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A Healthy Start

It’s Sunday night and like most people, I am anticipating my upcoming week. Working out my kid’s calendar in my head and headed back to work tomorrow. Mostly I am feeling thankful to be healthy!
My Dad and Step-Mom arrived last Sunday to watch the Super Bowl, eat my Dad’s famous guacamole and help me post surgery.

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The surgery had been scheduled but a bad asthma flare up threatened to put all that on the back burner. Nothing a third dose of Prednisone won’t cure! It’s a strange powerful drug that takes care of a whole host of ailments. Not something I like to be on too long as my skin turns a bit yellow and I act a little more wacky than I already am!
Last Monday morning came and off we went to Women and Infants. I’m no stranger to this hospital and every visit the care is top notch.

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I even got to take these great dual treaded socks home with me!
After recovery, we headed home in the snow. But not before my Dad made a special stop at White Electric so I could get a post-op Mocha and Foremost Bakery Banana Choc Chip Muffin.

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My parents stayed till Tuesday and in that time proved how healing love and food can be.
My Dad made Chicken A la King,

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My Step-Mom brought her comforting Chicken and Rice Soup:

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And on Tuesday she made breakfast. She has the magic touch with scrambled eggs:

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I was sad to see them go, but the storm was headed our way and they needed to get back up to NH.
My Mom lives here in Providence so she headed over. She brought daffodils which were tightly closed one minute, then seemingly bloomed overnight:

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Mom’s turn to spoil me and take care of me with love and food!
For dinner she made a terrific dish of Panko encrusted chicken breats topped with a Dijon mustard sauce. Served with roasted potatoes and sautéed spinach and garlic. Delicious!

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For dessert?! Nothing but the best for this kid at heart: Jello!!

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The next day I was on my own. I was all set though. I was able to read the entire Sunday edition of the NYTimes
and enjoy my Mom’s famous red-lentil apricot soup.

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The rest of the week was spent quietly recovering. Taking it easy and doing a lot of tea drinking, reading and thinking.

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Not only am I thankful my lungs are clear and my body is feeling healthy,

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But I am so very thankful all 3 of my Parents came over to help. I guess no matter how old I get, I’ll always be their “little girl”. I cherish moments like this and know that I will help in turn if they ever need me. I thank them for showing their concern and taking care, in part by making food. A passion they have happily passed on to me.
So happy to be healthy! Spring can’t come soon enough.

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Treat of the Week

Pear Perfection

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The other day I was in between Doctor’s appts. I had just finished fasting so was mighty hungry and in need of caffeine. I stopped at my favorite coffee shop walked in and spied something new. A Pear Almond Danish. It was so beautiful, with it’s crust glistening in the case. I had to have it.
I am not one for sweet pastries and as of late have drastically reduced my carb intake. Exceptions had to be made, it was calling my name.
This was pastry perfection. First off it was not too sweet. The layers of pastry were slightly crunchy ( must be from a light sugar glaze before baking?!) and oh so light and puffy. There was a luscious coating of almond paste on the bottom layer. Ladies and gentlemen; the pear…..oh my. Perfectly ripe, not too soft and certainly not hard. Had a lovely toothsome texture. Heaven on a plate. Who bakes these lovelies? Foremost Baking Company
If you’d like one of your own ( I don’t recommend sharing; you’ll want this all to yourself) or you’d like to try there other pastries; head to White Electric or:
Small Point Cafe
Coffee Exchange
Bolt Coffee at The Dean Hotel
New Harvest Coffee and Spirits
And many other locations across Providence.
Enjoy! I best watch out, this may be a weekly indulgence……

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Saturday Selfie

So it’s official: my cough is just an asthma flare-up no virus! Of course that means a dose of prednisone, but whatever works. The vice grip on the lungs needs to go away.
I was feeling pretty good Saturday morning so I headed out & about.

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My first stop was Providence PerfumeProvidence Perfume. For my Birthday my Mom gave me a gift certificate to make my own perfume, so I decided to use it!

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Charna Ethier is the delightful owner of this gorgeous parfumerie. I spent 2 hours with Charna creating my very own perfume! Her passion for and knowledge of perfume is expansive. I could have listened to her wax poetic about scents for hours! My perfume; which has yet to be named( Dish, Spicy Dish?) is currently “aging” for a few days. I will tell you all about the fun creative process in my next post.
After creating my perfume, I said goodbye and left in search of coffee!

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Of course I ended up in my favorite coffee spot, White ElectricWhite Electric
When you find a good thing why change?! The coffee is great, the baristas are fabulous, there is always cool artwork on display, awesome music playing and the food is scrumptious. On this day a guy was in the window seat concentrating hard on his pen and ink drawing.

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Once I finished reading the Arts section of The Times, I headed out to the Providence Athenaeum. Providence Athenaeum

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It’s one of my favorite spots in town and did you know, one of the oldest libraries in the country? Edgar Allen Poe also enjoyed this very same library! I was not in search of his ghost but rather a fresh set of books to jump into and read.
I was pretty pooped after all that, but happy I ventured outside the comforts of my cozy kitchen. Checking out a new establishment and going to some of my faves, was a great way to spend some “me time” and boost my spirits!
Now I wonder what my special perfume will smell like?! Stay tuned….

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Taking Care

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While we in New England and elsewhere have been bundling up against this Polar Vortex, I have been fighting off a chest cold/lung infection. I am pretty sure it was brought on by stress and the bitter cold. It happens every year so I suppose I should be used to it.

I try to have a combination of traditional meds along with some all natural curatives on hand at all times. I drink lots of water and tea. While my tea is steeping, I stick my head over the cup and inhale and let the steam get up into my nasal passages. I always have my humidifiers going as well.
Soup does wonders! I made a quick and easy ramen today. I sauteed mushrooms, zucchini and thinly sliced top round beef. I then added that mixture to the all natural (no junk or MSG added)Ginger & Lemongrass Ramen Noodle pack I picked up at Whole Foods. Scrumptious!

My Doc had recently recommended a generic long-lasting Tussin (cough med). It does work, quiets me right down (must be the alcohol in it!). I am also armed with Tylenol Sinus. For all natural I use a sinus tea from Farmacy Herbs (The Finest Sinus) that I pick up from the Saturday Farmer’s Market. They also carry a Lung Lovers syrup I will try this season. Elderberry Syrup has helped stave off our colds every year.

To de-stress, I usually go to a yoga class, but I am sure my classmates don’t want to hear me hack up my lungs while attempting my 5th Sun Salutation in a row! Not exactly Namaste. My couch has been comfy. I have been reading and taking deep breaths and pushing the bad thoughts out after letting them in ever so briefly. I mean we do need to face them and acknowledge them don’t we? The latest  food and shelter magazines definitely have a calming effect.

 

 

I look forward to warmer temps & cheering on the Patriots this weekend while I try to avoid being prescribed Predisone(I have asthma and it is a necessary medicine sometimes) and antibiotics.
What kinds of remedies do you swear by when hit with a cold or general malaise in the dead of Winter?

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A Scrumptious Start

A couple of weeks ago, during the hustle bustle of the Holiday season, my Mom asked me to breakfast. She had been wanting me to try this tiny gem of restaurant called Kitchen.

What took me so long?! This place is fantastic!

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I started with a fine, smooth cup of coffee while trying to decide what to order. Pancakes, French Toast, Eggs, decisions, decisions. To be quite honest I don’t have much of a sweet tooth at breakfast so I opted for a traditional omelette with feta, mushrooms & spinach.

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This restaurant is aptly named. It’s as if we were guests in the owner’s kitchen (the best room in the house). Every dish is made to order & frankly seemed prepped to order! My omelette was divine. Thick sliced sautéed mushrooms, fresh spinach cooked just so, with just the right amount of feta melted & tasty with every bite.

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On the side came perfectly cooked delectable home fries and crunchy rye toast.
I now have 3 words for you: Bacon, Bacon and Bacon.

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In case you didn’t hear me the first time: Bacon! Pretty sure the chef has a big pig back there where he slices meat to order. This was such amazing bacon (worth the $$ for a side. Order it!), I had to make sure I wasn’t making some inappropriate facial expression while I was savoring every bite.
As we were enjoying our breakfasts my Mom told me how amazing their muffins are so we each ordered one to go.

I have drastically reduced my carb intake lately, but this amazing chocolate raspberry muffin made me forget all of my carb concerns. A friend was visiting so I grilled up the muffin the next day & we split it. It was so good, we found ourselves looking around my kitchen for another half! Scoffed that muffin up it was scrumptious. Chocolate & raspberry is an irresistible combination. The muffin was light and fluffy and not the least bit dense.
Everything was so delicious in this tiny restaurant, I cannot wait to go back.
Yes, you may have to wait for a table. We’re hearty New Englanders, just bundle up it’s so worth it.
Kitchen is located on the West Side of Providence, RI at 94 Carpenter St. Hours are W-F 7:30-1pm and Sat/Sun 7:30am-4pm. Cash Only!
Make a great start to your New Year and head to Kitchen.

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The little things

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“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.”
Walt Whitman

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.

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Sending Comfort

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……

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Grateful

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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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……..

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Morning!

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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!

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Stock…..up!

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.

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Stock Culinary Goods is located at:
756 Hope St
Providence RI
401-521-0101
Shop Local!
STOCK up!!!

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