People: Who Do You Think You Are?

Gil Zamora has one of those jobs I find fascinating. Unfortunately, I can’t draw people and would probably ask too many questions which may defeat the purpose of the interview.

Between some tears I really enjoyed these interviews. As a designer, I’m trained to determine if a potential client and my services are going to gel within the first 30 minutes or less of a meeting. These interviews resonate on a professional level on how people want to be perceived through the visual presentation of their homes. We are all critical of how we appear to the world outside of our heads and I find it sad so many think less of themselves than those around them. I hope this campaign lifts people to think better of themselves.





I.M.: Hunger Is Just A Myth

I grew up in an affluent community where wealth is measured by acquired products and services and hunger is a myth found only in other communities and far away lands. This weeks inspiration comes from a concept similar to what we had in Boston at Panera (currently shelved for retooling) that brings awareness to those in need.

As we approach the holiday season, my take away from this is to introduce to my family a way to give back – year round.

How do you give back?

Creative Juices: Jesse Green

As an interior designer I have the opportunity to meet artisans who make my job fun and inspired. In Creative Juices People, I want to share with you interesting people doing things that inspire, enrich and enlighten those around them and encourage all of us to follow our passions.

I’m sure if anyone met “The Machine” Jesse Green in college he probably stood out as someone who would definitely blaze his own trail.

Take a look –


Good Eats: Prosciutto, Fig and Ricotta Crostini

So, I had an epiphany last week and immediately called my husband to let him know what his role would be in this plan. We spend most weekends with our friends who happen to be our neighbors. My husband and I spend lots of time cooking – I find the recipes, shop the ingredients and he mixes the magic. Why not enlist our friends to be taste testers with opinions? Well, that idea took little to no encouraging of our friend’s and hubby is totally on board with the plan. So, here is the first recipe put on the table for consumption and comments.


These crostini are sweet and salty and pair very well with a white wine. Our selection for this evening was  Columbia Crest Two Vines Chardonnay.

You will need these ingredients



To make these tasty appetizers






1                       Baguette or Ciabatta loaf

8.5oz                Dalmatia Fig spread

16oz                 Fresh ricotta cheese

.25 pounds     Prosciutto sliced thin

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Slice bread into 1/2 inch slices. If using a baguette slice on an angle for more surface space. Place slices on a cookie sheet and bake until crisp, 10-15 minutes.

Remove bread from the oven, no need to cool. Spread a layer of fig, a layer of ricotta and top with a strip of prosciutto sized to the bread slice. Repeat 12-16 more times and enjoy.

Notes: We made this three times in a week and swapped out the baguette for sour dough and garlic ciabatta. We found the crispier the bread the better the flavor supports the other ingredients.

Let me know if you use this incredibly quick and simple recipe for your next gathering and what wine pairing you enjoyed.



I.M.: An Apple a Day

What better way to be inspired on a cool, fall day than to visit an apple orchard. So many trees with so many apple varieties, shapes and colors. This weekends inspiration is simple and pure New England.

After visiting here and climbing one of these – 


And walking many miles of these – 


We picked and hauled 40 pounds of these – 


Ultimately to be inspired to make in the coming weeks, some of these – 

Apple chipsApple turnovers

Apple cocktail apple crisp with ice creamcaramel applescanned applescaramel apple pie

Good Eats: Lemon Ginger Tea

This food post will fall under the category of essential recipes for the cold and flu season. About six years ago I sought out relief for my ever recurring fall cold/flu that would ultimately result in several months of coughing. I hate over-the-counter drugs and find they do more harm than good for me. I came across several versions of this tea to alleviate my sore throat, stuffy head and cough (chest colds were my weak spot) and this is the recipe I found worked for my symptoms. I’ve shared this tea with several of my friends, neighbors, family and my once doubting husband who is now the mule for this elixir when a neighbor is in need.  Following is information behind the ingredients and why they work to help the body heal itself.

Lemon – Vitamin C also contains antioxidant properties, which are important for bolstering the immune system

Read more:

Honey – Nathaniel Altman, author of “The Honey Prescription: The Amazing Power of Honey As Medicine,” adds that honey may have the power to kill deadly bacteria, such as those that can lead to MRSA and other staph infections.

Read more:

Ginger – Among other things: The intake of ginger juice will warm the body, promoting healthy sweating, which not only assists detoxification but also boosts the immune system thanks to the germ-fighting agent in sweat called dermcidin.

Read more:



On to the recipe:

4 cups        Water

2                  Lemons

1-2 tsps      Honey

1-2 tbs        Grated ginger


While boiling water, combine the juice of the lemons, honey and grated ginger in a thermos or carafe. Add boiling water, stir and cover to steep for 10-15 minutes.

Notes: Adjust the flavor with lemon or honey and sip it as hot as you can handle. This tea need not be reserved for when you’re under the weather, either.

Enjoy and feel better 🙂


I.M. Mid Week Boost

I know it’s not Monday, but somewhere around the middle of the week enthusiasm for something new and inspiring gets beaten down. The excitement of powering forward on a fresh, new path to brain expansion becomes an unidentifiable pile resembling brown jell-o. Nice mental image, huh? Well, here is a visual that I have found to breath some fresh air into inspiration mobilization efforts. Every time I pull this video up I find a new aspect of life highlighted with positive vibes – this round is how young he looks by the end.

I hope you find some “fire under your butt” motivation, too.




I.M.: Science & Cooking

Good Morning!!!

Somewhere around Saturday morning I woke up and freaked out about my Inspiration Monday challenge to myself. About 10 minutes after my feet hit the floor I had my challenge solidified. Ready for this? SPU27x Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science. Um, what, you say? So, I came across an article last week and I thought “My husband would really enjoy something like this.” It’s an online course sponsored by Harvard, MIT and several other vaguely familiar giants from the world of higher ed. This course focuses on the science behind cooking – not unlike my other blog food section Just Food. Duh! I would really like something like this! There it is, I signed up and I’m ready to blow up my kitchen to get a certificate from Harvard or MIT, don’t know which one.

For the next few weeks I will come back to you with how this challenge is working, how many times the fire department has visited for experiments gone wrong and share some cool and fascinating food knowledge. If you find any of this interesting, check out Alton Brown’s Good Eats or sign up for the course and we can compare notes.

BTW: My husband signed up with little resistance and much anticipation to challenge his little gray cells with what we love – FOOD!

Good Eats: Ham and Gruyère French Toast Sandwich

My husband uses Gruyère in his scalloped potato recipe, so pairing it with ham is just over the top fabulousness! You may here this saying quite often from me, so I’m throwing this suggestion out there. “EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH PANCETTA!” Pancetta can be sliced and pan fried similar to a Canadian Bacon and substituted for the smoked ham (obviously). I think this sandwich makes a wonderful brunch option or a late-night-hit-the-spot treat. I wonder if these freeze well?

F&W recommends a dry riesling and I’m totally on board with the pairing. I also think a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais would hold their own with this yumminess.

I think this will be on the menu for Sunday brunch and I’ll report on if it’s a family winner. Let me know if you give this a try or have a great brunch suggestion.


Ham and Gruyère French Toast Sandwiches


Ham and Gruyère French Toast Sandwiches Recipe – Jesse Cool | Food & Wine.

Good Eats: Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

A cool, fall Sunday is just right for comfort food. Here’s a recipe I presented to my husband last weekend to fit the bill. This meatloaf is simple, tasty and quick. I had seen this recipe while searching for a quick appetizer in Giada At Home.  Meatloaf has to be accompanied by mashed potatoes in our house to round out the comfort food menu, so we used the leftover garlic while boiling the potatoes for a hint of flavor.

My 5 year old typically is not a meatloaf eater since green peppers are part of our recipe, so I had the back-up pasta plan in place. To our surprise my son vaporized the meatloaf!

A tiny over site – we forgot the eggs! Despite that goof, it was still moist and worked well the next day on a baguette. I suggest a light Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir depending on your preference.

Try it and let me know your thoughts on this recipe.



Giada De Laurentiis – Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.