Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring in a Bowl

Spring here has a heart beat all of its own

The energy bubbles up from deep inside the ground
and takes over in ways you don't even understand

All of a sudden I can't sleep - there seems to be SO much to do!

And after a true winter, that first sunny day with a warmth
in the breeze can set you to dancing inside

Old Ackley Farm is rolling in eggs, I guess the hens are
feeling the same way I am!

I picked up dozens of these lovely organic beauties from 
the farm yesterday and set to making a soup we
had every Easter of my Greek childhood -


5 simple ingredients
and you have spring in a bowl!


8 cups of the best chicken broth
1/2 cup orzo (pasta) or white rice
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 T fresh dill or 1 tsp dried
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the chicken broth to a boil,
add the pasta, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes 

In a separate bowl whisk together the
yolks and lemon juice

Very gradually, add some of the hot stock to the yolk mixture,
being careful not to curdle the eggs.
Slowly whisk this tempered egg mixture
into the soup
(the Greek tradition is to make a sucking noise with your mouth
as you add the egg mixture back, to keep it from curdling -that was my father's job)

Add dill and cook over low heat for 10 minutes

Season with salt and pepper
The soup should be smooth and creamy with a fresh lemon bite

Enjoy your weekend,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Black and Gray and White All Over

I'm always so excited about how paint and the
right colors just change everything for the better

Yesterday it was all about Annie Sloan
I used French Linen on the entry wall divider with clear wax 

Paris Gray on a this old mirror with a the dark wax
rubbed on top to give it that aged look

French linen again on this mirror frame, with dark wax over it.

I bought this mirror for $10 at a yard sale.
It's plastic and had a fake gilded finish
Now it looks like old wood!

I painted the coffee station cupboard in Old White
and finished it with the clear wax
Love it!

Here is preview of what is to come.
Renee has been painting the walls and windows for me
in Ben Moore Swiss Coffee
I can't even tell you how much angst I incurred
trying to pick the right white and I nailed it.

Totally infatuated with all the black 
sashing in House Beautiful lately
I've picked Midsummer Night for the doors
and windows.

And right now I'm headed in to put
a second coat of Winter Gates in the downstairs bathroom.

Wait till you see.......!

Enjoy your day and thank you so much for
allowing me to share all this with you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Projects

It is still cold here, but the light is changing
and the snow is melting

 I found this lovely display yesterday

Amidst this mess, as we repaint the downstairs of Lily's

And lay a cork floor in the back kitchens.
I can't wait to show you how it is turning out!

Speaking of cork, I just discovered cork cutting boards
and I'm sold.  They are soft to cut on and don't hold stains,
easy to clean, anti-microbial and a totally renewable resource
Honestly, I wish I'd known about them a long time ago.

And, I just had a Pionite counter-top installed for a design job
in Blue Hill.  My first really (Pionite) - and it doesn't look half bad.
Really warmed up this white kitchen for a very reasonable price.

That is it for now,
Enjoy your day!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Champagne Taste

Well, it looks like it is going to be a few more weeks before I 
can plant my peas :)

That's okay, I'm in western Massachusetts right now
at a New England Secondary School Consortium

I'm wearing the collaborative community member hat and
enjoying spending time with nine others from Deer Isle-Stonington.
Especially the two students that are with us 
They taught me how to play Xbox last night - my first time!
Too fun

Knowing I would be trapped around industrial food for two days
I have brought a cooler full of goodness to sustain me.

My favorite go-to travel food is a bean salad with veggies
in a champagne vinaigrette.
The dried beans are from my garden - Aren't they beautiful?

Protein, veggies and a non-spoiling nature - perfect
Some guacamole, chips, granola, hard boiled eggs and raw brownies
I am all set!


1 cup of your favorite dried beans, cooked in salted water and drained
1 good sized cucumber, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup champagne vinegar (brown rice vinegar works too)
1/4 -1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1 T Ume vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the beans, veggies and parsley in a bowl and combine
Put the vinegars, oil and seasoning in a jar
 Shake to emulsify
Pour over bean mixture, toss and let stand for 1 hour
Taste for salt and pepper and enjoy!

The conference is calling,
 enjoy your day

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Spring!

"Be the better you once you meet her...."

I love it.
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Washi Dress Class

I absolutely love having sewing/quilting classes at Lily's House

The energy of everyone is always so great
and the space just feels cozy with everyone creating in it.

This past Saturday it was a dress making class

People brought the coolest fabrics

and the shared excitement of the thought of making
a summer dress was inspiring

Almost finished- but not quite- by the end of class,

students have been sending me photos of their finished product

And they are fabulous!

Nice job everyone, can't wait till next time.

The Washi dress pattern is from Made by Rae


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Enjoy Your Day

More snow coming on Saturday,
But I can smell the seasons changing

Time to "force" it with some forsythia branches.

Just wanted to say, 
that I hope you enjoy your day.


Sunday, March 10, 2013


I finally tackled the container cupboard.

You know the one, with all the crap you never use taking
up space that makes it impossible to get out what you do use, often.

Things can stay that way for years for me.
  Then, one day, presto, 
I'm ready to purge, clean out and
make room for that wonderful clarity and inspiration that
ALWAYS follows my letting go of things.

I had it happen at Lily's this week too.

We took down the Lily's Cafe and Wine Bar sign
and replaced it with this wonderful new one
for Lily's House that Renee painted for me

I called Brad, a long time fisherman and culinary school grad.

He is opening his first restaurant in Blue Hill this season.

I thought he might be interested in some equipment I had 
that I finally decided I didn't need anymore.

Perfect timing - 
In came four handsome gentleman to haul what seemed like
just heavy equipment to them, out of one building, and into another one

But for me, for a few moments, it felt like they were taking 
parts of my arms and legs.

With the sandwich block, deli case, slicer and cooler
went the identity that defined me for over 20 years



 Then I turned around
 in this newly opened space
and felt the amazing power I had just given myself
 to continue recreating.

Recreating a business,  recreating me.

 Now I'm on the hunt for another awesome counter like I found for the bar
and have plans to do Chef's teaching dinners
 and a series of
quick bite cooking classes that last just an hour, 
 focusing on taste and technique.

 Oh, and how about a pop-up
 juice bar when everything is in season this summer?

I am so excited!

So, I say,   PURGE!   LET GO!
and see your wonderfulness expand into the opened spaces


p.s.   There is now a place at the top of this blog to
sign up for my newsletter if you would like to get
regular notices about each event I have planned. 

Or you can visit my new website, thanks to Julie Morringello,
 where you will find a calendar of events

Thank you so much for listening.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Haddock with Garlicky Breadcrumbs and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Amber and I did an encore presentation of her pop-up bistro,
The Sassy Pumpkin on Wednesday

For the entree we served Baked Haddock with
Garlic Breadcrumbs over a Black bean mixture,
topped with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Guacamole

It was awfully good, so I thought I'd share the recipe

For the crumbs, take some older bread and process it into crumbs,
I like them to have some texture.  Then sauté
them in melted butter/oil and some chopped garlic until golden brown

Lay your fish filets out on a baking tray, season with salt
and smoked paprika and top lightly with bread crumbs
Drizzle with a bit of oil
Bake in a 400 degree oven until flaky, approximately 15 minutes for thin filets

Roast your red peppers.
  I do it by setting them directly on the burners of my gas stove and charring them.
Put them in a bowl and cover them with a paper towel or wax paper
for about 20 minutes so they steam and you can peel the charred skin away.
Seed and stem them and cut them into big chunks.

Puree them in a food processor with
some lemon juice, salt, pepper and a bit of parsley
With the motor running,
add enough olive oil for an emulsified sauce
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper

Instead of something like rice, I took some cooked black beans,
mashed them lightly and sautéed them in coconut oil
with onion, a tiny bit of garlic, oregano, paprika, ancho chili,
pinch of cayenne and salt
Finish with a squirt of lime and some chopped fresh parsley

I placed the fish on the beans, topped it with the red pepper sauce
and finished it off with homemade guacamole

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,

Monday, March 4, 2013

Selfishness is Unnecessary

On Saturday I held my first Mentor Training Session 
and received a full helping of the fruits of my labor
 as Director of Mentoring for Ready By 21

 I was surrounded by generous people, promising non judgement,
all be it, a bit nervous about what comes next.

Then today I was making vegetable stock for soup from
left over scraps gathered from the prepping
of meals for my wine dinner and breakfast on Saturday

I sat in amazement for more than a few moments
while this pile of scraps simmered merrily in a pot of water
and marveled at the bounty offered to us everyday, even in things many of us 
toss out as refuse

Maybe it is the bubbling promise of spring here,
beneath the wet snow that keeps falling randomly
or the onion seeds that have sprouted on the windowsill
offering new life,
 but I feel hopeful, even peaceful, 
that everything really is okay.

I was led to this quote over the weekend and I'd like to share it with you all if I may,

"....It is now highly feasible to take care of every body
on earth at a higher standard of living
than any have known.  
It no longer has to be you or me.
Selfishness is unnecessary and henceforth
unrationalizable as mandated by survival..."

-R. Buckminster Fuller

I am so grateful for the ability offered to us to take care of ourselves,
and the choices we make to take care of each other.
I would like to say thank you


Friday, March 1, 2013

A Busy Day

Yesterday, as the Director of Mentoring I organized
an all school Real World on Addiction

I had a diverse panel of speakers, me included, to cover addictions to
not only drugs and alcohol, but sugar, relationships and being the caretaker.

I have gotten feedback that it went really well and am so grateful
for all the support I have from everyone who was involved

Then it was back to Lily's to cook for
the February Wine Workshop
 (the switch from addictions to wine workshop did not go unnoticed)


We had an intimate group and it made for a wonderful
winter's gathering.

I served lots of tapas; deviled eggs with black olives,
a salad with oranges, fennel and shrimp, roasted asparagus,
chorizo and peppers .... just to name a few.
The pleasure at the table was gratifying.

So were the raves about the mushrooms


1 1/2 lb. medium sized button mushrooms, stems trimmed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T grapeseed oil
Juice of 1 lemon ( approximately 3- 4 T )
Kosher salt and black pepper 
Fresh Parsley

Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet, not nonstick
Add garlic and cook 30 seconds
Add mushrooms, stir to coat with oil
Continue stirring them frequently over med high heat
until beginning to brown
Salt to taste
When the mushrooms are nicely browned and almost tender
add the lemon juice and allow to cook for 1 more minute.
Remove from heat, sprinkle with parsley and black pepper, toss to coat

Have a wonderful weekend