Friday, July 31, 2009

farewell july...

let's call it a week ! how much are you looking forward to the weekend? i sure am ... and a vacation to boot. heading to the beach for a few days for family time and to soak up some sun. maybe swoon a book or two. even looks like the weather will cooperate.... after the schizophrenic skies of july i am hoping august is calm..

ten things that make me terribly happy.

1. my children nearby
2. laughter
3. the smell of fresh cut grass….
4. a good book
5. a long hug
6. a note from a friend
7. a romantic dinner
8. the sound of sprinklers in the summer
9. fresh flowers in the kitchen
1o. you…

remember don't let the peices of this weekend scatter without taking the time to smell the flowers or in my case the ocean.......


petite watermelons

nothing spells summer like watermelon but if you are like me and don't like watermelon you can make this little treat which is adorable and yummy - pretty much calorie free too!

2 limes
1 small box of red Jello

mini chocolate chips

cut both limes in half lengthwise. scoop out all the fruit with a spoon. place the limes in a muffin tin to keep them from tipping over. make the box of jello according to the jiggler directions. carefully spoon jello into the limes halves. chill until almost firm. using a skewer push the mini chocolate chips into the jello for "watermelon seeds." chill until until firm, then cut into slices.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


but attention grabing

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
Il de France brie
raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a mini muffin pan.

Unroll the crescent dough. Separate into 4 rectangles by pinching 2 triangles together. Slightly flatten out rectangles. Cut each rectangle into fourths, making 16 smaller rectangles.

Arrange dough in the mini muffin pan, forming small cups. Cut brie into small pieces, about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon each. Put one piece of brie in each crescent cup. Top each with 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam.

Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until crescents are golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Serve warm

thank you lynnie !!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

it's monday already...

just when i feel that summer is slowly creeping to an end, when i feel the dreadful melancholy of winter i remember that august is still to come, with its languid days and burning sun. i am hoping for lots of sunny beach days in august - only time will tell. this weekend i enjoyed some

major beach time with two sweet little moms to be.

we shared lots of stories, got lots of hugs.

ate blueberry pancakes, shared walks on the beach, drank ice cold drinks,watched the fishermen pull in some mighty big fish, ate fried food from ceals, fireworks, phone calls where love was shared,watched the tour de france, painted with brand new water colors,
and then the painting of noses, reading of stories enjoyed the magic only a two year old can bring. hope your weekend was filled with love.

Friday, July 24, 2009

little letters...

dear friday...
i am so happy you are finally here.

dear jm
you are so brave i love you and i am praying for you.

dear weather,
please change - this is ridiculous.

dear scale in my bathroom,
stop playing tricks on me. i know you were lying this morning - i hope you were lying.

dear person that will be doing my spa treatment,
thanks for making me feel like no other.

dear sleep,
i need more of you.

dear christine,
you are so strong and have been so brave, you are such an inspiration.

dear andrew,
you have three more thank you notes to write.

dear pinky club,
i miss you.

dear todd,
you are an angel.

and kisses

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

it's mid week crazies..

but this week is flying by. i think i should have a very simple casual dinner party and set the table like this. would you like to come? isn't this beautiful?

and I will serve grilled pork chops with scallion ginger salad and sweet potato fries
serves 4

3 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large knob of ginger, minced (5 tbl)
zest and juice of 1 orange
5 tbl olive oil
4 bone in, center cut pork chops

whisk everything except the chops together in a shallow dish. season the pork with salt and pepper and place in dish, turning to coat. let marinate in the fridge for an hour or more. grill on medium heat for 7-10 minutes, depending on the thickness. top with scallion, ginger salad.

scallion, ginger salad
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
4 shallots, chopped,
1 large knob of ginger, julienned

saute scallions, shallots and ginger in olive oil on medium heat until soft, 5-7 minutes.

this can be made with any cut of pork or chicken but grilling or roasting with the bone in imparts so much flavor

sweet potato fries
3-4 large sweet potatoes
zest of 2 limes
good sea salt

cut sweet potatoes into wedges. toss with olive oil and sea salt. grill on medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side or until soft.
remove from heat and while still hot, toss with lime zest and a little more sea salt. serve with some lime wedges on the side.

serves 4

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

heaven on earth...

this little guy was baptised on sunday. he belongs to one of my favorite little familes. we asked his brother if we could keep him and he replied nope- he's ours!!
can't say i blame you cam.

the proud godfather....

the family....

another ordinary miracle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

michael + aprile = magic

congratulations! on your engagement. we are so happy for you. i smile for you for what lies ahead. wish i could press pause for you. enjoy every moment of planning the journey. sending lots of love and a marathon of good wishes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


was beautiful as always....

Friday, July 17, 2009

it's finally hot and sunny....

and it's friday everyone loves fridays… traffic is light .. the mood is light.. everyone is looking forward to the weekend. my hair doesn’t like this weather but i do. we are heading up to vermont for a quick overnight to retrieve m from her little visit to by far, her most favorite place on earth. for several years the owners of this farm have hosted a camp. sort of a boot camp (if i may) - where kids come and do chores and follow rules, and get up early, manage the garbage bowl, watch their manners and pray before meals. a place you say what kid wants to do that? and they crave it, they look forward to every second they are there, they miss it when they leave, and they can't wait to return. this most recent visit was a mini reunion before the oldest of this group heads off to college (which in itself is so hard to believe) i can just imagine the stories m will have when we greet her later today. we all have incredible memories from this farm and now m has piled up a catalog of her own. it’s a place where you can listen to the silence, sleep under the stars, watch the firefly's dance around for hours, a place where the grass seems greener, the air is cleaner, - you can leave your worries behind. so much has transpired here over the years. there are layers upon layers of meaning - for generations we have pondered all the topics of modern day living.
down at the sugar house where so many years of maple syruping have been accomplished inside that small structure so many meals were consumed while p stayed up all hours of the night making that “gold”. i can still taste the maple syrup as it spilled right out of the spout onto the ice cream we just made by kicking a can around for hours.
i never get tired of reading all the love and caring thoughts that are written all over the wooden walls inside that shack.
where i ask can you get memories like this? the farm is changing hands, but luckily it's just moving on to a new generation where many new memories will be constructed.
while there may not be cows and pigs roaming around - all the memories that live there will remain.
very soon… inside that farmhouse a brand new little baby will be chirping from her caged crib down the hall. she will hear all the stories of days gone by .. and she will become part of the next generation of campers because you just know the torch has been passed and this camp can never end.

some previous residents of the farm.

Monday, July 13, 2009

busy busy weekend...

wow it's hard to believe it's already monday. last friday seems forever ago, not sure what makes it seem that way :) weekend was really nice had a great visit with - as j calls it "my oldest friend" she and her hubby bought a beautiful new place on the cape which is in the perfect location. so, so relaxing. the weather was the best its been so far this summer. we had lots of catching up to do, soul searching, lots of laughs, great food....long walks on the beach, lots of hidden trails all around her house that make for total relaxation. this beach is gorgeous, the water looks like that on an island.

the view on the boardwalk over the marsh was so beautiful.

this guy wasn't kidding when he said these quahogs were the best on the cape. if you go to yarmouthport don't miss him. he has a story to tell that is captivating.
one of my favorite shots....
this guy had the bluest eyes.

i could hang out all day here drinking coffee.

the color of the hydrangeas on the cape is amazing

thanks jan !!

and of course the food.....


so ... i have never been to vegas and as a matter of fact it really wouldn't matter much if i ever got to vegas. although people do say that the shows are amazing and the people watching is incredible. while checking out some blog sites i came across these and i decided this could actually make me want to take a trip to vegas or at least try to recreate these babies... there must be somewhere around here where you can buy something like this...

vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting dipped in butterscotch ganache.

double chocolate and double chocolate with banana buttercream and walnut with chocolate ganache - are you kidding me???
chocolate chip cupcake with buttercream and mini chocolate chip cookie

Friday, July 10, 2009


so this morning when i was about to leave for work i noticed this taped to the door.

and then inside was this ...

is this not the sweetest? i have to say it made my day...

happy friday...

and the sun is shining yeah!!! heading off to the cape to see my dear childhood friend janet and her hubby. looking forward to hugs and sunshine. maybe a cocktail or two. these caught my eye and although I certainly think the homemade ice cream would be best you could purchase strawberry ice cream and waffle cookies serve these in a snap and be sooooo martha stewartish....

8 egg yolks
1 1.3 cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups pitted strawberries, diced
2 cups cream
waffle cookies for serving

Place eggs and sugar in a saucepan.
Mix well.
Add milk and heat up.
Don’t let it boil.
Stir the mixture until it thickens.
This takes about 10 minutes.
Add strawberries and cream.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze.
Serve between two waffle cookies.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

fresh dessert..

simple summer dessert
grilled peaches with cardamom sugar crust

4 semi ripe peaches cut in half and pit removed
6 tbl turbinado (raw brown) sugar my favorite kind
1 tbl ground cardamom

Toss the sugar and cardamom together in a bowl. Dip the peaches, flesh side down, into the sugar. Place on a medium/high heat grill and let them alone for approximately 7 minutes. You want the sugar to caramelize on the peaches and create a crust.
these are really good on their own but if you want to impress serve them with some good sorbet maybe raspberry.
Serves 4.

and in the morning you will be glad you made the effort...

blueberry cornmeal PANCAKES!

you'll need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar, plus two tsp for blueberries
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups blueberries
Extra butter for coating griddle
maple syrup
(makes about 16)
• whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
• whisk together buttermilk, milk, butter and egg in medium bowl.
• add milk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk together just until combined.
Toss blueberries in a small bowl with 2 tsp sugar.
Heat a griddle over medium heat. Take extra butter and run over surface of griddle. Repeat as necessary throughout process.
Pour batter on griddle 1/4 cup at a time.
Add some of the sugared blueberries to each pancake.
Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

and to finish off the weekend...

what better way than a brick oven pizza party. there was family time. homework time. cigar smoking. fashion shows. lots of laughs. lots of wine and lots of fun.


and because there is lots of summer remaining - something for the grill...
steaks, burgers, chicken, hot dogs - you name it and it's thrown on the grill. food from the grill is always amazing, but it is easy to get stuck in a rut. i have an easy way to spice up one of my favorite grilled treats, corn on the cob, with different kinds of compound butter.

compound butter may sound a bit scary, but it is so easy that it can hardly be considered cooking. but it will add that extra zing that you're looking for. check out some of my faves below.

basil butter
(also great on grilled steak, chicken,white fish, and potatoes)
2 sticks room temp unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped basil
Kosher Salt and Pepper (to taste)

garlic butter
(also amazing on steak, grilled hamburger buns, potatoes)
1 stick room temp unsalted butter
4 cloves finely minced garlic
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
1 T lemon juice
Kosher Salt (to taste)

savory chive butter
(try on grilled poultry or fish and cooked veggies)
2 sticks of room temp unsalted butter
2 T fresh chives (or more if you like)
8 drops of Worcestershire
Kosher Salt (to taste)

mexican herb butter
1 stick of room temp unsalted butter
2 T minced fresh cilantro
2 t ground cumin
1 t fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
**kick this one up a notch by topping the hot buttered corn on the cob with grated cotija cheese.

for all of the above recipes, combine ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. serving:
transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until needed (you may want to bring it out about 10 - 20 mintues before to soften slightly).

and another food item you might save for your summer dining..

2 pounds green beans
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. add the green beans and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. drain and rinse the green beans under cold water until they are chilled; pat the green beans dry.
in a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar. gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the green beans, tarragon, chives and thyme and toss to coat. add the tomatoes, toss gently and serve.
make ahead
the salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

Monday, July 6, 2009

snapshot of the 4th...

it was a great day despite the red sox loss. the sun was finally out and the crowd was amazing. the perfect place to be on july 4th.

lots of fun... as always, sandy and david were such great hosts serving up a great barbecue to an entire clan of people that they had no idea were coming until the night before. you guys are the best. dave your summer seabreeze is a hit.