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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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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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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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:

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“Eternal Springtime” by Rodin was erotically charged:

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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.

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

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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!

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She built her Sister a stage to rock out on.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Cast Iron Classic

Along with having pantry staples, every kitchen should be stocked with certain cookware staples. Tops on my list? A Cast-Iron Skillet.
I had one in my cupboard but it met a plastic colander and fell in love. They literally melted together. I still have it, but “restoring it” is another story.
For over a year I’ve been deprived of the joy and ease of cooking with cast iron.
Until this Christmas!!

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Love my Mom. Not only did I get the cream of the crop of cast-iron skillets but she added a super cute vintage apron to boot!
In 1896, Joseph Lodge and his wife, settled alongside the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee. Joseph opened his first foundry, cast some skillets and they sold like hot cakes. Lodge Cast Iron was born and to this day, “100 years and still cooking”, this family run business has boomed with not only cast iron skillets of all different sizes, but also a line of cookware and more. This company also prides itself on it’s Eco responsibility.

I was on my own the other night, craving a nice steak. I decided to christen my cast-iron.
I took out a nice piece of meat, seasoned it with salt & pepper and let it come to room temp. In the meantime, I added a little oil to the pan and let it get nice and hot. I carefully placed the steak in the pan.

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I turned the heat to medium and cooked on each side for maybe 4min each? It’s really something to eye. I like my meat medium rare. Once I felt it was done I pulled from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board. I then added a little butter to the pan and some sliced mushrooms. Added a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan and scraped up the bits and stirred the shrooms with a wooden spoon(I hate using metal in cast iron). I had some summer squash steaming in another pan. I portioned my steak(to save some for lunch the next day!) and topped with the mushrooms. Delicious!

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I’m so glad I started using my pan instead of saving for some special dinner. Every dinner is special when you cook it yourself.
The next day I was cleaning up a storm. I was hungry and happily realized I had some steak left in the fridge! I pulled it out, sliced it up and lightly sautéed the slices in a small pan with mushrooms. I topped some torn red leaf lettuce with the warm steak and shroom mixture. Drizzled with some fabulous oil and vinegar from Olive Del Mondo

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Olive Del Mondo, independently owned, is Providence, RI’s first olive oil and vinegar tasting bar. For this salad I chose a spicy olive oil and an Espresso vinegar.

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I seriously don’t know which was more delicious, the seared steak or my luncheon salad. I do know both were super easy to make.
A Lodge skillet is affordable with so many scrumptious possibilities: corn bread, buttermilk biscuits, chicken under a brick, bacon and more. Invest in this American-made classic.
Come on over, supper’s ready!

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