Cooking: Soup · My family's favorites

Chicken Once ChickenTwice: The Second of Five Recipes from Lovely Roasted Chicken Breasts

  I do believe that Chicken Soup is good for the soul. Actually, according to LivingLovelier, it’s own FOOD GROUP. Ninety percent of the time you’ll find a few quarts in my freezer. It is comfort food, medicine, a delicious snack, an elixir and coupled with some popovers and a salad, a perfect meal. Soups… Continue reading Chicken Once ChickenTwice: The Second of Five Recipes from Lovely Roasted Chicken Breasts

Cooking: Soup · Interior · Renovation

Fourth in my HOME made series; Come into the Kitchen!


If you happened to read my recent blog post, you would know that I broke up with my old house.


Yes. Thank you. I am ok.

As I mentioned, I will continue to post about the renovation of our old gal.  Today, I shall share what made the kitchen so stupendous.

When I walked into my kitchen for the first time, it was love at first sight. I was smitten.

Whoever coined that “the kitchen is the heart of the home,” nailed it. And to me, the kitchen was the kitchen of all kitchens. How many times can I say kitchen in one sentence?

My Michael often remarked that he could easily live in it.  He sat on his comfortable stool at the bar, with one eye observing (all the while taste testing) whatever I happened to be stirring up.  The other eye fixated on whatever sporting event was on the big ‘ole tv.  One of three fridges was within arms reach.  The table was large enough to sleep on. And the bath and a half bath was right around the corner.

I am not sure who loved it more; Michael or me.

The former owners impeccably created the footprint of the kitchen and chose “Gucci” appliances. They were top -of-the-line, not to mention they looked sexy. The honed granite countertops, custom wood bar, and fine cabinetry pulled it all together. They did a super job.

I had no business changing the above. But I was excited about making it my own. The previous owners had a Tuscan theme; they painted the walls a muddled mustard color, a personalized mural was on the wall, and stencils of ivy and grapes laced the beams.

I lean toward mixing up the funky and modern with antiquity.  I decided to create a neutral palate with the paint (Ben Moore Edgecomb Gray- one of my favorites that I used in my Beacon Hill home as well as my Commonwealth Ave. condo.).

Tried as we might, we were not successful in stripping the beams to their natural wood finish.  We busted three sanders within the first few hours.  That was a wrap. We painted them the color of the trim, Benjamin Moore White Dove, and that worked just as well.

The previous pendant lighting over the bar was mosaic and diminutive given the scope of the room.  We installed clear globe large pendants (Rejuvenation) and what a transformation.


They are pretty but not to scale


This is more like it!

I mounted an antique bookshelf on the wall and filled it with my favorite cookbooks. That too was repurposed from my Beacon Hill home. (You can see a little sliver of it on the left side of the above photo.)

I found my kitchen table at Restoration Hardware Outlet.  It was prominently displayed immediately upon entering the store. I think that she was waiting for me to whip out my credit card and take her home: Another instance of love at first sight.


This table was the life of the party and demanded attention.  The base was re-purposed wood.  And it was the first thing people noticed upon entering the room; It was magnetic.

It was as heavy as all get-out.  It took four very burly men on a bitterly cold day to bring it into the house. After they had carried it only twenty yards, every one of them was pouring sweat.

For seating, one one side, I repurposed my 111 Navy Chairs (see detail below ( made from recycled Coca-Cola bottles!) from my Boston house.  On the other, I used a bench which smoothly tucked under the table.  That was a pro-active solution to three boys who forget, at times, to push in their chairs when leaving the table.  At either end, I placed two Restoration Hardware linen wing chairs (above)  which were just, too comfortable.

Dexter can agree.

The best thing about that piece of furniture was that it was a mantel for many memories.


I know that the new owners will make many memories and share wonderful food and fun in this beautiful room. How could they not?

So, n the spirit of my beloved kitchen and my passion for cooking, below I share one of my favorite recipes which I came up with in this very kitchen: Italian Sausage Soup!

Hearty Vegetable Soup


  • Two (11.5 ounce) cans tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
Two cups of chicken stock (vegetable if you prefer)

  • Four carrots, sliced
    Two parsnips, sliced

  • Four stalks celery diced
Two (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes undrained

  • Two cups chopped fresh green beans
Two cups fresh corn kernels
  • Two cups of peas
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Creole seasoning to taste


In a large stock pot, combine broth, tomato juice, stock, carrots, parsnips, celery, tomatoes, green beans, peas, and corn. Season with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 25- 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

Sparkle On, Friends!



“The 111 Navy Chair from Design With Reach is “”Made from 111 recycled plastic Coke® bottles; this chair is the result of a special collaboration between Emeco and Coca-Cola®. It took four years of research, design, and testing to create it, the production of which keeps three million plastic bottles out of landfills every year. The 111 Navy Chair (2010) not only celebrates the iconic form of the aluminum 1006 Navy® Chair designed in 1944″”

*Design Within Reach

Cocktail Party · Cooking: Soup · What is Living Lovelier?

Survey Says! Fish Chowder; My Boys #9 Favorite!


Creamy, dreamy fish chowder is perfect for a chilly early spring evening- or anytime.  Curl up and enjoy. Don’t forget some warm, crusty bread.

Want me to SHOW you how to make this in person? Or any other one of my recipes, for that matter? BOOK A COOKING CLASS. My kitchen or yours.

  • Girl’s/ guy’s night out, showers, birthday parties,  of just a fun evening (or day) out.
  • Learn how to make Hors D’Oeuvres or themed four-course dinners (French or Italian,) date night dinners, comfort food meals and more.
  • Email me at for information, availability and pricing.

This is going to be so much fun!

So, get your apron (and your groove) on and start cooking!

Creamy Dreamy Fish Chowder

What You Need

  • 8 oz. bacon
  • Three tablespoons butter
  • One large Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • One shallot minced
  • Four celery stalks finely chopped
  • Kosher salt Freshly ground pepper
  • Three large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1-1 1/4 lb.), peeled (optional) and cubed into 1/2″ pieces
  • One cup of fish stock or chicken stock (I prefer chicken stock)
  • 8 oz clam juice
  • Two tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • One 1/2-2 pounds skinless cod, haddock,
  • 2 cups half-and-half 2 cups of whole milk

What To Do

  • Line a half sheet pan with foil and cook the bacon at 400 until nicely browned, about 15 minutes- do not overcook it- you do not want it too crispy.
  • (If you prefer to cook the bacon in the pan on the stove you can. I find that cooking it in the oven is the best way. The bacon cooks evenly, and there is less of a mess and splattering.)
  • Place the bacon on paper towels and pat the excess fat off.
  • Add two tablespoons of the bacon fat in a Dutch oven or heavy pot and set the heat to medium.
  • Add the butter, onion, and celery to the pot.
  • Add kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and the celery is soft, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, clam juice, thyme, and broth.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10–15 minutes.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper and place it on top of the potatoes.
  • Cover the pot and cook until fish is opaque and flaky throughout, 5–7 minutes (the timing depends on the thickness of the fish.)
  • Add half-and-half and milk one cup at a time allowing several minutes between each additional cup.
  • Return it to a simmer and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes.
  • Chop the bacon and use it to garnish each bowl.
  • Season with kosher salt and fresh pepper just before serving.
  • (This can be made up to two days in advance. It is super delicious after a day or two.)


Sparkle On, Friends.

Cooking · Cooking: Soup

Crockpot Carrot Ginger Soup

  Healthy and Delicious! This recipe for carrot ginger soup is hearty, but it is surprisingly very low in calories and fat. And, it is loaded with good stuff. It is so easy to make. First, I saute my onions, garlic, and leeks in Grammy’s skillet.  The extra step of sauteing them as opposed to… Continue reading Crockpot Carrot Ginger Soup

Cooking · Cooking: Pasta · Cooking: Soup · Joy · My family's favorites

Survey Says!

I just interviewed my boys about their top eleven favorite recipes from my kitchen. IN THE WORDS OF MY BOYS   Fried Chicken: Homemade. (25 recipes tried.) We finally settled on this custom gem. “Southern-fried heaven.” (Michael) Linguine ala Vodka: Sounds simple and standard but-nope.  And you don’t need and ID to eat it. Hands… Continue reading Survey Says!

Cooking · Cooking: Kitchen Tips · Cooking: Soup

Let Me Give You a Few Tips

  HERBS I love to buy bunches of herbs to use in my recipes.  Generally, the bunches are bountiful and I am not always able to use them in time before they turn. I chop my extra herbs, place in an ice cube tray, cover them with water and freeze them.  I have them on hand… Continue reading Let Me Give You a Few Tips

Cooking · Cooking: Soup · Hors 'douvres

Football and Creamy Potato Leek Soup; A recipe for a great weekend.

There sure is a chill in the air! I am pretty confident that My Michael is going to build a roaring fire this weekend, and we will gather around it and watch football. Obviously. I  just made a big stockpot of this Potato soup. My Michael and the boys are going to love it. I… Continue reading Football and Creamy Potato Leek Soup; A recipe for a great weekend.