Cooking · My family's favorites

JOIN THE CLUB: Fourth in the Series of Five Recipes from Lovely Roasted Chicken Breasts

Hungry? Try this recipe for homemade chicken club sandwiches. I don’t buy deli meat for the most part.  It is loaded with sodium and other unmentionables.  PLUS, it is pricey. My boys brown bag it every day.  They love a wholesome, homemade chicken sandwich.  These are easy to make and so, so, so much tastier… Continue reading JOIN THE CLUB: Fourth in the Series of Five Recipes from Lovely Roasted Chicken Breasts

Cooking · My family's favorites

To DIE Chicken Pot Pie; Third in the Series of Five Recipes from Lovely Roasted Chicken Breasts

It is a dreary day here.  Since I cooked up some roasted chicken last night, I have the perfect dinner plan!  This will take no time. Curl up and enjoy! LIVINGLOVELIER”S Chicken Pot Pie What you’ll need: 2 Roasted Chicken breasts (Roasted Chicken recipe here) Butter Pepper Salt Milk Cooked Carrots (frozen are ok)… Continue reading To DIE Chicken Pot Pie; Third in the Series of Five Recipes from Lovely Roasted Chicken Breasts

Cooking · My family's favorites

First up- Roasted Chicken Breasts

Last week I posted “Five superBOWLS for the Patriots; Five superDISHES for you.”  I promised five chicken dishes that you can create from roasted chicken.  First, you need the roasted chicken so, here you go! Step one… Let’s get roasting! FYI! This is a delicious weeknight dinner all on its own. Serve it up with some… Continue reading First up- Roasted Chicken Breasts


Nice Weather We are Having: For a Bowl Of Beef Stew!

It is a snowy, blustery day.  I am in my cozy sweatpants and a cuddly sweater curled up in my office with Dexter and a mug of Constant Comment Tea.  Outside the snow is blowing sideways.  My boys are home and My Michael is in the other room working away. I LOVE A SNOW DAY!… Continue reading Nice Weather We are Having: For a Bowl Of Beef Stew!

Cooking · Thoughts

Joe Never Met a Parsnip He Did Not Like

Dear Friends, For over the past three years I have had the honor and privilege to cook weekly meals for a lovely couple who have become dear to me: So much so that I asked them to be my adopted parents.  Despite being parents to six others, they enthusiastically agreed. I suppose one more after six… Continue reading Joe Never Met a Parsnip He Did Not Like

Cooking · Design · Floral Design · Plants and Flowers · Table Fashion

My JamBALAYA: Tuscan Bowls, White Linen, Antique Silver meet the Bayou

  I know. This is a pretty crazy title, but let me explain. My design style is to mix things up, to be unpredictable and to mix the old with the new.  Here I am bringing this style to my dinner table.  Wait for it. Last night, My Michael had a hankering for some Cajun food.… Continue reading My JamBALAYA: Tuscan Bowls, White Linen, Antique Silver meet the Bayou

Cooking · My family's favorites


  Last night, My Michael and I invited our dear friends, Clare and Mike, over to watch the Patriots vs. the Steelers with our three teenaged boys. We were thrilled with the final score.  We are even more excited to see the Pats play the Falcons on February 5. In true football fashion, I decided… Continue reading SUPERBOWL of Chili

Cocktail Party · Cooking · Floral Design · Interior

HOME Made: Welcome to My Dining Office!



Welcome to my dining room which also serves as my office. Or better said, welcome to my dining office!

We entertain here, we eat here, I work here. Unlike many dining rooms in today’s world, this room is fully employed.

I love to prepare a delicious meal, set a noteworthy table, arrange fresh fragrant flowers and welcome my friends and family into my home.  That said, having a special and unique room to entertain was one of the high priorities on the decorating “to do” list.

The room needed to be a place of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. We host many dinner parties so I wanted it to be intimate and welcoming.   So, during the construction phase, we  were sure to include lining and capping the fireplace. That was a good decision.

A previous owner of our home was responsible for hanging the dramatic red and gold floral paper. It was in excellent condition and I loved it so it made the cut. And I used that as my muse.

We were able to repurpose almost every piece of this furniture. I love when that happens.

Notice the two styles of chairs. I found the harp back chairs at an old antique shop. The remaining belonged to My Michaels family. I married them with yellow and magenta leopard print fabric.

I love the juxtaposition of the classic wallpaper and the funky animal print.

The funny thing is that if you look closely at the “spot the difference” photo at the bottom of the page, you will notice that the print  on the chair upholstery was so similar.  My Boston dining room had a smaller, traditional black and beige print.  In my present dining room, the chair cover print  is wilder and bigger with unconventional colors.

Now, have a look at the diamond upholstered chair in the corner. It came from My Michaels previous home. The colors and pattern bring the paper and animal print together in an even more interesting way. The deep wood on the arms ties in with Grammy’s secretary (my desk,) the china cabinet and the breakfront (not pictured.)

Speaking of which, the china cabinet  and breakfront were in the same old antique shop where I found the harp backed chairs.

The beautiful silk Persian rug  (as seen in the “spot the difference” photo of my Boston Home) would have been a lovely addition.  My concern was that it would be damaged by the traffic or a spilled glass of Cabernet, (not to mention the three boys, black Lab and orange Tabby.)

I surfed around and I found a reasonably priced neutral-trimmed sisal rug on Overstock. (You know what I love about Overstock?  There are so many filter options on the site that it is easy to find the perfect option quickly.)

My brother painted the still-life hanging above the fireplace. I call the frame it’s “fruit bowl.”  It does look like one, doesn’t it?IMG_6903

The brass “piggy banks” were given to my stepsons as babies by My Michael’s parents.IMG_6901

This pillow was made for me by a sweet neighbor, Jeannie. She was about eighty when she gave it to me in 1992.  She lovingly collected and sewed clothing labels together to  make a fashionable mosaic.  It is worn but loved.IMG_6902

My Michael and I believe, at times, that we were born in the wrong era. We love our evening talks in our Parlor (soon to be showcased,) listening to Frankie-Blue-Eyes with and adult beverage (Manhattans or Martins on special occasions or when we are feeling particularly in a 1950’s moment) which we pour at our drink cart!  We are so Ward and June-ish.

As I enjoy this room, I remember many family dinners where we sat in the harp backed chairs in Boston and listened to my late Dad’s stories.  I remember as a child, poking through Grammy’s secretary and finding her and ‘Pa’s social security cards and her photos from her youth in Ireland in hidden little nooks. Now I love gathering around with those I love and making memories right now.


Now, Friends, can you “SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?

Here is my Boston dining room


And here is my dining room today!



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: Dinner · Cooking: Sides

Survey Says! Twice Baked Potatoes; My Boys #6 Favorite!


Twice Baked Potatoes

A few weeks ago I posted, “Survey Says!”  It listed the top eleven recipes from my kitchen according to my boys.

As promised, here is the second post in the series of sharing those recipes.

Sparkle On, Friends.

Mary’s Twice Baked Potatoes

What you need:

  • Four large russet potatoes washed, and each pierced several times
  • Six tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of hot milk
  • 2/3 cup of shredded sharp cheddar plus more for topping
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh minced parsley
  • Optional: Minced Scallion, Bacon bits

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put the potatoes on the rack in the center of the oven and bake for one hour.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the oven.
  4. Hold each potato with a towel and then slice the potato lengthwise.
  5. Hollow out the potato leaving a layer of the potato (so that the skins remain intact.)
  6. Place the potato into a mixing bowl.
  7. Brush the skins with butter, sprinkle the with salt and pepper and return to the oven while you make the filling.
  8. Mash the potato with the butter. Add the sour cream. Stir in the milk a bit at a time and continue to mash until the mixture is blended. Add more milk if needed for your desired consistency
  9. Season with kosher salt and pepper
  10. Fold in 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese
  11. Remove the skins from the oven and refill them with the potato mixture, mounding it slightly.
  12. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the potato filling.
  13. Set the potatoes a baking sheet, and bake until heated through about 20 minutes.
  14. Garnish with fresh parsley (or with scallion or bacon bits.)
  15. Serve immediately.