Sunday, December 27, 2009


Hope everyone had a most beautiful, delighted holiday filled with warmth, full happy bellies, family and laughter.and maybe even a little snow..we sure did! Twenty inches of that gorgeous white stuff fell to the ground in Connecticut last saturday into sunday morning...phil, bella and i following right behind it...we made our holiday trek from NC sunday morning, truck packed, kitten in toe, gifts yet to be wrapped and high-tailed it northbound..the last time i can remember snow like this at home in CT was when i was an itty bitty girl person, so i think we were's mostly gone now thanks to the rain last night..

Happy holidays and a peaceful, healthy new year to you...may we all be abundant in Love...for "there are many things i'm sure, without which we could not live...but lOve is the only one i can think of.." (curlygirldesign)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

our first snow....

left me dreaming of this:


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chocolate and Rosemary-A Fine Pair..

I found this recipe on a blog one afternoon and tried it last night...let me tell you--it is Delicious! The chocolate filling would also make for great fondue-minus the eggs..i infused a cup of heavy whipping cream with rosemary by allowing it to come to a slow boil on the stove then letting it rest in the fridge overnight. The tart shell gets baked for about 12 minutes, during which time i assembled the rest of the tart's got a rich chocolaty flavor and the rosemary gives off almost a hint of mint instead of its' rosemary flavor..sprinkling alittle pink himalayan or hawaiian salt on top really makes it..when in need of chocolate, this would most definitely satisfy the craving..a little will go a long way as it's super rich..


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall is on!

With fall, comes the last of the zucchini harvest, which means zucchini bread with a hint of orange and chocolate chips, such a tasty treat!  Hot chocolate chai also comes with fall, my new favorite drink of the season (oh that and tea, which I have been drinking my weight in... Raspberry Leaf Yogi Tea to be exact, double yum!), and of course plenty of hiking.  Finn and I just returned from a 2 1/2 hour hike which was absolutely gorgeous with all the oranges, reds, and yellows.  Just a perfect day to be wandering around in the woods!  Hope everyone is enjoying their fall!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Est. 1980..

BEER BREWING and GLASS BLOWING..2 birds, 1 stone

Eddie adding some more water to the pot. Suzie heating her piece.
Full to the brim with hand-crafted liquid enjoyment.

Eddie teaching Andreas about life..and beer..
The Brewers...they even measure together..

Autumn is beginning its slow creep into our lives, bringing us cooler mornings and evenings and even though the leaves haven't really started spiraling downwards yet, on my mornings walks it smells like fall..and i'm excited. The fresh transition into each season is the best, and it always seems to inspire new ideas, projects and motivations..the StarWorks Annual meeting is coming up at the end of october and i'm on the 'party planning committee' again this year and will be making some sweet and savory food contributions with the joined force of my new friend Suzie. The boys' beer brewing operation is going strong and has been really successful..they were asked to provide 3 varieties for the annual meeting so they've been going at it-they'll have 2 IPA's and an amber-each in 10 gal. batches. Each week they do a new brew and every one i've tasted has been delicious. And to get the beer to a boil, they figured out a way to use the heat that's put out from the glory hole instead of using propane. So they rigged a pulley system above one of the glory holes (someone needs to be blowing glass to be able to use the glory hole otherwise it wouldn't be hot enough) to hoist up the giant brew pot. Such innovative thinkers..can't wait to see what else they come up with...


Sunday, August 9, 2009

wild women

Ahhhhhh, a weekend retreat!! Time to catch up and reconnect.  While Anna and Phil are enjoying a divine meal at Primo back home, I am relaxing on the beach in Deer Isle with Finn reading and yup, I even took a dip!  But back to the reading.  I have in my hands the most wonderfully inspiring book I would love to share with you all.  I had discovered a poster a while back in a bathroom stall in Malaprop's ( a cute book store in Asheville, NC).  The poster, I soon discovered, was in fact based on a book called Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.  I cannot put it down.  I cannot peel my eyes away.  For my Yoga Teacher Training we are really encouraged to read inspiring books (they leave it pretty open ended) and after trying some Indian literature, some Tibetan literature, and some run of the mill inspiring spiritual books, I stumbled upon this in a second hand book store and couldn't wait to dive in.  There is nothing I can find more interesting and divine than the strength of women past and present.  I am naturally drawn towards spirited and tenacious women.  There is nothing I find more inspiring than the natural way of women, mystical, magical, healing, wise, nurturing, and .... wild.
Just a little taste:

    "Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing.  Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.  Though the gifts of the wildish nature come to us at birth, society's attempt to "civilize" us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls.  Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped."
Hope you are inspired!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Who says girls can't play with sharp tools??

Meat slicer and a cheese cleaver.  These are the tools i get to use during the course of my day..don't be jealous boys..I must say i was fairly nervous at first handling the meat slicer but after only two finger slicings on the circular blade while it was NOT in motion, i think i got it. And it's pretty bad ass.  So is that hunk of Prosciutto de Parma, which is quite nice to slice. The knife however, if i were a foot taller maybe then i'd have enough leverage to really slice off a piece of cheese with ease, but alas, i am not.  So it can pose more of a challenge when trying to cut  cheese with an incredibly rough rind. Anyway, things are picking up at the store.  We've had a couple write-ups about it too, which has helped to bring people in.  And the BluesFest happens this w/e across the street down at the harbor so we may have a slammin saturday.  We'll see!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The beginning of Sweets and Meats Market- Rockland, ME

So i've finally made it to Maine! and wanted to share some of Jess and I's new endeavor...

---a dairy lover's for the faint of heart vegan or vegetarian, i suggest sticking to the case in the front filled with grains and legumes.  We've got some serious hunks of meat in this case.  Aunt Carol and Uncle Bill-you would be in drooling, back flip mode over some of this stuff! --- 
Jess and I, as it turns out, have great success in aquiring job opportunities together.  One of many of our talents ;)  I think once we start into it, our employers quickly begin to find out they've obviously gotten themselves in too deep and there's no turning back.  They're stuck with us.  But what a team we make! Our most current endeavor is the new Sweets and Meats Market in the south end of Rockland, ME, a specialty foods market that offers amazing cured and fresh meats, a diverse array of cheeses from cumin gouda to some that i can't even pronounce yet.  Julia, the owner, will also be carrying a sweet selection of beer and wine, as well as Ciao Bella Gelato (my favorite), baked goodies from jessa may, sandwiches and so much more..the coffee we're carrying is through a local company called Matt's Roasters and is roasted by matt himself by wood fire.  This is when i insert the word delectable .  It's been quite a treat to be here for part of the opening process..there will be more to share as the summer progresses...but here are some pics for now that we'd like to share of the store-post and pre-opening day..

Sunday, May 31, 2009

what awaits miss anna when she arrives:

quiet morning walks
and apple blossoms!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

a visit from a friend!

Annie and I at the beach this morning...and yes, we are wearing winter coats!

Little Miss Annie made an appearance at The Barnacle and spent the evening with me drinking wine and eating some really delicious treats... she could only keep saying "ohhhh, you and Anna are going to have such a good time here this summer!" and I couldn't help but agree!  She got me even more excited (if at all possible) for my next visit from Miss A.C.B. in June.  The Cottage anxiously awaits your arrival!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


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Discovering Picassa can be a very addicting hobby-if you like collaging and photo editing that is..
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

it has been a while

Things have been picking up in Maine lately... a lot of baking for Squash Blossom (thankfully) and Sweets and Meats Market is coming along (double thankfully).  I have also started a yoga teacher training program that is fantastic!  However, I have lost the internet connection at my cottage which has made this keeping in touch really difficult.  So bear with me...there will be more!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake..

On my way home from work the other day, i stopped by a little farm stand selling strawberries and ended up bringing a basket full i decided to make a strawberry shortcake recipe i found in Tartine, which turned out to be quite delicious.  Throw in my new addiction to Picassa (thanks to Jessica) and i've got a fun collage to show off this simply lovely, old-fashioned dessert.  Without forgetting the hand whipped cream to top it off of course. I couldn't even remember the last time i had this, so it was a welcome treat for me and the boys, as well as the javabean crew whom i shared it with the next day..take a peek at the Tartine Bakery Cookbook if you are not already is an array of exquisite, yet simple dessert creations (plus a few savory recipes but mostly sweets).  Not to mention the beautiful pictures and the full of praise forward written by Alice Waters. 

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Monday, May 4, 2009

a walk on the beach

water patterns in the sand

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Wysteria blooms around the beginning of April and man does it grow like wild fire down here in happens to be one of my favorite flowering vines, although like kudzu (an incredibly invasive vine), consumes everything in its path.  But it sure is beautious!


So it shouldn't come as any big surprise to those that know me well, but, i LOVE broccoli.  Always have.  Broccoli soup was my fav and was what i asked for every year for my birthday meal. I was flipping through one of my Moosewood cookbooks the other day, Simple Suppers (thanks Dave Mac) and found a really simple, fairly effortless meal which involved four of my favorite food items:sharp cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, bread and a close relative of broccoli-broccolini..which looks like a shrunken version of broccoli, with small florets and long, thin stalks. It is often misidentified as young broccoli, but is a cross between broccoli and kai-lan, Chinese broccoli. A natural hybrid of the cabbage family, it was developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan. Broccolini's flavor is sweet, with hints of both broccoli and asparagus. Jess-i know how you feel about conventional broccoli so you may prefer the flavor of broccolini..and besides, it's a fun word to say! Sounds kind of italian...
Anyway, all that went into preparing this meal was spreading some dijon on the bread of your choice, toasting for a moment while sauteing the vegetable in olive oil with some garlic, salt and pepper, then pulling the toast, topping with the broccolini and laying slices of cheddar on top to broil until cheese has melted. Yum. 


Sunday, April 26, 2009

returning to spring!

Oh wow! It has been a while and it appears as though Anna and I have been neglecting our blog.  There is a perfectly good explanation for this... we actually got to see each other in North Carolina this past week!  Oh yes, and boy, it took an 18 hour car ride from Spruce Head Island, Maine to Hendersonville, North Carolina, then another 1 1/2 hour car ride to Charlotte, NC where Anna (with boy Phil and friendy friend Nick in tow) picked me up in a hotel parking lot.  We then proceeded another hour to Star, NC.  Arriving at their second floor apartment on Main St. in Star at 9p.m.   We woke the next morning to travel 40 min. to Southern Pines (aka Star's Hollow he he) where Anna had to work all day (so I took to wandering the streets of this small town over and over again).  We did squeeze in a small demo on an old Letterpress by a friend of Anna's and a little bar-b-que with bonfire.  The next morn, we were in the car once again for the 3 1/2 hour trek back to Hendo.  Just chillin' with my gal was worth all the car time.  

The rest of the trip to North Carolina was fabulous.  Lots of good food, spirits, and laughs with old friends. . . we always love a good trip to North Caroline!!  (However, the laundry upon return was a bit daunting, but we took full advantage of the wonderful spring weather and used the line at my mothers house...ahhhhhhhh SPRING!!)

a sure sign of spring


Monday, April 13, 2009

my first button hole

We celebrated my sisters 31st birthday on the ninth...and, with things the way they are (financially) I dug through my stack of favorite prints and decided to sew her up a little hand clutch.  I found some material I had bought in France and a button from an Oregon purchase.  I added a quote that I found and typed it on my old Smith & Corona and added it to the inside of the clutch.  I hope she gets some use from it!  


Thursday, April 9, 2009

yup...this is our friend!


Sambones just sent some pictures of all her....what would you call them....epoch adventures?! and this is one particularly good one.... just had to share!

oh wait....this is good too.....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

after a rough day, I feel inspired!

So, while researching Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton (the legendary moonshiner who just killed himself to avoid a jail sentence for my other blog Squash Blossom), I came across a blog of his daughters, which led me to her website, which is her myspace.  Anyway, long story short, this is her quote and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it so much I want it tattooed all over my body:

"Ladies, live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says: "Oh, shit - she's awake!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Salt Art

So i was peeking around on the Free People blog this afternoon and stumbled upon some very interesting art..salt art!...who knew?  Done by Motoi Yamamoto. 
This one in particular made me feel calm and reminded me of springtime which is upon us..but there are quite a few on the blog that are a million times more elaborate and amazing to look at..there is quite a story behind salt seeing it used this way only enhances it's uniqueness..check out the other pics and the artists site if you have a sec..

Sunday, March 22, 2009

the sea bag...

I can always tell when it is Spring . . . 
I want to redecorate
I want every Free People item I lay my eyes on
I want to reinvent myself....  and this year, I want a Sea Bag.
I just discovered these today and they are even better in person than they are in pictures and they don't even show my favorite bag on their site!  But here are a few images to whet your appetite and I would highly recommend glancing at their web page for a better view.   All the bags are made from recycled sails so they are durable, eco-friendly, and enchanting!  What more could you ask for??...oh, did I mention they are made right here in Portland, Maine?!



Large Star

Large Anchor

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Cooking Obsession..

My love of food-good, wholesome, food-hasn’t always been such a huge part of my life, but i do believe i was destined to get there at some point when considering my upbringing. When i was  little, my mom made all of my baby food from scratch. And as i grew up, smashed apples and pureed sweet potatoes for breakfast turned into puffed wheat or cheerios. There wasn’t a whole lot of unhealthy stuff in the house (especially since my grandmother also lived with us and she refused to put sugar in ANYTHING-thankfully now, all her baking includes sugar) until i was about 15 or 16. So i grew up enjoying tastes and flavors that the most kids maybe weren't exposed to, and although i fought my mom on this tooth and nail during those lovely years of adolescence,  begging for her to buy me Lucky Charms or something that had a sugar coating on it, i am so glad that she was insistently against it. My parents also cooked almost every night, but i never wanted anything to do with the kitchen or any of the food preparations. I didn’t even want to boil water-nor could i..So it came as a shock to my mom when i became very interested in my eating habits-reading food labels, experimenting with the vegetarian diet, and eventually, cooking. Now i can’t get enough of it. I’ve become obsessed with cookbooks, buying the best ingredients, and the creative outlet and satisfaction cooking can give you. I believe the best meals are when they are shared with friends-or close family-and that has only become more true since living in a small town in the south with little to do. When we first moved down here, and i was jobless for 4 months, it was a great opportunity for me to educate myself on kitchen basics, tools and techniques, which i did by reading most of my cookbooks cover to cover. Man, i learned alot! But being bored and jobless for that amount of time also gave me the opportunity to experiment with all kinds of different recipes, and feed those experiments to a couple of hungry Phil and Nick. But above all, there is really no better feeling than cooking a meal, sitting down at your table and watching everyone enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

this one's for you chris...

I found this blog and I LOVED the name so much that I checked it out.  Not so bad, I must say, but the name just out does the entire site!!  So, when I read the title, I immediately thought of my best friend over there in the great state of North Caroline and it made me laugh so hard that I couldn't resist posting it.  And GREAT is this title!  


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

just one of those days

Today has been one of those days.  Nothing exceptional or exciting - even, I would dare to venture, below average - and it seems as the day progressed, the more bland it got.  The sun was out, I went to my 7am yoga class, the dog park, caffeinated, made pumpkin whoopie pies, a carrot cake, kaiser rolls for veggie burgers tonight, and walked to the beach with Finn.  Nothing seemed to satisfy or relieve me from this funk I am in.  However, not all was lost.  I think right now, I just hit my high point.  I have Finn snugged up beside me all warm, cozy, and sleepy on the porch and I FINALLY found these mugs I came to obsess about that I wanted to share. 

I found these mugs at a couple of different shops during Christmas time and I contemplated gifting them, because they are so great.  I couldn't bring myself to do it because if I gifted one, I would need to have one for myself as well (sounds selfish I know, but I just couldn't do it!).  I dream of sipping my morning coffee out of these sweet sweet mugs.  


These great cups are made by Iittala Group
Iittala group is a leading company in modern Scandinavian design with a philosophy against "throwawayism."  Not only do I absolutely adore these cups, I love what the company that designs them stands for.  They say it so well:

"For a long time, Iittala has been part of an ongoing revolution. This is based on the belief that all human beings can make conscious choices in everyday life. Choosing objects that will last in design and quality will please our senses and create harmony in our everyday lives. Fortunately, this is also a choice for a more sustainable society, and against buying short-lived things destined for the rubbish bin. "

 I encourage everyone to check out their website and read the rest of Iittala's philosophy and what's even better? You get a two in one - a visually stimulating AND educational experience.  Happy reading!  

Monday, March 9, 2009


I find once i discover a soup i like, i want to try different variations of it and then decide which one i like the best, or pull elements from the ones i've tried and make a whole new rendition.  It's fun and a great way to find what you like or don't like, and then end up with something really yummy in the end that has characteristics of each recipe you've experimented with.  It's always a such a great feeling to have an experiment turn out well after all the flops..

Serves 6

10 large ripe plum tomatoes (or two 14oz. cans of tomatoes)
3 medium carrots
2 medium leeks
5 ribs of celery 
2 red onions
1 cabbage (or equivalent mixture)
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaping T. of fresh chopped rosemary
3 c. veggie or chicken stock
3 good handfuls of fresh basil, torn
6 oz. pasta (or cannelloni beans, which work basically the same-and you'll get a bit more protein)
salt and fresh ground pepper
olive oil
parmesan cheese, grated

Score the tomatoes and place briefly in boiling water.  Then skin, seed and roughly dice. (unless you're using canned tomatoes)  Peel carrots, quarter lengthwise and chop.  Remove the outer layers of the leeks, quarter lengthwise, wash well and chop. Peel the celery to remove the 'stringy bits' (can't ya just hear the accent?!), then cut in half lengthwise and chop.  Peel and chop onions.  When chopping, try to make them all more or less the same size, about 1/4" dice.  Wash and roughly chop the cabbage.

Put olive oil into a warmed, thick bottomed pan and cook the carrots, leeks, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary over medium heat until just tender.  Add tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the cabbage, cover the pan and simmer 10 minutes more, then adding the basil and pasta or beans-which will absorb the flavors of the soup-simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season.  The soup should be thick, full in flavor and the cabbage should not be over cooked.  Serve with some grated parm...
Hope you enjoy as much as i did!

Friday, March 6, 2009

She has arrived..

That's right folks..New Belgium's Fat Tire has finally made it's long anticipated journey east of the Mississippi to our shelves in North Carolina..and let me tell you, you've never seen such pandemonium...this is good....Drink up!