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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Last Minute Love

Still haven’t found that special something for that scrumptious someone in your life? Never fear, I have a few ideas.

Before you head out and run around trying to figure out what you’ll pick up for your sweetheart, be sure to bundle up!


I acquired this sweet scarf from my Grandmother’s house years ago. Zoe thought it apropos for this cold day of love.

My youngest daughter has been a terrific Valentine. Getting in the spirit of love from head to toe.


Some simple last-minute ideas to make your Valentine’s Day that much sweeter.

Make some jello! (it’s sweet and red after all)..


Find a vintage Valentine that speaks to you. Perhaps you’d like to drop a hint:


Or perhaps you’re looking for a sweet sentiment:



You may be feeling bold:


Whatever card you choose your Valentine will appreciate the thought you gave to relay how you feel.

You can take your Valentine out for a cup of coffee. Sure to make your heart flutter.


Pick out a scrumptious sweet for your sweetie. A heart-shaped donut made this Valentine very happy. 1256

You don’t need a huge heart-shaped box of chocolates to make your Valentine sweeter, I’d be happy with an artisanal small batch bar. Like these from Mast Brothers. You can pick them up locally at Stock; a terrific kitchen inspired, independent shop in Providence, RI.


Perhaps you are headed out to dinner tonight before the snow slams us once again. Our local restaurants sure need the love. They have been hit hard by this awful weather. Pick up some dessert or treats to have when you get home and get into your comfy cozy pj’s (or not). You can brew some herbal tea to soothe and add comfort and warmth.


Avoiding sweets? Eating super healthy? How about a super powered fruit? Sweet all on its own. Pomegranate seeds!! Fun to eat and bursting with flavor.


No matter how you choose to spend this Valentine’s Day, you still have a little bit more time to make it that much sweeter.

Bundle up friends. I send you love, hugs and kisses on this St. Valentine’s Day 2015!


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The Fragrance of Love

Scurrying about trying to find the perfect gift for your Valentine before snowstorm #50?!

No need to worry, I know just the thing to make your Valentine swoon with delight and kiss you all over.


Head on over to Providence Perfume Company, located on Wickenden St. in Providence, RI.


Charna Ethier is the lovely proprietress of this charming local establishment. She created this enchanting perfumery to celebrate the finest all natural botanical ingredients from around the world.


I got to check out her alluring shop when my Mom gave me a gift certificate to create my own fragrance! How cool is that?

Charna has a fragrance “bar”. There is a science to creating your own fragrance, It is a multi layered process, in which you heavily rely on your sense of smell and what kind of fragrance represents “you”. It seems daunting at first, but Charna helps eliminate the scents that do not appeal to you, and then you start to concentrate on the ones that do. There are base notes, middle notes and top notes. The top note would be what you smell first. That soon dissipates and you are left with a bottom note. It is a fascinating and fun process. I could have talked to Charna all day. She is as passionate about fragrance as I am about food.



Mine has traces of Vetiver, Sandlewood, Vanilla with some floral scents dropped in for good measure. It is deep and slightly floral and musky. I really love it. Now I need a name for my fragrance! Any ideas?1160

Providence Perfume also offers an array of classes, sure to appeal to the fragrance lover in your life. Charna creates body oils and lotions in an array of captivating scents. I am sure you will find something perfect for that special Valentine.

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So for your Valentine a swoon-worthy array of organic bath and body care, artisanal, all natural perfumes and more. Head on over to Providence Perfume Company, 301 Wickenden Street in Providence, RI. Call ahead to check for hours: 401-455-2325, or go online to shop.


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Celebrating Love

On Saturday I celebrated not your ordinary love but #mfaLove
M invited me to an afternoon at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We’d have a look around at some art and enjoy a nice lunch. I hadn’t been to the MFA in ages, and had been wanting to go on a date there, so of course I said yes!
We lucked out on Saturday. The snow decided to stop for part of the day.

The museum had a great pamphlet to use: “Love at the MFA”, stroll the galleries and look for hearts to find Cupid’s favorite photo spots, or choose your own. Share on Instagram or Twitter. So clever and fun! Snap a photo or a selfie with your sweetheart, best friend, or family.
I ended up finding more than my share of artful signs of love. Some broken hearts too.

She’s thinking about love (or lust) don’t you think?

The above painting: “Visiting Masterpiece:Gustav Klimt’s Adam and Eve”, was my absolute favorite of the day. Isn’t it divine?
This next painting: Two Nudes (Lovers) by Oskar Kokoschka, shows 2 lovers not half as happy as the previous pair.


We were getting hungry so we sat down for some lunch in the New American Cafe
What a gorgeous setting in the soaring glass-enclosed courtyard with classical music piped in.




I had a delicious vegetable tart, M enjoyed a cheese plate and we both drank cappuccinos.

Feeling caffeinated and happy, we went off to find more artistic treasures.
We both enjoyed the Gordon Parks exhibit. I especially loved this picture of snazzy looking couple on their way to church.



The above piece; Sarcophagus and Lid with husband and wife, 350-300BC; takes “Till death do us part” to a whole other level.
“Painter’s Honeymoon” was lovely:

“Eternal Springtime” by Rodin was erotically charged:

Sadly, my date soon came to an end as M had to get to a meeting further in the city. I stayed on, searching for more signs of love and inspiration.


M pointed the following out to me before he left. Notice the beautiful colors!

I found a few more pieces where the subjects perhaps had broken hearts or in one case, may be content to be alone.



This next one, of Medusa (from 1894), warns us to never trust a woman scorned!

So if you are thinking of something to do with your Valentine this weekend, or perhaps you’re looking for one, head to The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA and get lost or find love in the many galleries.
I had a wonderful day and cannot wait to go back!


Love is in the air at the MFA.

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Spicy Snowstorm

What an amazing night last night!! (did you see this Video?!!) Malcolm Butler, a rookie free agent from West Alabama, made the most amazing play I’ve ever seen and won the game for us!! Yes, indeed I am proud to be a Patriot fan!! I just want to watch the play over and over. I’m sure I woke up my neighbors screaming and crying for joy.
Gosh, after all that excitement, we woke up to no school and MORE SNOW! Not again. I know, I live in New England and it is still Wintertime. It’s to be expected.
Well, if I was going to out and shovel, I would need energy! I gazed over to my tea shelf and decided to brew up some Chai.

This is some fantastic chai! I slow-brewed a batch to keep in my thermos.
Tipu’s Chai is an authentic Indian chai based on a recipe passed down to founder, Bipin Patel, from his grandmother.
This chai was easy to brew. I placed some of the tea into a pot with water, let boil and simmer for a bit, then I added some milk and let that simmer. Once done, I strained the mixture into my thermos and sweetened with a little bit of sugar. Spicy, creamy goodness that had me ready to tackle the snow!


It all seemed overwhelming, but I did it. Zoe and her friend Philippa came outside but they were no help!

Apparently it’s hard work building forts and making snowballs.
Oh, how I wish I had a fireplace. My toes were so cold when I came inside. Would have been nice to warm them by a fire.

No rest for the weary. The snow has started up again.
Stay safe and warm, my friends.

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Juno: Blizzard of 2015

Gone are the days when I could put on my snowsuit, grab my red sled and spend the day sledding and building forts.
I’m an adult now, with responsibilities. Like reading the fine print on my lease that states: “tenants are responsible for all snow removal.” Ugh, after Juno dropped 25inches on Providence, that’s a big task.
In between bouts of shoveling(I certainly got some serious exercise), I managed to bake and cook up a storm(pardon the pun).
Chicken soup was essential.

So easy, I shredded the chicken I had cooked in the crockpot. Sautéed garlic, celery, carrot and onion. Added the chicken, the juices from the crockpot and some broth. I let it simmer for at least an hour, added some salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Done.
On the first night conditions outside were diminishing. Everyone was hunkered down for the night. My oldest daughter was visiting her boyfriend. Her BF’s Mom is a fantastic bartender. On the snowy night, not only did she deliver my daughter to me safe and sound, but she also made me one of the best margarita I’ve ever had. Delivered in a mason jar no less. This was a spicy jalapeño margarita. Not too sweet, and a little bit “savory”


What goes best with margaritas?! Nachos! Easy: ground beef, green chilies, cherry tomatoes, black beans and cheese. Family friendly and so scrumptious.
On the first full day of the storm the conditions were pretty nasty. After shoveling for over an hour, I needed the comfort of a gooey grilled cheese.

This was a simple sandwich: Seven Stars Bakery sourdough bread, southwestern mustard, smokey sliced ham and sliced Cabot Cheese Vermont Cheddar. Divine. Crunchy on the outside, gooey and slightly spicy inside.
Once inside for the day I needed to bake. My youngest daughter requested cookies. I obliged and made oatmeal chocolate chip.



While I was busy baking, Zoe was building a Lego city. She even built a bakery for me! Apparently my specialties are cookies and strawberry shortcake.
Look, there is a line out the door!

She built her Sister a stage to rock out on.


The sun came out today. No play quite yet. More shoveling lay ahead. Once done however, Zoe and I set out on a sledding adventure.
We made some friends on our way.

Our destination was Moses Brown School . They have some of the best sledding hills in the city. The school and it’s headmaster became famous recently when it’s School is Closedvideo became a viral hit.
While I could still feel my toes, Zoe and I slid away.


We laughed, had fun and I felt like a kid again.
Emma came home after sledding and building an igloo. We all warmed up and enjoyed a hearty bowl of cheese ravioli topped with a robust sausage tomato sauce.

I’ve settled in now, poured myself a cup of tea, the girls are sleeping and I’m watching Top Chef.
We certainly fared well through the storm. I hope you have as well. Back to school and our usual routine tomorrow.
Until next time….


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