“When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
Ever returning spring, trinity sure you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.
In the dooryard fronting an old farmhouse near the white-washed palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom riding delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle-and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break.”
A sprig or two I did indeed break. I couldn’t help it. I adore lilacs. A beautiful color. They are so very fleeting!!! I inhale the subtle perfume, a smile comes to my face & my blues disappear.
Alas, no Lilac bush in my backyard. I did have to roam a bit to find some. Just a bush with plenty of blooms to spare. I certainly don’t want to hog all of the Lilacs!
I have a small bunch now. I am happy.
It’s the little things that mean so much.
A friend’s Mom passed away recently. The news left me feeling sad for my friend & a bit helpless. Obviously we cannot take away the pain one feels when they lose someone dear, but we want to do whatever we can to alleviate the pain & sorrow.
Sending a card just wasn’t enough so I decided to bake brownies. Blondie Brownies to be exact. I love them as they are chewy, butterscotchy & laced with just enough chocolate from the chips. I am not a huge baker. Most of the time the precise nature of baking makes me anxious. This recipe however, from Martha Stewart was super easy & quick.
When the brownies were done, I let them cool, scored them so they would be easy to cut(okay, I may have cut off a corner to taste test), wrapped them up tightly in Saran Wrap & wrapped again in tin foil. Found the perfect box, wrote a note & express mailed them to his house.
As I was stirring the batter & adding the chips & walnuts I felt so calm. I love cooking for friends & loved ones. It is my way of showing I love & care for them. Frankly, I find cooking& baking to be very therapeutic. I found my sadness had lifted & I felt happy to do something for someone else.
“Those we love remain with us for live itself lives on, and cherished memories never fade because a loved one’s gone. Those we love can never be more than a thought apart. For as long as there is a memory, they’ll live on in our hearts.” Author Unknown……
It was a crisp, sunny Saturday. A tentative start to the weekend considering the week & Patriot’s Day, started violent and chaotic. I had also found out a friend’s Mom had just passed away, so was feeling sad.
Normally the girls & I spend much of Saturday cleaning, but it was Record Store Day & Emma begged to head out.
You know what?! Lets do this, the dishes can wait!
We made our way to Thayer Street,
Where the trees were coming into bloom. First stop for Record Store Day? ChrisChris & JenniferJennifer Daltry’s cool spot: What Cheer Antiques & Records. Emma was in record heaven & we enjoyed a live performance from The Feelies.
While Emma was picking out her records, Zoe & I went to The Brown Bookstore. She is a voracious reader & wanted to treat herself to a new book.
At this point we were starving and bordering on crabby( not me!!), so we drove over to our fave coffee spot on the West Side: White Electric Coffee. I love their veggie wraps with green goddess dressing accompanied by an iced coffee.
Emma informed us we had one more stop on this Record Store Day adventure: Olympic Records
A gem of a store at the end of Wickenden St. in the Fox Point neighborhood.
While Emma added more vinyl to her ever growing collection, Zoe played pinball & I soaked in the scenery,
We headed home feeling beat but happy.
I was proud of myself for relaxing & relishing these moments with my kids. It is so important to be present & enjoy time with my family. I am grateful I am healthy & have the time to spend.
Peace & love……..
On the blustery morning I needed a good pick me up!
I decided to brew up some New Harvest Coffee Cycle Drome. A mild, bright brew with a woodsy aroma. I brew in a French Press. I feel it brews a wonderfully smooth cup of coffee.
Now to figure out what to have for breakfast!
Right before (and right in time) the Holidays, the perfect shop opened up near my house. This lovely shop carries all sorts of treasures a foodie like me dreams of. Kitchen tools( including some Vintage finds), cooking books, resources & gifts galore.
Through blood, sweat, tears(well I hope not!) and good old yankee hutzpah; local gal Jan Faust Dane, (and her amazing supportive kids & hubby) brought Stock Culinary GoodsStock Culinary Goods to life!
Jan has an amazing eye. The items are curated just so. When I went in I wanted to buy my gifts & put them on display at home. However, I had to wrap them up and stick them under the tree. My Mom loved her Japanese kitchen tools calendar, Zoe covets her water bottle. I know that sounds funny (coming from an 8yr old) but the bottle is covered with a map of Paris & NYC and now she has Travelust!
I am sure you have some holiday gift cards burning a hole in your pocket. You’ll find the perfect goodie for your kitchen at STOCK.
Head over today for the Grand Opening celebration(4-6pm). There will be all kinds of local nibbles and an appearance by our Mayor for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Stock Culinary Goods is located at:
756 Hope St
Ever since I participated in the Whole 30Whole 30 I have had the oddest cravings. I cannot get enough of roasted veggies!!! It really is the best snack ever. Roasting veggies brings out a wonderful natural sweetness. I love all veggies, but my favorites roasted are: parsnips, carrots, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and beets!
As a matter of fact I got so hooked on them I would run into Whole FoodsWhole
Foods just to get a small container of roasted brussel sprouts from the prepared food section. Yes, some folks run in for a quick (all natural of course) candy bar, chip or soda snack. Me: roasted veg!
I’ve wizened up & have started to roast my own & save some $. You can too! Here is a quick & easy recipe for Roasted Beets:
Preheat the oven to 400deg.
Toss beets in oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper
Wrap each beet in foil. Place directly on oven rack
Roast till tender: about 60min
Open foil, cool 30 min(or until you can handle it! I waited about 6min. I was so hungry!)
Rub skins off, cut into wedges, coat with some fabulous olive oil like SeggianoSeggiano
Sprinkle with sea salt & pepper to taste.
The other day, after handing over more than a few pennies to my mechanic for replacing a steering part and adding more oil to my car, I came home to the realization that my kitchen was infested with moths. Now, those who know me and have seen my pantry know it was filled to the gills with goodies. Alas, the goodies had to be cleared away (8 bags!) and the shelves cleaned with bleach. By the time lunch rolled around the last thing I wanted to do was cook. Besides, the cupboards were bare!
I suggested to Emma that we walk around the corner to Chez Pascal’s newest delicious venture: The Wurst Window. Open for lunch Tuesday Saturday 11:30am-2:30pm. The window features house made sausages, cured meats, made into scrumptious sandwiches with homemade condiments to top it all off.
You can either sit outside or inside (where you can enjoy a nice cold brew) at a counter stool or table. We opted for inside to catch up a bit with Chef Matt Gennuso.
Emma ordered a Hot Links “BLT”, a spicy smoked bratwurst with bacon and aoli. I opted for a Rabbit & Dijon Sausage Sandwich w/charred green cabbage and spicy peach compote. Em & I opted to share our sandwiches so we each had a half. These were seriously delicious sandwiches. It was good Chef Matt was busy, I really did not want him to see me inhale my lunch! How unladylike!
Hot Links BLT and Rabbit Dijon Sausage
Wurst Window at Chez Pascal
It was a crazy busy Saturday. Cleaning & organizing the apartment and running my oldest here and there. It was the day of Classical High’s Spring Ball and my oldest was very excited! After stopping by her friend’s house, taking a million pictures and then dropping the teens off at the dance; my youngest daughter and I realized we were starving! By now it was 6:30pm and there was no way I was going to cook and dirty more dishes. While idling at Classical trying to decide what to do, the light went off in my head (it does that occasionally.) A FOOD TRUCK! There are so many I had yet to try. I am a huge fan of Hewtin’s Dogs Mobile Food Truck but had yet to try others.
We made our way to the Eastside near Thayer and George and found The Rocket Truck. I have been wanting to give them a try ever since they landed on the scene 6 months or so ago. I had read about their awesome burgers and chocolate pudding for a while now. So of course I was talking about it to Zoe the whole ride over. What 7-year-old doesn’t like chocolate pudding?!
We scored a great spot right behind the truck. The first thing I noticed was the chalkboard sign listing the specials. The next thing I noticed was a big sign alerting me to the fact that they were OUT of pudding……. Sorry Zoe. No worries. We settled on 2 Sliders for Zoe and a French Burger for me: Gruyère Cheese, Caramelized Onions & Aoli Sauce. We were so hungry Zoe begged me to let her eat in the car. No, no mess, let’s go home and eat in the comfort of our kitchen!
Well friends I would love to show you what we had, but as I said we were famished and pretty much could not wait to dig in! I was 3/4 of the way thru my burger before i realized I had not taken any pics of the food! Oh well. Zoe devoured her sliders with a huge grin on her face. Me? Divine absolutely divine. Juicy, flavorful, the onions melded with the cheese and the aoli just topped it off(I don’t even like mayo!!) brilliantly while the puffy bun held it all together. “What do you mean I only ordered 1?! ” I thought to myself.
Waiting at the Rocket Truck
If you’d like to know where the Rocket will be landing next or if you’d like them to cater your next event, you can follow them on Twitter: @rockettruck or give them a call: 860-689-5585 or even e-mail: rocketstreetfood.com
I am considering glossing over this day completely. I’m in the early stages of dating where you’re just not sure how it’s going to go. However, being a true romantic, I will hold out hope that my dinner tonight of homemade Bolognese Sauce with Rigatoni will pierce the heart of my date and make him swoon.
Whether you spend you Valentine’s evening at home with a comforting meal, with the love of your life at a great restaurant (Chez Pascal), alone with a good movie (“Love Actually”) or with your tried and true love over a cupcake, I hope it is wonderful!