Not-Shocking, Shockers! + Tarragon Dressing


a list of current Top 5 “Not-Shocking, Shockers!”:

1.) The title of this list (convoluted. yet, expected.)

2.) Humidity and its negative affects on my hair. (Its like i cut myself third-grade bangs all over again…)

3.) How the film “Precious” manages to be both the Most Depressing and Most Uplifting movie in my brain. (i mean, come ON. Mo’Nique throws a T.V!)

4.) Looking at my legs on the first day of spring-shorts after many days of pants-wearing winter. (gah! its terrifying. but get real. i knew it was coming…)

5.) The delicious surprise of a big brother visit, even after he ruined the surprise and told me he was coming.

(Take note: Brothers who visit sisters are cool.)

(BUT, brothers who TELL their sisters they are coming BEFORE they surprise them so that their sisters have time to clean towels and trim toe nails are even cooler. Life is in the preparations, people).

These are really not-shocking, shockers. List=accomplished.

Want to know what else is a Not-Shocker? how awesome lavish breakfasts are.


(orange bliss french toast and famous homefires, coming atcha!)

Also? GIANT  farm salads. with lemon/ tarragon/ parsley vinaigrette. hazelnuts. goat cheese. red onion.


Again? how about how gal-darn lovely this city is in the summer?


Ok, just One more… Family adventures= Super fun. All the mystery of National Treasure, without the pain of National Treasure.  Plus, more old timey pizza joints.



this is the second installment of “Farm Feast”

On the Menu:

Baby Spring Greens w/ Toasted hazelnuts, Goat Cheese, and Tarragon Vinaigrette


2 bushels of farmers market greens (i got a mixed bundle that had mustard, dandelion, redleaf, spinach, and arugula)

1/4 of a red onion thinly sliced. (almost translucent when held to the light. that way, it doesn’t overwhelm)

hefty sprinkling of Local Goat Cheese (sweet, tangy, creamy)

1/2 toasted chopped hazelnuts


Lemon Tarragon Dressing:

in a mason jar combine-

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 T. honey

1/2 of olive oil

salt, pepper, garlic powder

4-5 sprigs of tarragon and parsley (finely chopped)

Shake well until emulsified. taste and adjust. add more honey if too “zippy”. add more lemon if too band, etc.

In a giant bowl, combine greens, nuts, cheese, onion. Pour vinaigrette over top. Toss. Serve immediately.

If you DON’T plan on eating the whole salad (leftovers? whaaaa?) refrain from dressing the whole thing and instead, serve it on the side. No one eats soggy next-day salad. That is totally a Not-Shocker.


Hope you all had Memorable Memorial Days!

xxoo M


a Study of Spring Tarts and Risk Taking

Sometimes, when wrestling with my brain, I lose.

My brain is a classically conditioned non- Risk taker. My brain HATES risks. So decision making is usually a Battle Royale:  My brain throws everything at me. Pros and Cons Lists, insecurities, doomsday prophecies, a whole string of fears, the works. Brain is quite the fighter and always rationalizes that the “devil I know is better than the devil I don’t”. 

But sometimes, before i throw in the towel and agree with Ol’ Brain,  in swoops Heart to save me. Heart is kinda bad-ass. It busts in on Brain beating me up and flexes its muscle and in a kind voice says, “Beat it pal, i got this.” Heart knows things, i guess. I call them “Heart Secrets”. I also know their power is real. It’s like an anchor in the pit my stomach. Heart slams it down and gives me the “go ahead” to do something drastic, risky, possibly even rash, because deep down Heart knows it’s right. My heart is the bomb. I just want Brain to get on board.

I baked up this little tart to treatise both camps. I think it worked. This Galette has caramelized onions, cranberries, pears, bleu cheese, and toasted hazelnuts all up in its business. It really is a marvelous combination.

After devouring several slices of this savory galette and a couple cups of creamy tea I had the strength, courage,  pastry coma, AND positive attitude to move towards bigger and better things. Brain and Heart behind me all the way. That’s a good feeling.

So what now? on this unseeable horizon?

GAAHHH!!! life questions…

I don’t really know.

what i DO know is that I want the work i do to be good and inspire goodness.  I’m starting there.

Missing and loving you all who read this. How very special you are. Please make this and eat it and know i wish i could join you.




Here’s a life slice

CUPCAKE CAMP! fundraiser benefitting Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Flea market find


Writing Goals are good. Writing Goals silly-ly is better

Sangria #ladydate

Homemade strawberry ice cream? mmmm..ok!

Beautiful Earthfest @the Esplanade

Henry the 8yr old. Virtuoso@ Porchfest

Mike Landings @Porchfest

moss graffiti

Nicoise Salad + the Gilded Age

My weekend was filled with fires, fancy cheese, and the magic of Newport.

This was my first trip to Rhode Island. It is such a beautiful place. I can see why Commodore Vanderbilt dropped a bundle of dough to stake claim on a cliff that overlooks a gray and endless sea…

breathtaking. (read: Downton Abbey made real)

The women of my family and I trounced through the estates of Newport making for one great  “Gatsby of an afternoon”. Partially responsible was Rosecliff.

The location where the theatrical version featuring Robert Redford was filmed. SO cool. This house is exquisite. On the tour of Rosecliff, i learned about the silk drapes, the gilded wood, the parquet floor, even the ballroom ceiling styled after the neo-french renaissance. But what was most interesting was the proprietress herself, Tess Oelrich.

This lady was bonkers. In an endearing, grossly rich, eccentric, early 20th century Ms. Frizzle, sort of way…

For instance:

She served Champagne and foie gras at her son’s birthday party…he was turning 7.

When her beloved white carrier pigeon died, she had it stuffed and adorned with flying apparatuses so that it could still deliver messages to her dressing room.

When she hosted the infamous “Bal Blanc” at Rosecliff,  the whole house, the flowers, the guests’ costumes were all bedecked in black and white. But from the terrace Ms. Oelrich noticed the ocean became one vast black hole at night. So she had anchored off the cliffs of her estate a dozen racing sloops. All painted white and fastened with chinese laterns so that they could glow and bob in the dark. Thus upsetting her no longer.

this, my friends, is decadence.

In honor of Ms. Oelrich, i made this salad. Nicoise (KNEE-swah) salad is french. with that weird little curly-Q beneath the “c”. But i didn’t know how to make that happen on my american computer.

let’s examine it:

a bed of crisp green butter lettuce

a series of sweet beets, tomato, salty tuna, and chopped egg

i had a bit of extra kale, too. throw in the health!

(and keeping with our theme, kale is also the color of money.)

one squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of salad cream (i use greek yogurt) later and you’ve got a fancy-pants delicious and wonderfully filling mid day lunch that prepares you for a night of heavy champagne sampling.

or so says Gatsby. i wouldn’t know. i live like a lady. 🙂

enjoy and indulge!



more pics? ok!


i i always had trouble finding my lighting. no more!

my little cousin Julia, Gram, Myself outside Rosehill

covered bridge

fortissimo. coffee in Union square. so hipster, they have a communal record player. 


public library

creek at Moore state park

apple death

a sleepy dog and Marilyn. #lazysunday

Finn sitting like a boss in his little league uniform. also, my finger. #reallifewhomp

Breakfast Bowl


I like you.

For lots of reasons.

i like you cause we talk about things.

we talk about rain. and the smell of old books. and creamy cups of tea.

we talk about poets and singers and our favorite kind of laundry soap.

but also, you and me, we agree on things.

I like that we agree freesias  and peonies blossoms are best.

or that caramel really can go on anything. no questions asked. no holds bar. no judgement.

also, crying alone while watching Little Women is healthy. and totally necessary

i get it. you get it. we’re awesome.

that’s why we eat breakfast for dinner.

whyyy???? because. we said so.

i like to create breakfast skillets based off what i have in my fridge.

so here’s what i had

1 slice of bacon

1 small onion

1 bushel of Kale

1 egg

2 yellow potatoes

rosemary/pepper/pink salt/ garlic/olive oil

chipotle salsa

goat cheese.

(don’t even act like you’re not excited)

preheat oven to 400 degrees. slice potatoes in wedges. drizzle in glugs of olive oil, pepper, salt, rosemary, and garlic.

begin roasting.

heat a skillet on medium, deposit diced bacon and cook just before crisp. If you’re a veggie, i suggest subbing tempeh and toasting it a bit.  Slice onion and add to pan. carmelize on med-low and add dash of pepper.


flip potatoes. make sure all sides get roasty. return to oven

(meanwhile on the range) add the kale and (if needed) a bit of water to the pan. cook down the onion, kale, bacon mixture until doneness. put in bowl. set aside.

by now the potatoes should be nearly done! great job!

heat the skillet up again. cook an egg. i like mine over easy. so that usually means a minute on either side depending on the heat of the pan. a cooked egg makes a lot of “noise”. happy, burping, eggy noise.

sorry for that last image…

Time to combine!

I have a wide porcelain bowl with charming yellow country details. it’s a favorite. i bought it from the arc for 50 cents. total pride moment.

i layer my bowl with potatoes, kale, then top off with the egg, goat cheese, and give the whole thing a good smothering of hot sauce. or for you more conservative types (no shame), you can puddle your salsa in a corner and go from there.

all options are viable, people. Therein lies the beauty.

happy “Night-Breaking”. (is that a thing?)

best part? you can drink beer with breakfast.

observe the Harpoon 100 barrel series hovering in the background.

oh sweet hammer of Thor, Batman…it was that good.


xxoo M

 grendel’s den in Harvard Squareshosh wearing her infant sized birthday present from myself. it’s a “money bags” costume.

fresh cider donut from the farmers market.looking up

falafel palacehomemade breadstick adventure!homebrew came in the mail 🙂cousin time.somerville museum. dusk on the charlesboston public librarya blossom fell