Merry December everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate lots of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie. We had a very different Thanksgiving this year. Normally my parents house is bustling with people - so full that my dad has made a plywood extension for the already eight foot dining room table. With four kids and their three spouses, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins, my parents house used to get crazy. But this year everyone was spread about, doing different things. It was just Phil, my parents and myself for dinner - weird! It was kind of nice, we actually had conversations that started and ended - unlike those of holidays past where a conversation is started but quickly interrupted and never finished. We made very retro dishes this year (because my mother and I thought - hey! Why not? Its just us!) with baked sweet potato and whipped marshmallow topping, green bean casserole with fried shallots and sautéed mushrooms, port wine cranberry sauce and apple sausage stuffing. It was simple and classic American - but it was dang good!Read More
This is my first holiday season as a blogger, and I am adoring it already! There are countless amazing recipes and inspiring posts right now, all of them calling my name - enticing me to drop whatever it is that I am doing and skip into the kitchen to knead and sift, whisk and whip.
The flavors of this season always taste and smell of memories. They are spiced with crisp evenings, with fresh snow beginning to fall, of eggnog shared around a fire with friends laughing at jokes made a decade ago. This season is meant to be shared with the people you adore most in the world, with the loved ones you have gathered over the years - to tell them how thankful you are for them and for their unconditional love and friendship. Lets face it, the older we get, the more we appreciate that handful of people that have stuck around through thick and thin.Read More
Well, naturally it has been three weeks since my last post. I'm not quite sure how this happens. I ended October with so much enthusiasm for November. The cooking and baking and enjoying all of the chilly mornings with warm socks and hot cups of tea. I wanted to do a post a week - at least - full of Thanksgiving ideas and recipes and table settings…ah well, life happens anyway I suppose.Read More
Happy Halloweeeeeeeen! I wanted to share some accounts of the Salem Witch Trials with you on this spooky Friday afternoon. We live only two towns over from the old village of Salem - which today is a busy and bustling little city with many great restaurants, bakeries and cafes. The cobble stone streets are lined with shops targeted at the spooky history of the town. There are countless tarot card readers, fortune tellers and Wiccan shops. There are historical tours of the House of Seven Gables, ghost tours of the Old Burying Point cemetery and reenactments at the Salem Witch Museum. It can be easy, at times, to get caught up in the hocus-pocus of it all - and I must admit, I love the magic and mystery that "Hollywood" (and countless authors and story tellers) have given to this tale - but it is harder to believe that this actually happened. Below are some of the accounts of this eerie and utterly tragic time in our history...Read More
I am a pretty impulsive person, which seems to have its benefits and downfalls. In my teens and early twenties, it was okay to be so impulsive. I believe that is what you earlier years are for - figuring out who you are and where you want to be. For some of us, that takes a lot longer than others. I had no idea who I was for most of my twenties. Honestly, it wasn't until I met Phil that I really knew. That sounds so super cheesy, but he really did ground me.Read More
I am currently sitting on the floor of my kitchen, contemplating whether I want to get off my butt to get a glass of wine. I do that a lot - sit on the kitchen floor. I like to watch the oven while I am baking. Weird, I know, but I don't trust myself if I leave the room.
I am still in my clothes from the gym this morning. I have yet to shower, and my hair is up in a bandana. It has been one of those days. Life is going by in a blur. How is it already the middle (past the middle!) of October? How is my baby sister getting married in two days?! I don't know where the time goes, but I am thankful that this fall has taken its sweet time. The leaves started changing in August here this year, and they are still going strong - I'll take it. I know it won't last forever, but please - just last a few more weeks, okay? I still want to get a few more October recipes up here first.Read More
“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
- Humbert Wolfe
This time of year inspires gathering in us. It brings friends and families closer – huddled together for warmth and for comfort. We are eager for an excuse to bring a bottle of wine to a friends house and cozy up around a big table and share a meal. These days are rare. Family dinners hardly exist any more. Sadly, we often opt for frozen meals from Trader Joe's (not that those cant be delicious!) and plop our little behinds on the couch to watch American Horror Story. I am not saying that those are bad choices, because truthfully that is what I want most nights. However, I envy the generations of the past. The friends that had weekly bridge night, town hall dances and Saturday evening cocktail parties. I want to bring those traditions back in to our lives – even if it just a seasonal gathering to enjoy the company of the people you love, and talk around a shared meal.Read More
Phew, that was a long title.
Happy first day of October!
Here in Massachusetts it is rainy and cold and I love it! I'm a bit weird in that way. I look forward to the rainy days, I always have. That was the main reason California and I did not get along. I need those days of expected laziness. The days when its wet outside so its perfectly acceptable to stay in yoga pants all day watching Harry Potter marathons on ABC Family.Read More
Autumn is here and I couldn't be more excited to see her. Summer flew by in a hot and hazy frenzy. Summer brought us beautiful giant zucchinis, sweet and juicy watermelon, salty air and sandy toes – she was here too quickly, and left without looking back – but then, that is always Summer's way. She packed up her ladybug umbrella, her Coppertone, and her flip flops and headed to Florida.
In her place, her sister Autumn has picked up the pieces of Summer's crazy whirlwind vacation and calmed things down a bit. She tied back her long gray hair, put on her apron and started to tidy things up. Autumn washed the sandy bedding and packed it into the trunk labeled “Summer”, she brought out the heavy quilt and remade the bed. Summer's dresses were packed neatly away, and Autumn's wool sweaters and fuzzy slippers were brought out. She put away the lawn furniture and prepped the garden for Winter. She put a pot of tea on the stove, lit a fire in the hearth and started to change the leaves from bright green, to shades of marigold, bronze and ruby. The peaches and apricots that Summer left behind were turned into glossy jams, and Autumn neatly stacked each jar into the pantry.Read More
Holy heck, how has it been a month since my last post?!
These past four weeks have been a whirlwind. A blur of pink and white and gold, of champagne bottles being popped, rings being exchanged and gifts being given. A blur of kisses and white dresses, cakes and sweaty dance rooms floors. A frenzy of bridal showers, rosebud drink stirrers, and prenuptial bonfires. There has been a lot of love exchanged and proclaimed, in beautiful parties with many loved ones, and in small intimate ceremonies made for two...but those details will be shared in a different post. This post is about our very first vacation together, our adventure to Bar Harbor, Maine.Read More
The end of August is approaching. The days are slowly getting shorter and shorter, the nights are chilly and the mornings even colder. I am not complaining. I will take any excuse for warm socks and hot cereal with tea in the morning.Read More
Here is the first blog post about our home – hurrah! I originally started this blog with the hopes of sharing recipes, adventures, renovations, gardening, stories and projects. Right now, in the beginning stages, recipes are taking center stage because honestly it's what I love to do. However, I adore all of the other parts too, they just take more time to plan out. I want to share with you our daily lives and the (hopeful!) progress we make on our home. It's going to be an on-going project, because it's going to take us many years to get to where we want to be – but maybe we will be able to take you along with us the whole way? I hope so!Read More
I'm not gonna lie, I just cried over three failed batches of Sea Salted Caramel sauce. It was supposed to go on a chocolate bourbon cake I made for tonight. I stood there at the stove and cried like a four year old. Caramel sauce is so touchy! And I cry at pretty much everything, so we don't play well together.Read More
The Tale of Captain Fish Hook
My name is James (or once it was) the waves they like to tell me • I had a fishing ship, The Picaroon, that would sail the open the sea • We brought in fish by the tons, people would line the docks to get a look – It wasn't long before they began to call me “Captain Fish Hook” • I had a crew of eleven men, all weathered by the sun and salt • The fish were plentiful, the seas were calm, our demise was not their fault.Read More
So I promised that I would share my failures along with the successes I have in the kitchen. Today, I am living up to my word.
I had an "awesome" idea for a grilled pizza. Can we just talk about grilled pizza for a minute? I had never grilled pizza until last summer. I was a little bit intimidated. I was not confident I could flip it correctly and I was also pretty positive that it was going to burst into flames once I put it on the grill. It ended up flipping just fine (although I admit, it has become easier the more often I do it. I have mastered the pizza flip) and it did not turn into charcoal. The dough puffs up so nicely, the cheese melts just right, and the grill gives the pizza a bit of a smokey flavor.Read More
Summers lasted forever when we were kids. Maybe it was because there weren't any real responsibilities beyond the paper route, doing our daily chores, and husking corn before dinner. We didn't know what day it was, because, honestly - why did it matter? We were little, and when you're little, the days of the week don't have much significance.Read More
So I made this pie a few weeks back, when it was still cold and rainy and I felt the need to make something that at least tasted like spring.
Isn't spring supposed to pop? I seem to remember springs of the past just showing up on your door step one day, announcing with chirping birds, a warm sun, and beautiful flowers sprouting, practically singing in your face "Im heeeeeeeere!" Well, folks…spring has lost her voice this year.Read More
I woke up really early this morning. The sun was just beginning to rise, fog swirled above the marsh in our back yard. I took our dog out so she could do her morning buisness. She is an old girl, just turned sixteen in March. Sometimes she can't hold it all night- but last night she did, which is always a pleasant surprise.
She trotted halfway down the hill, and balanced on her weak back legs to squat. I don't know why she does that. She could walk five more steps and be in the flat yard, but she chooses to challenge her balance and brace herself on the steepest part of the small hill in our back yard. Maybe its just because she can't possibly hold it one more second, or maybe it's one of those weird “dog-routine” things she has developed. She used to kick her hind legs to “cover up” her business, doing a funny little kick-hop that always made me giggle at her, but she doesn't do that any more. Her legs are getting too weak. She looks at me instead, kind of appologetically, like “I know I am supposed to cover that up, but I just can't. Sorry...” and does her crooked run down the rest of the hill into the yard. Of course it isn't really a run, more of a meander. She meanders, usually sideways. She is a funny dog. A really good dog.Read More
Roasting a whole chicken was something that always seemed like a daunting task to me. In my early twenties, I really didn't know much about cooking at all. I had a few go-to recipes that would rotate through the weekly schedule but I never really expanded out of my comfort zone. I didn't realize how much I loved cooking until I took a job as a nanny for a family that was, quite honestly, loaded.
Their house was something straight out of a Jane Austen novel- nestled in an eighteen acre lot with blooming apple trees and a moss-covered stone bridge arching over a bubbling brook. There was a lawn crew there every few days to mow and tend to the gardens, clean the pool and cut fresh flowers. The house keepers breezed through on a weekly schedule, mopping, vacuuming and dusting every corner of the 5,000 square foot house. The beds were stripped and remade, the dirty sheets washed, dried and folded. The home was run like an estate, which I suppose it was.
The lady of the house did not work- there was no need. She spent her days popping in and out of the house, making trips to Whole Foods and farmers markets, spending time on the phone planning her next luncheon or evening dinner party. She had impeccable style- to watch her from afar, you would guess she grew up in Paris, or Los Angeles. She was effortlessly chic, always in great shape and wearing heels most 40-something-mothers wouldn't dare try on.Read More
There is something about spring that whispers excitement, and a bit of mystery. I think its in the air, in the wind. Its musky, dewey scent lingers in the sheets, in the drapes, in the freshly hung douvet. Its earthy, and warm, and familiar. Spring loves to coerce us, beconning us to throw open the windows and take in every gentle breath of wind. It plays in our hair, dances on our shoulders and kisses our cheeks. Everything is blooming, and it seems as though the world is covered in a dusting of pink petals. Spring convinces us to step out of the house, breath the crisp air, and maybe take our shoes off for the first time in seven months.
After such a long and bitter winter, it is hard not to get outside and take advantage of every sunny day- even if the temperatures are still in the mid to low fifties here in Massachusetts. This week the farmers markets have started up again (joy!) and the ever-popular Todd Farm Antiques Show and Flea Market has been bustling with people once more.Read More