is it about craft fairs that brings out the weirdos to one location? Is it the crazy fried choices (fried Oreos, fried Twinkies, fried cookie dough), or the wares that people try and sell (no, I do not want to buy a rock), the live music, or is it just an excuse to go around riding your Harley with your biker babe hanging on to you? Whatever the reason is, the Festival of the Little Hills was chock full of people Saturday night. I saw quite a few mullets, tattoos, inappropriate clothing (honey, you’re WAY TOO FAT to be wearing that) in the first 10 minutes of being there, it was pretty incredible.
This was my first experience at this festival and there was so much to see. There were people selling jewelry, pottery, paintings, you name it, they probably were selling it. Now, most of this stuff isn’t my style, I’m not really a “country” girl so I bypassed most of the vendors. But we did end up purchasing a couple of pottery pieces and a mix for wine smoothies. I did fall in love with some wood furniture but refrained from purchasing because it was $2,000. Yeah, I’ll stick with my plastic Adirondacks, thank you. The festival was a sight to behold, so even if I didn’t buy too much, I definitely got my entertainment people-watching. Although not my scene, I did have a fabulous time with my girlfriends, walking around and enjoying the fabulous (but highly unusual) August weather.
Instead of having a traditional Supper Club, we decided to do something a little bit out of the ordinary: a cooking class at the Kitchen Conservatory. We went for a hands-on class because I think demonstration classes are a waste of money, you might as well save the $50 and watch the Food Network. So, of course, we chose the girliest class: cupcakes. Needless to say, Bob opted out of this field trip.
When we arrived, we put on our aprons and were ready to bake yummy cupcakes. I thought that we would all be able to participate in the making of cupcakes, well, that didn’t happen, initially. We all divided up and Katie, Kate and I ended up mixing cream cheese, canned cherries, eggs and sugar together. Really, this woman thought it would take three people to mix these things together while everyone else got to use stand mixers and bake cupcakes? Let’s say, I was about to demand my money back for this.
Fortunately, the class did pick up because it soon became more of a “jump in” opportunity whenever she asked for volunteers. Katie got to show off her muscles (BodyPump really paid off):
Kate whipped up whipped cream frosting all by hand:
Don’t think that Kim and I were slackers, we made frosting and separated eggs. So, we did get a bit hands-on and we all were able to decorate our own cupcakes.
The class ended up baking five cupcakes: lemon-filled poppyseed cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, vanilla butterfly cupcakes, chocolate black forest cupcakes, banana cupcakes with hazelnut-vanilla swirls, and strawberry-lime cupcakes. Don’t they all look fantastic? I would say that my favorites were the black forest, banana and lemon poppyseed cupcakes. I will have to try these recipes at home, if I ever get around to them.
In summary, my first experience with a cooking class was a bit disappointing. I thought that there were too many people in the class for all of us to really be able to dive in. I know how to bake and I didn’t really learn too many tips. But I was able to hang out with my friends and eat cupcakes. That’s something. Here are the rest of the pics (hey, idle hands breed the devil’s work).