Sunday Summary

Ah Sunday’s, I’d like to think its all about heading to the beach and reading, swimming, napping. In my reality, this day of respite is usually spent shopping for groceries and prepping for the week. Better make it good then!

  
First: coffee on the slanted porch in my favorite cup. 

After being properly caffeinated I made my way into the kitchen and brewed some tea. Actually, I brewed the tea then iced it for the week. I love the Mango Black Tea from Trader Joe’s. It reminds me of a fabulous passion fruit iced tea I served when working at The Star Cafe in Montrose, CA. We went through that by the gallon! The fruitiness is very refreshing. 

  
I sweetened it slightly with some Cardamom Clove simple syrup made by the Royal Rose company. They produce a wonderful variety of small batch, organic syrups in Maine. I think this one will give it a bit of spice. Fruit and spice, that’s nice! 

Zoe is back home with me this week. We are missing her big Sister who left for college last Tuesday. I thought I’d cheer her up by making her favorite sandwich: BLT. Our lettuce and the gorgeous tomatoes came from 4 Town Farm in Seekonk, MA and the bread is a country loaf from Seven Stars Bakery on Hope St. in Providence, RI. 

  
   
 So simple so good. We also could not resist the farm’s sweet corn. 

  
I was smart and prepped my lunch for Monday while I prepared dinner. No rushing around in the morning! 

It’s going to be a scorcher tomorrow. Stay cool my friends. 

  

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Pizza on the Porch

Friday night is pizza night here in the Huntley household. Every week the girls and I look at our schedules, the weather, think about how we feel and plan some pizzas around that! Last Friday was extra special as our dear friend Debbie was visiting from Columbus, OH(GO BUCKS!). I decided to invite my Mom Lucia and my good friend Pernille over to join us.

I don’t go too crazy when I make pizza. Friday’s can be tiring. It’s the end of a hectic work week and soon enough; school! Let’s make it easy on ourselves. My Mom brought beer, Debbie brought wine and Pernille made a great green bean salad with toasted walnuts and a Dijon dressing.  

 
I don’t make my own dough. Balls of dough are readily available at my local grocery store for about $1.30 a ball. I decided to make 3 pizzas. 

One was kid friendly cheese. My friend Amy got me hooked on this awesome pizza sauce: Don Pepino’s. I also can’t resist the can. Great label!  

 
We nibbled on the cheese pizza while waiting for the others.  

 
We are big BBQ Chicken pizza fans here so I thought it was an obvious choice. Instead of my usual Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Sauce, I used this spicy sauce I had in my pantry: Leonardo’s Chipotle Pizza Sauce from Vermont.  

 
This sauce was spicy! With a really nice smoky depth of flavor. I topped the sauce with a mixture of shredded cheddar and mozzarella, then shredded chicken and red onion. I went easy on the sauce as I didn’t want to overwhelm with spiciness but the heat became subdued as it cooked. Next time I’ll add more.  

 
My last and final pizza was the favorite of the night. Pesto pizza with my Mom’s homemade pesto, fresh mozzarella cheese and homegrown tomatoes. Fabulous! 

 
It was so good We ate it all up and I forgot to take a picture of the final product! 

Tomorrow I will be out and about so no “pizza on the porch”. We’ll be back at it next Friday. Who knows what combo we might drum up. 

Mangia! 

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Delightful Day with Daffodils 

Been thinking recently about this past Mother’s Day and how special it was. My oldest daughter graduates soon from high school and will head to college in Philly this Fall. Time with both of my daughters together grows more precious.

The girls put their heads together and agreed on the perfect day trip. We were Bristol, RI bound. It was a gorgeous Sunday and we were hungry.

Our first stop was The Beehive Cafe, a charming bakery, cafe just up the street from the water. Zoe had scrumptious looking pancakes. I had eggs on a black bean cake with fabulous fresh salsa.

Once fortified, we headed down the road to our main destination: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum.

It was Daffodil Days so we spent the majority of our visit outside touring the beautiful gardens.

There were so many gorgeous daffodils! I was wishing I had planted a multitude of bulbs around my apartment building this past Fall.

The girls seemed to be getting along and enjoying themselves. Pretty much all a Mom could ask for.

  

We tip-toed thru the tulips (not really…we went around), and found a really cool butterfly house.

  

The girls were apparently tuckered out and found a nice nap spot in front of the mini bamboo forest.

I left them to go off exploring and found some beehives.

  

There was so much to see. I can’t wait to go back. I may even pack a picnic.

  

Clearly the girls loved it too. I found them lounging on the grass with a spectacular water view in the background.

(As lovely as it is to lounge on the grass, do check yourself for ticks. Emma pulled off one from Zoe’s ankle)

After all the strolling, I needed coffee! We ventured downtown to Angelina’s.

They specialize in a “pour-over” brewing method which really brings out the nuances of the micro roasted beans they carry.

While I was (patiently) waiting for the coffee to brew, I had a look around.

The girls found a cozy spot to sit in. Zoe added to the community sketch book and Emma picked out a record to play.

  

She chose well. This was the very first album I ever purchased(I was in the 5th grade!). A classic to celebrate this awesome Spring day.

My coffee was brewed to perfection.

Side 1 was complete as was Zoe’s sketch. Time to head home and make dinner for MY Mom!

Thank you girls for a wonderful day and thank you Mom for everything you’ve done for me.

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Boston Bound

Last week, on a beautiful sunny day, I hopped a train to Boston. Since I’m job hunting I’ve been on a super strict budget so “hopping a train” was not in my budget, but this recently scheduled meeting was important so off I went.

I took the train from Attleboro. So easy! Pay a small fee for parking(don’t forget the number of your spot!!), put the money in the slot and you are set for the day. Till 11am, you can purchase your ticket (cash only) at the coffee counter. It was busy for mid morning. I spied many men in Red Sox jerseys. After an excited little boy started talking to me, I realized there was a home game today. He was thrilled to be with his Dad headed to his first Red Sox baseball game! Full confession friends: I have never been to see a game at Fenway Park! Ridiculous. I need to change that.

The ride was relaxing. I caught up on some reading and stared out the window. My meeting spot was near Clarendon St. So I got off at the Back Bay stop. I quickly arrived in Copley Place to see workers setting up for the Boston Marathon


To prepare for my meeting, I went to one of my  favorite places in the city; the Boston Public Library. An architectural gem, it is a peaceful oasis from the hustle and bustle. Just look at their beautiful courtyard.


 All prepped and ready to go, I headed to my meeting. Since shopping was not on the agenda, I spent much of my time looking up and around at the shapes and styles of the buildings. Lucky to have such a lovely day to do so.



Once my meeting was finished I decided to take a stroll through the Boston Common. Clearly not the only one to do so! I was joined by joggers, lunch-breakers, old friends catching up, babies in strollers and more.


 No stroll through the Common is complete without a visit to see Mama and her babies. The famous, “Make Way for Ducklings” statue based on the well loved Children’s book by Robert McCloskey.


Mrs. Mallard and her brood had on such fetching Springtime bonnets!


All of this strolling has made me famished. I almost sped down Beacon Street to eat at the newest cafe/bakery; Tatte Bakery.


Tzurit Or is the celebrated baker/owner of Tatte. I have such admiration for her! The Beacon Hill location is the fifth Tatte to open in just over three years. Bright and inviting, this location did not disappoint.

 The hard part was deciding what to get. Not an easy task when so much goodness is in front of you.

 I was so happy with my choice: Tomato Tatin with a side salad. Scrumptious!!

 I enjoyed my lunch, thought about my day and watched cars and people go by.

 I even managed to fit in a tiny cookie.

 Back in the day I attended Emerson College. I used to love wandering around Beacon Street looking at the buildings and architecture. This sunny Spring day brought me back.


 The house above was ready for the marathon. Sneakers as flower pots! Love it. Even the neighborhood doors were full of character.

 I made my way back up toward the train station. Passed the beautiful Trinity Church on my way. I was not able to go inside but it is a thriving Episcopal church with hours open to the public.



Across the street I noticed a really cool sculpture. It included a flower pot and hammock! After all that walking I was so tempted to hop in! However, it was very windy and I had a flowy skirt on so I opted out. Too bad!


One more pit-stop before I take the train home.


Joanne Chang’s fabulous Flour Bakery. The sticky buns are amazing but I stuck with a “light” afternoon pick me up of chocolate chip cookie and iced coffee.


The cookie was divine. Crunchy, chewy with a big chunk of bittersweet chocolate nestled inside.

Boston you never disappoint. I can’t wait for my next adventure in Beantown.

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Feeling the Spirit Under The Moon

Tour tag by Mr. James Maple

Tour tag by Mr. James Maple

My oldest daughter came to me one day last year and told me we needed to head out to a friend’s recording studio to see this awesome band she started listening to: Spirit Family Reunion. I was up for a road trip and to listen to some good music so we filled our cooler with some goodies and hit the road.

Fab recording studio in CT.

Fab recording studio in CT.

Nestled in the woods of charming Chester, CT, Dirt Floor is an analog based recording studio that evokes the feel and sound of the Laurel Canyon days. We arrived a bit early, leaving us plenty of time to eat our sandwiches and have a look around. Eric Michael Lichter the Owner/Operator/(passionate) Producer, was kind enough to give us a tour of his awesome studio.

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We were so inspired being in the studio. You can feel the musical energy floating through the rooms.

Eric informed us that the band would be delayed. They were headed down from Portland Maine where they had played a concert the night before, but their van broke down! One of the Dirt Floor folks was kind enough to head up there and pick them up. Emma and I killed some time by the fire (oh yes, did I mention the concert was to be outside by the edge of the woods?!)

Cozy fire

Cozy fire

Seeing as the band would be delayed, Eric and his friend James Maple performed for us! A great way to pass the time. These two are so talented.

Eric Lichter

Eric Lichter

James Maple

James Maple and his best dog Holden.

Before too long the band arrived!!

Spirit set up

Spirit set up

After some snacks and beverages to gain some lost energy, the band prepped for a rollicking back yard performance.

The minute they started, I was so happy we headed to the woods of CT for this concert! Spirit’s music is true Americana, Folk and Bluegrass with tinges of Gospel. Folks, this is ‘foot-stomping, put your hands in the air can I get an AMEN?!’ music.

Maggie, Ken, Nick, Stephen and Pete

Maggie, Ken, Nick, Stephen and Pete

That night, under the moon, the band played from their fantastic 2012 album, “No Separation“. I love the album in its entirety, but my fave songs would have to be; “I Am Following the Sound”, I Want to Be Relieved” and the gospel tinged, “No Separation”.

Friends, you are so lucky. Not only does Spirit have a new album, “Hands Together” due out April 14th, but they are also on tour promoting the album.  I’m thrilled as they will be in Providence this Thursday April 9th. Performing at the newly renovated Columbus Theatre. If you can’t make it to the Providence performance, they will be in Cambridge, MA the next evening (April 10th) at The Sinclair.

I hope to see your foot-stomping self at this Thursday’s concert, if not, catch them on tour this Spring/Summer and get your hands on the new album!

So happy to have our Spirit friends back in town!

So happy to have our Spirit friends back in town!

Emma feeling the Spirit.

Emma feeling the Spirit.

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Soup’s On!



The sun came streaming in my kitchen the other day coaxing me to soak it up. 

My little friends convinced me to stay awhile and cook something.

Despite the warmth of the sun, there was still a chill in the air so I decided to cook up some soup. 

Lentil soup, a favorite of mine since I was a kid, seemed to be the perfect choice. The following recipe is vegetarian ( I do add Italian Sausage sometimes). A very flavorful, hearty soup:

Mediterranean Lentil Soup

  • 1Medium Onion Chopped
  • 2Tbspn chopped garlic
  • 4-5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • Sea salt (to taste) 

Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrots in a small amount of olive oil. Add 2 cups of broth, and braise the vegetables for 10min, or until just tender. Add tomatoes, herbs, lentils and remaining broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are cooked(about 45min). Stir frequently. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with a hearty bread.

I simmered the soup for a bit longer than 45min. I also added water. This soup is best  the next day, allowing flavors to meld overnight. 

I was so happy that my girls loved this soup! We had it for dinner one night and the next day, I filled their thermous with some for lunch. I even had plenty left over to freeze. 



What is your favorite soup? 

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Out and About with Emma



As I sit here basking in the warmth of the sunshine, I realize it wasn’t too long ago we were all freezing! 



It’s been a brutal Winter. The girls and I were not able to escape to sunny Florida over Winter break, so we made a point to at least get “out and about” in our own little city. We have our favorite destinations, but we also have places we hardly ever get to check out. 

The Modern Diner, is one of those gems we have not visited as often as we’d like so Emma and I set out to change that. Zoe had a sledding engagement so we were on our own. 

The Modern Diner is located at 364 East Ave. in Pawtucket, RI. Open for breakfast and lunch, it has a large menu with creative combinations. Emma and I stuck to the basics. 



Scrambled eggs for me and a yummy omelette with kielbasa and cheese for Emma. She also had to have a Rhody classic: Coffee Milk!



We splurged on a decadent scrumptious bowl of cheese grits with pesto.



Our waitress was terrific and attentive, stopping by to fill my coffee cup whenever it was low. 

We sat at a cozy booth, but next time I’d like to sit at the counter. 



Properly fueled with our bellies full, we ventured out into the frozen tundra. 



If you are looking for a great spot for eggs, pancakes, fab cheese grits and more; head out to The Modern Diner in Pawtucket(401-726-8390). I promise it is not buried in snow…….anymore!



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