Thursday, April 18, 2013

s'mores ice cream cake

s'mores ice cream cake

yield: serves 6-8
prep time: 6 hours (lots of inactive time!)
cook time: 20 minutes (to cook the fudge)
total time: 8 hours

3 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
4 cups toasted marshmallow, s'mores or even vanilla ice cream
1 (10 ounce) bag marshmallows, toasted

in a large bowl, combine melted butter and 2 1/2 cups graham crumbs, mixing well until moistened. press into an 8 or 9-inch springform pan, evening the crust out with the back of a spoon. place in the freezer to set.
while crust is setting, heat milk, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat. bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and stir continuously for 20 minutes until fudge sauce is thickened. remove and let cool for 15 minutes.
remove crust from freezer and immediately pour the cooled chocolate over top. place back in the freezer and freeze for 2 hours.
about 15 minutes before you remove the crust, take ice cream out of the fridge and allow to softened. once soft, press and spread on top of the fudge sauce - don't worry, it may mix together a bit! not a big deal. smooth ice cream top and place back in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or even over night.
before serving, toast marshmallows as desired. i placed mine on a baking sheet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, then removed them with a spatula. remove cake from freezer and sprinkle ice cream top with half of the remaining graham crumbs, then top with marshmallows. freeze for another hour or so, then sprinkle with remaining graham crumbs. serve!
prepare to get messy - the ice cream and fudge sauce will be slightly soft, but they are so delicious this way.


love sent, xo

sustainable happiness...

this has been a really sad week.  so many people have been affected by the horrific events in boston.
the continuous coverage of the bombings has left such a huge heaviness in my heart.  now, we hear of the horrible events in texas.  i know that we will all continue to move forward.   when tragedy strikes it does feel like the world should stop, but tomorrow the sun will rise on a new day.   the flowers are starting to push their way up through the ground welcoming spring and we are forced to go on.  we will never be the same but how we choose to live in this world and where we find meaning is up to us.  there is so much that is beyond our control. what we can control is ourselves.  we can try to remember we are all connected here, "there will be no lasting peace for me until there is peace for you, no matter who you are".  this is a reminder to live each day to the best we can. be nicer, be kinder, be open, be aware, reach out and touch others. it so easily could have been me, or you or anyone we know at the finish line, no one is exempt. but there have also been some amazing stories of courage and compassion and that is where i will direct my thoughts. "love and kindness toward each other will lead us to better days"

love sent, xo

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

how do you process the unimaginable?

when i despair, i remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. think of it--always.” 
 Mahatma Gandhi

i have to believe this today. 

love sent, xo

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

weekend lens.

it's sunday night and i can't believe the weekend is over.  big sigh.  they go so fast.  but i like to think i make
the most of them.  we had a great quick visit with m.  it's amazing how cold it still is and how much snow they still have there.  they won their game (by a lot) and they raised money for charity, so it was all good. i even tried out my new camera with the super zoom and the shots from the field came out really clear.  especially for a compact camera.  i was really pleased.

we hit one of my favorite antique shops on the way to keene and i reminded myself i should get there more often. i purchased a few things (of course) one which will be a gift and another which will go to someone as a random act of kindness.  something i am participating in which i think is a great idea.

on the way home we managed to hit my most favorite restaurant of all time.  which i am always grateful to
tom for letting me know about this place.  it is an unlikely restaurant in this town.  it has a boston vibe in a tiny little place.  love, love it.  the gentleman seated next to me at the bar was an oyster ninja.  so, after listening to him chat with the bartender  i realized he knew a lot.   i asked his opinion on his favorite ones.  normally i always go for the crunchy oysters with soy hijiki cream.  he directed me to a couple i would like.  i have never been a raw oyster fan.  this is an oyster bar and on all my previous visits i have never ventured to try the raw ones.  well after talking with him i decided to chance it.  i must say he was totally on.  i probably wont be ordering them on a monthly basis but i am so glad i tried them. they were actually really, really good. the taste is great it's the texture i have a little trouble with.

these were really good, but my preference is to eat fall off the bone ribs. 

sunday was left to packing, or attempting to.  i am not good at packing.   i start out strong and then get
frustrated and go do something else.  or worse yet, go shopping and buy more things to bring so i can
confuse myself even more.  i find myself going back and forth worrying about what to wear.  it's silly really.
it will get done tho,  i am sure of it.  and i was reminded that "oh by the way" if need be,  i can buy whatever i might need after i get there... yeah...   even better.

love sent, xo

garlicy shrimp in 4 minutes.

simple, simple, quick dinner.  you could serve this over pasta.   or as an appetizer (as i did)  served with toasted garlic bread.  just divine.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed away from skin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails in tact, ask for easy peels at your fish counter
  • 2 teaspoons grill or steak seasoning blend (recommended: montreal seasoning by mccormick) or coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, a handful


heat a large skillet over medium high heat. add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, garlic, red pepper flakes and shrimp. season with grill seasoning or salt and pepper and cook shrimp 3 minutes or until just pink. toss with lemon zest, juice and chopped parsley. remove shrimp to a serving platter leaving the garlic cloves in the pan.
i kept all of the garlic cloves in it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

have a fun saturday.

what are you up to this weekend?

we are headed off to keene to watch a charity lacrosse game.  i plan to be listening to this song on the ride.      maybe hitting the farmers market.

before we come home we will stop at my favorite restaurant  i love this place.  it is the perfect spot.

i really can't wait for this movie to come out on may 24th. watch the trailer      before midnight.

if you have not heard of this movie you should watch the two previous ones. 

before sunrise          sooo romantic

my favorite part of the movie is where they show the deserted scenes that they visited the night before. the truth is, the beauty of every moment is in that it is fleeting. even if you revisit a place where you once experienced the magic of love, all you have left is memories. you can never go back again. xxoo


  before sunset

have an awesome weekend. 

love sent, xo

Friday, April 12, 2013

happy friday.

                               i am so excited for the weekend.  i always say that, but i mean it.
                                                           {just like i always mean it}
 i love how life slows down and the responsibilities are lessened (somewhat).   it is such a good relief from the busy work week. every friday i like to plan something different. last friday we made homemade pizzas  with the sweetest little family on the planet. i just didn't get enough photos.  but these boys don't stop long enough to allow for photos.  and to think another one will join them in july -  we can hardly wait to meet him. 

love, love, love them.

and our pizzas were a big hit. 

 thanks for a wonderful evening.  and that wooden box you see in the photo (built by pat) is filled with  starbucks cappuccino bottles cleaned out and filled with flowers.  it was the sweetest centerpiece.

love sent, xo

paper thoughts

sometimes things can seem overwhelming when there are so many things on your "to do"  list.  usually this happens to me on sunday nights when i realize how much is going on in the coming week.  i know this is certainly a tried and true way to get everything more in control but i sometimes forget to do it.
pull out a notepad and start writing down all of the things that are on your mind either small or large for the coming week.  instantly it feels more manageable.  so next time it feels like your tasks are piling up, open your eyes. get a pen and paper, write it down. include  as much detail as you can. close your eyes. use all your senses.  feel it. breath it in.  take your time. 

 trust what you see will all get done.

get a second piece of paper to write down all the downers and why nots. burn that one. tape the first one to your bathroom mirror, the coffee maker, the mailbox–or fold it up and tuck it into your back pocket, your wallet,  keep the words close to your heart.  

if things don't get done,  don't give up, there is always next week.

love sent, xo

Thursday, April 11, 2013

food for thought...

i call my 91 year old mom about 4 times a week.  every time i call her she is either cooking something or getting ready to entertain someone.  when we visit i am always after her to slow down and take a break from serving everyone.   it's always a struggle to convince her to go out.   cooking to her is something that binds everyone together.  upon opening the door on a recent visit to her home i was transported back to another place in time, a place of comfort and security. i know where my love for cooking was fostered.  cooking is about so much more than just eating.  it's about feeding the soul and enriching the lives of the people you love.  this is my mother's life mission.  she gives a piece of herself to the people she loves most in this world by cooking for them. making people feel loved and welcome is most important to her. food can heal your heart with the memories it creates.  every meal you share with someone you love nourishes the soul.  cooking is a thread that binds so many generations together.  some of my fondest memories are the smells in  my mom's kitchen.  home is always where the heart is and mine is forever  with her. 
 thanks mom. xo

love sent, xo

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

what are you seeing these days?

on photos -

i take hundreds of them.  i capture countless photos of so many things. 
i snap whatever has caught my attention at the moment.
then later, the photos remind me of the beauty of a particular instant.
if we don’t see our lives in all the mundane moments and snippets of joy, we don’t really see it.
in capturing those moments i get to hold on to that beauty forever.

what you see is what you get.

love sent, xo

Saturday, April 6, 2013

recent finds...

my new season favorites.

my days are filled with work, play, eating, sleeping, repeat.  winter is having a hard time letting go but there are sure signs that spring is near. 

just wanted to share some things i am loving lately.

bobbi brown bronzing powder.  great for the sun tanned look without the sun  and this stuff lasts forever.

l'oreal paris extra-volume collagen mascara goes on great doesn't smudge.

clinique chubby stick moisturizing lip color balm, whole lotta honey is the perfect nude shade and gives a nice moist mouth without any sticky shine; i seriously love this stuff.

purex crystals  i'm a sucker for great smelling laundry and i've used the downy version of this product which cost more money. i think this purex product has more scent than the downy unstopables.  it's amazing. i highly recommend it if you like fresh smelling laundry and who doesn't.
izze sparkling juice  there is not excessive carbonation, but rather the light carbonation of the water tends to enhance the flavor of the juice itself.
homemade with love  “this is more than a cookbook.  it’s a love song; an ode to family and life on life’s terms, and the nourishing and healing power of food prepared with joy in the heart.”  

love sent, xo

Friday, April 5, 2013

butter sugar flour

this is seriously one of the best coffee cakes i have ever had.  if you have a chance this weekend you
should make it. you will love it.  it's almond scented and sprinkled with raspberries.  the beauty of this is,
you probably already have all the ingredients in your cupboard.

raspberry almond coffee cake.

for the streusel topping:
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter

for the cake:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup frozen raspberries

preheat oven to 350 F. grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

to make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine almonds, brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter. using your fingers, work the butter into the sugar and almonds until blended.

to make the cake: whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. add the 5 tablespoons of butter. using either your fingers, a pastry blender or two knives, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. don't allow the butter to melt or form a blended paste with the flour.

in another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and almond extract. pour over the flour mixture, and stir until just barely combined. add the frozen berries, and fold in until just mixed through.

spoon batter into prepared loaf pan. top with the streusel topping, distributing evenly. bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. cool on a rack for ten minutes.

love sent, xo


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


my "places to visit" list has always been a bit one-dimensional. any dream location for me consists of cobbled streets, architecture built prior to 1910 and a smattering of sweet cafes where i can spend endless hours drinking wine and watching the locals go about life.  this to me sounds like heaven. 
most of my vacations however have been sunny spots with beaches (which i do love) but ever since my first trip to europe i have always dreamed about going back.  now i will get the chance and i can not wait. 
counting the days...

love sent, xo

short quiz...

i have always thought of myself as an extrovert but after taking this quiz i am not so sure.

certainly i have a lot of characteristics of an extrovert but lots of the questions made me wonder
whether i truly am an extrovert.
are you an introvert or an extrovert?
find out here

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

you know who you are...

                                             you are moving forward. 

                                                  one step at a time.

"expect to have hope rekindled.
expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.
the dry seasons in life do not last.
the spring rains will come again."

it does get better. it never fully goes away. but, i can tell you with certainty... it gets much better. 
mostly I don't know how it happens.

evenutually it just passes.

 the changing weather will help.
spring signals many things, change -  and most importantly, a renewed faith of what might be.
believe that you are ballsy and adventurous and unyielding in your desire to just live. life. better. (which really means living. life. fuller).
take chances.

             you have to be more courageous than you think you have any right to be.
you have so much to offer. i wish you could see yourself as i see you.

                                                   soon we will be drinking wine on your new rooftop deck and laughing about old times.

  (we are totally doing this)

mostly, things will get better with the passing of time. and just seeing it through.

love you.

it was a very good day ...

we were so lucky to spend easter with our family.  it was a beautiful day filled with amazing food and lots of love.

specialty cake by braelyn