Monday, May 27, 2013

A Happy Holiday

Today was a big planting day
and I found volunteer Sylvette arugula to go with
my scrambled eggs loaded with fresh spring herbs
for my lunch

I tossed it with some shallot vinaigrette left over
from my Tuesday night Quick Bite cooking class

I new I was having an exceptional day when
I found myself thinking I couldn't wait to go to
bed, so it would be morning and I could
do it all over again!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend

Happy sunshine!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

If You Can't Beat em', Join em'

For 15 years I have been trying to stop intensely prolific white violets
from taking over my gardens, both at Lily's and at home.

Each year by Memorial Day I stand up from the dirt,
proudly surveying my efforts for clear brown earth, and know
that I have finally succeeded.
Only to turn around each spring to discover an even more intense
covering of the bloody things.

My new theory is that the deer are pooping out the seeds
as they eat all my roses.

This year I've left them there.
I even picked some for pleasing bouquets on my dinner table.
What the hell, breath into the resistance they say.

In other efforts I have come up with a new recipe for
thumbprint cookies using my left over almond meal from my almond milk
They are simply delicious and I thought I'd share.
You are actually getting two recipes in one because if you
use traditional dry almond meal flour instead you will
get a wonderful crisp shortbread cookie


2 cups moist almond meal 
(left over from making almond milk)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Your favorite jam

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
Whisk the wet ingredients (minus the jam) in a medium bowl
Stir the two together and knead gently into a ball of dough
Roll into walnut sized balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray
With your thumb, make an indentation in each cookie
Fill with a bit of jam and bake in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned
and just firm to the touch, about 12-15 minutes
Allow to cool

If you use regular almond flour to make shortbread,
after making your balls, flatten them to a 1/3" thickness
before baking.

Have a great day

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Magical Day

I would just like to say that I am so grateful for the
chances I have created to spend quality time with my community's youth 
and the adults that care so much

Yesterday, Rob Benson and his crew aboard the Sunbeam
took the Sophomore class and my Ready By 21 Mentors
to Isle au Haut for the day

We mixed community service with fun and bonding

and I can honestly say with my whole heart that
a magical day was had by all

If you have never been to Isle au Haut it is this little mystical
place that feels set back in time, just a short boat trip away
from Stonington's main land

With only 50 year round residents and a quiet peacefulness

Every guest is offered the chance to leave their troubles behind
for a little bit

and remember the simple joys of life

With a lot of laughter

and of course some good food

I think we all came back the better for it.

I would like to end with the idea that the youth of today
may not be as apathetic as you think, or disconnected.

I believe they are motivated by honesty, integrity and purpose
and are desperately searching for these qualities in a culture
that has lost a bit of its way.

I am so grateful to them all for inspiring me to
dig a little deeper inside and so hope that
they mirror a new direction for us all.

Enjoy your day and thank you,

Friday, May 10, 2013


Taken by Debby Chappell

A friend's text yesterday asking how I was prompted
a thoughtful response;

 "all my new ideas are starting to become a reality and 
my garden is keeping me grounded"

I woke up this morning amazed by
 how the scene through 
the french doors has changed
 from winter's black and white
to spring's soft greens and yellows, 
the sudden bursts of life so abundant and reassuring

And I realized how very important
 change is in our lives

I know that change freaks a lot of people out,
viewed as a disruption or disturbing and avoided
at all costs


Change is what keeps us constant.
It keeps us learning, creating, recreating and challenging ourselves.

"If you never had to change anything, you would have no point
of reference.  You would never know what you like, what you don't 
like and you would not know how powerful you are...."

As I watch the season change and
feel the sense of happiness in my life's new directions
I know in my heart that we are all
very capable of the constant change and unfolding
of this weird wonderful thing we call life.

Embrace it and make it yours.

Enjoy your weekend,

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In the Swing of Things

After months of planning what I'd like my working summer to 
look like things are starting to roll

It all started Monday with my first mowing of the season 
of the lower fields - my free fitness plan has begun :0)

I made scones and lemon squares yesterday morning for a small
catering and realized how much I've missed
creating some of my staples

For their lunch I made flatbread sandwiches with chorizo, peppers and onions
and added spring goodness from my garden to local goat cheese to finish them off

It was magical to be back out there foraging around again
and I must say I absolutely love to cook good food for people.
There is just no denying it.

The day was finished with my first "Quick Bite" cooking class

We made scallion pancakes and dipping sauce

They were a success!

I've been filling in my calendar on the Lily's House website
with more cool stuff like one day quilt workshops,
 a wine tasting at a farm, chef's dinners ...

I'm pretty excited 
Thank you so much for coming along!

Enjoy your day

p.s. the next "Quick Bite" will be Butterflied Chicken (from Old Ackley Farm of course)
with herb butter, roasted over spring onions

Monday, May 6, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chai Tea

Yesterday, my dearest friend who lives thousands of miles away,
checked in because she hadn't seen a blog post in a while

I told her I was good, just in a bit of a spring brain fog

See, it was winter here two weeks ago
and now it is full on spring

 The forsythia in my yard isn't even fully open yet
 and the trees here are just beginning
to think about leafing out

I just opened the french doors in the bedroom last weekend

And hung the bedding on the line 
-My MOST favorite thing about spring-

I've been gardening like crazy, 
the weather change leaving me feeling behind

 Getting ready to regularly create food again at Lily's
I teach my first "Quick Bite" Cooking Class
this Tuesday on Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce

Farmhouse Lunches start in June, lots of special events planned
Whew!  Deep breath.

I've been making my own Chai Tea with Rooibos and Almond Milk
It is delicious and I thought I'd share the recipe

I hope you are all well and happily settled into spring
It is truly lovely here

Enjoy your weekend,


This makes enough for 2 cups
feel free to double it  and invite more friends
 to share a quiet moment together with you

4 cups water
3 cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3/4" inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 T honey
1 T loose Rooibos tea 
1 cup almond milk

Bring the water to a gentle boil
add the spices and honey and simmer for 5 minutes.
Turn off heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes

Add the tea, bring back to almost a boil
and simmer gently for 5 more minutes

Strain, stir in almond milk
pour and enjoy

Note: I add my homemade almond milk at the end because 
it separates in the heat.  If you are using regular milk
you can add it in with the water at the beginning of the recipe.