winter clover market 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

One of my favorite indie craft shows in the Philadelphia area has added a new indoor venue to it's seasonal schedule. You can now shop the Clover Market in January! It was today at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia, so if you missed it you'll have to settle for putting the Ardmore spring shows on your calendar (April 14, May 19, & June9). In the meantime you can visit the vendors' online stores. And to whet your appetite, here's some eye candy from the day...
Jay McCarroll
Brush with fame! If you follow project Runway, this face is probably familiar to you. It's Jay McCarroll, the winner of PR's first season. He had a booth full of items made from printed fabrics from his line by Free Spirit. He gamely posed with gushing fans non-stop while my friends and I perused his wares.
wristlets by Janet McCarroll
His sister, Janet, stitched up these modern little wristlet purses.
Jay McCarrol printed skirts
The offbeat, cheerful point of view we got to know on the show 8 years ago is still evident in Jay's colorful work today. Nice guy.
One of my Etsy faves was there to day, too: {me}longings studio. Chanee Vijay designs and hand block prints her modern patterns using water-based inks on sustainably grown fibers.
The effect of the metallic printing is so beautiful in person. Earthy. Modern. Elegant.
Picked Vintage
The Picked Vintage booth was full of midcentury goodness. I love this vignette with the rope chair and the 1970's telephones. The owner, Jen, has such good taste, you should stop by their website for her latest finds.
French Vanilla
French Vanilla doesn't have a web store, but they can be found at shows like Brooklyn Flea as well as the Clover Market. Lots of cool accessories with patina.
French Vanilla
I fell in love with these kitchy oil portrait painting that proprietor Peg VanDyne bought at the estate sale of an art teacher. They remind me so much of the ones on the walls at Fishs Eddy in NYC, but those aren't for sale- these are. Contact her at if you're interested. I tried to convince her to at least get a Facebook page going to show off her finds...I hope she'll take my advice!
from Hook Lady
Is this not the most adorable doorknocker for your cottage in the woods? It's a vintage reproduction by Judy Spivak of Hook Lady. She carries a nice mix of vintage & vintage reproduction hooks, brackets, doorknobs, etc.
Bee Vintage Redux
Bee Vinage Redux had the sweetest jewelry recycled from vintage pieces. I'm loving the dogwood motif.
Bee Vintage Redux
Charming tote bags appliqued with vintage handkerchiefts. Lovely!
The food trucks did not disappoint. Why does it feel cooler to buy food from a truck? I don't know, but Yumtown had a menu featuring locally sourced, fresh ingredients. That's pretty cool.
A visit to the Clover Market is never complete without some cupcakes. There's my friend Karen, the cupcake connoiseur, splurging on a dozen from Sweet Box. She bravely included the bacon-maple flavor in the mix which is just a tad out of my comfort zone, but supposedly it's good!

Well that's it for my round-up. Keep shopping small!

healthy coconut shrimp recipe

Monday, January 7, 2013

Feeling overstuffed after the holidays and tired of winter already, I am consumed by two urges:
1- to start eating healthy again
2- to go on a tropical vacation
But who am I kidding? The vacation isn't happening, but we can pretend. Coconut shrimp should do the trick! I always order this if I see in on a restaurant menu, so I've had it prepared by many chefs, but it is always deep-fried. I've experimented at home and have had trouble with the deep frying method. The coconut tends to fall off and it just feels oily. I like more crunch and I don't like to see those paper towels saturated with oil. I invented a healthier version that is baked, very crunchy, and totally satisfying. I've tested this on my family and it just gets scarfed up in no time.

crunchy baked coconut shrimp

by Rebecca Harkin

    1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled (tails on or off, whatever you prefer)
    3/4 cup panko crumbs
    1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
    1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
    1 cup flour
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    2 eggs, beaten

Start by oven-toasting the coconut & panko crumbs separately, spread evenly on 2 cookie sheets at 350° for 5 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Stirring part way through might be necessary if browning is uneven. Mix toasted crumbs and coconut in a medium bowl with red pepper flakes. In another bowl, beat 2 eggs. In a third bowl, mix flour, salt, & pepper. Dredge the shrimp in flour mixture first, dip in the egg until coated, then roll in the coconut/breadcrumb mixture. Really cake it on. Place the shrimp on a cooling rack coated with cooking spray on top of a cookie sheet. Bake this way at 350° for 15 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque. Serve with mango chutney or cocktail sauce for dipping. Great at an entree with Caribbean rice & beans.

serves 2-4 as an entree, more as an appetizer
The shrimp don't need very long to cook, so pre-toasting the breading essential, otherwise the shrimp will look undercooked.
Toast them separately, though, and keep a close eye on it. It's easy to burn them.
The breading step is pretty standard.
Baking the shrimp on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet allows the heat to get around all sides for even cooking.

Turn on the reggae and serve as an appetizer with mango chuntey (and/or cocktail sauce) or make it an entree with Caribbean beans & rice and a salad.
photo by Dana Harkin
Have a lovely vacation!