Monday, December 30, 2013

Dianne Hire Quilt Workshop

Here is something fun to think about doing
 in the new year!

“Delight yourself with spontaneous design discoveries”

Lily’s House has arranged a One Day Quilting Workshop
 with the infamous Dianne Hire on
 Saturday, September 27, 2014

Class Description:  Need to lighten up? Not having any quilting fun? Tired of prissy little piecing?  This workshop's for you. Improvisational and intuitive, we'llplay liberating games at your sewng machineallow creative juices to flow. We'll slice and dice fabrics, trade slivers of blocks, hunt for the bright colors just begging for a place to land in a quilt. Return home with a few oxymoron blocks, in random order.

“I honor diversity.
I celebrate new approaches.
I challenge concepts.

To stretch the rules and locate fresh boundaries is my desire. By approaching quilt making this way, I embrace technical skills while not allowing techniques to overshadow image.

I am a colorist who intuitively responds to the joyful way colors intermingle. I require vibrancy to speak out but never shout -- yet boldly sing. That song is interpreted in fiber, strings, strong design and intense vitality of color.”

 - Dianne Hire

Details:  Class will be from 9am - 4pm, the cost is $125 and will include a delicious Lily’s lunch and snacks. Along with the delightful instruction of Dianne and the cozy, warm energy of other quilters you will have design wall space, cutting tables and ironing stations.

To sign up for this awesome workshop or to ask any questions, you may contact me at or call 207-367-5936.  I am super excited about this opportunity and look forward to hearing from you.


Friday, December 27, 2013


The things I stumble into often get me
giggling, deep down inside.

Apparently seed catalogues to me are similar
to Victoria's Secret catalogues to others,
because with the simple intention of finding
Mache seeds to grow in my cold frame
I ended up buying all types of other seeds
labeled "for sprouting"

They came, along with a three page instruction packet
and it was seconds before I realized I had no idea
what I was doing.

So, to You Tube I went and I am now an official "sprouter"

What starts like this

Turns into this in about 3-4 days

And you end up with this!

Pretty neat isn't it?
Crispy, full of nutrition, kinda green and growing on my counter in mason jars
with no soil or weeding, all in the heart of winter
I'm tickled pink

These are Fenugreek, the little ones above are Broccoli,
I put Mung bean sprouts in my fried rice last night
and I am starting more.

Nothing like new growth to put a little
skip in your snowy winter step.

Speaking of winter,

I would like to end this post with a shout out
to all those struggling through
the stresses of the recent ice storm.

Gratefully, Stonington was not effected as severely as
our surrounding communities and I know that 
some folks are still without power, and at their wits end.

Here's to a happy new year.

Be well,

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Several years ago a wise old friend of mine left me with
a quote to dwell on through the winter

she said,
"The need is not the call"

That stopped me in my tracks 

She would also speak often about the ego and 
how its job was to protect us.
However, when let to get too big, that protection
turns into a barrier 

Just this morning another dear friend sent me a link
to an article that brought all these delicate thoughts
into the light rather eloquently 

 I thought I'd share:

Enjoy yourselves,
 and thank you so much


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

On Friday, the lovely Donna from Horsepower Farm brought me this year's supply
of freshly ground lamb, Renee picked up our pig from Old Ackley Farm on Wednesday,
Parsnips, Sunchokes, Butternut Squash, all from the garden,
Fresh eggs from my BFF .... 
I headed home loaded with the promise of a good old fashioned snow storm

Last night I cracked open a bottle of wine, along with two of my new favorite cookbooks
Jerusalem by Ottolenghi / Tamimi
and Home Made by Yvette Van Boven
and cooked up a storm!

Creamy Sunchoke soup with "fried" parsnips and mushrooms
from Home Made

Inspired by Jerusalem,  a delicious concoction of spiced lamb, sumac, 
roasted butternut squash and lemon yogurt sauce 

 Pork Belly in the oven with rosemary and garlic
Roasted Chicken to pick on during the football game
a new take on my Almond Cake with quinoa flour and cocoa powder,
I've included the recipe below

I love this time of year for so many reasons

Not the least being the time we receive to celebrate the
miracles of our lives and the gifts in our hearts

I honor with such awe and gratitude
my connection with all that is and all that we are

Here's to a wonderful season of celebration,
however you choose to enjoy it.

With love,

Gluten Free Chocolate Almond Cake

2 cups almond meal
 (I use the meal from making my almond milk)
1 cup + 2 T quinoa flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup + 2 T coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 can coconut milk
1 T vanilla extract

Grease a 9" springform pan with butter

Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl,
whisk to mix well
In a separate bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients
until smooth and completely combined
Pour wet into dry and stir to combine completely
Pour into prepared pan
Bake in a 350 degree oven until
moist crumbs come out on a toothpick 
when tested for doneness
Approximately 25 - 30 minutes


Monday, December 9, 2013

Portland, ME

Renee and I journeyed to Portland for the weekend
and have come home in a delightful food coma

(which was topped off by a wonderful meal
 and the warmth of community
 at the Community Pot Soup supper last night
 at the Congregational Church in Deer Isle)

With so many superb choices for good eats in Portland
I wanted to give a shout out to the outstanding establishments
we wandered into on Saturday and Sunday

The picture above was taken in the Munjoy Hill neighborhood at Rosemont Market 
This sweet place shot me straight up with inspiration around an
entrepreneurial program I have in the works for this summer
(more on that in the future)

Across the street from the Rosemont is 
The Blue Spoon where we indulged in their Saturday Brunch
 I can honestly say
 I wanted to camp out on the floor and eat 
all the rest of my days' meals here.
I loved everything about it, the paint colors, the counters,
the staff, the windows and the food was SO GOOD.

Salt and Vinegar fries at Nosh, of course
as an appetizer to dinner where we met friends

I know I've posted about Eventide already - this spring to be precise-
but it was Evenbetter - get it?

Raw oysters covered our table, of which I admit, I am not a fan
so I had two small plates that were outrageous:

 Poached Char stuffed with something glorious 
and served over magically bronzed Brussel sprouts

and then this Scallop Escabeche dish with this
 amazing smoked white fish custard underneath
and little crispy potato things...

Brunch on Sunday morning at Cailo's 

and then home in time to watch that ugly,
 heart stopping, crazy Patriots game yesterday.

I hope you had a good weekend, are enjoying
this festive month and taking some time to cook, eat and share
really good food.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Socca (Farinata)

At my last Quick Bites cooking class,
 one of my students offered to 
share with me a
 recipe for a gluten free flatbread with
 onions and rosemary
a friend had served her recently

She sent the recipe that night and I was surprised to find it
to be a version of Socca - a chickpea flour pancake that I had highlighted 
with lobster at my Chef's Dinner in July

Long story short, I've made it three times already,
even bringing it as a contribution to Thanksgiving dinner

My favorite version being with scallions instead of onion slices

I thought I'd share the recipe on 

Quick to make, delicious hot from the oven, 
 very versatile and chickpea flour is
full of protein - a true winner.

Thank you Callie


p.s. The swiss chard is from my garden - I've kept it covered with row cover
and even when it freezes I am able to pick it and cook it before it
defrosts - like my own Green Giant frozen vegetables!

Recipe: Socca (Farinata)
From Mark Bittmann in his erstwhile NYT column:

Published: October 19, 2005
Time: 45 minutes
1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon, at least, ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
½ large onion, thinly sliced, optional
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, optional.
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.
2. If using onion and rosemary, stir them into batter. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.
3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.
Yield: 4 to 6 appetizer servings.