Friday, May 18, 2018

Viva Las Vegas, Maryellen! Plus, the History of the Shrimp Cocktail

There’s more to Sin City than meets the eye!

A few weeks ago on Instagram, I posted a picture of Maryellen on a beach chair and asked everyone where they thought she might have traveled off to. I bet no on guessed Las Vegas! 

Las Vegas is a post World War II boomtown that really came into its own in the 1950’s and 60’s, partially thanks to the mob and nuclear weapons. I wasn’t ever particularly interested in visiting because I’m not one for gambling or the bombastic shows the city’s famous for, but when a research trip for work had me going there, I figured I’d make the most of it. 

As it turns out, Vegas is a really interesting city with some cool entertainment, food, crime, and nuclear history. There was so much to see and do that I actually feel like I need to go back to make sure I actually see it all! Since it’s not usually a city that’s well known for anything other than Elvis impersonators and slot machines, I thought it might be fun to show you all a little bit of Vegas beyond the Strip… and some of the Strip, too! 

Now, fair warning, the content of some of this post is a little more murder and mayhem than some past places we’ve visited because Vegas was basically founded by the Mob, and one of the museums we visited goes into that history pretty explicitly. There’s also going to be a little discussion of gambling – hard not to get into that when talking about Vegas! – so if any of that isn’t in your (or your kids’!) taste, feel free to skip this one. Let’s say it leans a little more PG than most of my previous posts.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Emily's Uncooked Chocolate Cake

No eggs, no milk, no bake, no fuss!

Happy VE Day, everyone! Did you know VE Day and Christmas are the only two holidays I’ve always done posts for on this blog? Hopefully now that I’m finished with grad school I can add a few others to the list of “I need to do this post every year.” 

That’s right, I’m officially done with grad school! It was quite the experience, and my friends and I were all kind of desperate for a way to let off some steam and take our minds off our final projects. I also wanted to dive back in with a weird, historical recipe for this VE Day, so I did some digging around and discovered one that’s easy to make and can be thrown together from ingredients that are probably already in your pantry! Win, win, right? Read on to find out more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Felicity Visits the Museum of the American Revolution

The new museum on the block!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Philadelphia for a conference, which was exciting because I got to present an article that I’ve been working super hard on for close to eight months by now, but also because there’s a new museum in town that I’d been dying to see. 

The Museum of the American Revolution opened in April 19, 2017, the anniversary of the battle of Lexington and Concord, and you might remember that it was being advertised at Revolutionary War Weekend at Mount Vernon. It’s located in the historic area of Philadelphia, not far from Independence Hall and other Revolutionary era sites. I’d only visited Philly once before, several years ago now, and I was excited to get back to the city and check out this cool new destination.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Lily's Wasabi Tuna Onigiri, Complete with Cherry Blossoms

And perfect for a picnic!

It’s cherry blossom season in Washington, which means hordes of tourists flocking to the Tidal Basin to view the gorgeous Japanese cherry trees lining the walk ways and monuments. Of course, trees all over the city are in bloom, but these are undoubtedly the most famous, and with good reason. They’re gorgeous, and people have been appreciating and documenting their beauty long before the invention of the selfie stick. 

But why does Washington boast such a beautiful variety of cherry blossoms? And who is this character you’re using to represent this post?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Luciana, the National Air and Space Museum, and Astronaut Ice Cream

Boldly going where few dolls have gone before!

Way back when I started collecting American Girl dolls again, I told myself I wasn’t going to collect the modern dolls. Several Girls of the Year later, and we all know how that turned out. 

This year, the Girl of the Year is Luciana Vega, a Chilean-American girl growing up in Virginia who dreams of being the first girl on Mars. To make that goal happen, she attends Space Camp, gets SCUBA certified, learns about teamwork, and presumably will have a few more adventures before the year’s out. Everyone – myself included – is very enchanted with her STEM focused collection and unique accessories, and while I had a couple issues with her first book, overall, she’s an extremely solid addition to the Girl of the Year line up. 

I was also excited about her introduction because there’s still an obvious Public History connection between Luciana and the museum world in DC: the National Air and Space Museum! I’ve visited there before with Molly (and plenty of times since then!), but our coverage was a lot more Air than Space. A few weeks ago, I headed down there to give you all a look at one of the most visited museums in the world from a doll’s eye view, complete with a discussion of one of the most popular items sold in any space themed museum gift shop.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Nellie's Irish Brown Bread

Homemade bread made easy!

If there’s a baked good to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s definitely traditional Irish soda bread. I shared my family’s favorite recipe for it with you guys a couple years ago if you’re looking for a tried and true favorite that’s really easy to make and guaranteed to hit the spot. It was also the first Nellie themed post on A Peek into the Pantry! 

But if you’re looking for something new and different, I think I’ve found something that will fit right in to any Irish themed festivities you might be planning that’s just as easy, and way tasty. Whether you’re eating it with a nice stew or a morning cup of tea, this bread is definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Nanea's Guava Bread

Just like Mrs. Mitchell used to make… more or less!

I really can’t gush enough about how hungry I was reading Nanea’s books. It seemed like her mother was always taking the time to make some delicious treat for special occasions, average weekend mornings, or to bring comfort to friends in need. One treat that came up over and over again was her guava bread, which the Mitchell family would often enjoy for breakfast. 

I’m going to say right off the bat that it didn’t live up to my expectations as a fruit bread. However, as a nut bread? I think we have a winner. Read on to find out what went in to making this Mitchell family favorite!