Monday, December 28, 2009

Savory Oatmeal! Let Me Count the Ways...

Savory Oatmeal Has Changed My Morning!

I really love oatmeal...though I can't always handle eating sweet food too early in the I looked up some savory oatmeal ideas and it was quite a revelation!  A lot of the websites/forums were talking about treating the oatmeal like fried it with chicken stock and adding scrambled eggs etc. I also add fresh garlic to the oatmeal as it cooks sometimes, for flavor.

So...I took that as my jumping off point and came up with the following combinations (all with scrambled egg):

Smoked Salmon with Green Onions

Smoked Salmon with Green Onions, Tomato, Goat Cheese and lemon Juice

Green Onion with Cheddar Cheese and Organic Worcestershire Sauce

Butternut Squash with garlic and cayenne

Butternut squash with nutmeg cayenne, garlic...and cooked the oatmeal with leftover Pumpkinhead Ale!

Red cabbage, soy sauce and sesame seeds

Tomato, fresh basil, smoked salmon, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and goat cheese

 Tomato, avocado, cumin, chili powder and lime juice

Not pictured:
  • Soy sauce with green onionSmoked Cheddar
  • Worcestershire, seeded chili peppers, chipotle tabasco
  • Tomato and basil with goat cheese
The possibilities are endless!


P.S.  I use Old Wessex Ltd. "Scottish Style Porridge Oats" ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Lovely Mystic, CT

I had intended on posting these photos back in October but time got away from me!  I thought they'd be a nice follow-up to my Lantern Light Tour blog since they show a bit more of Mystic.

I grew up in Niantic, CT and am by nature pretty much a New England girl. For my friends and I, September has become the month to visit Mystic. In particular, The Harp and Hound (for Pumpkinhead Ale and Bangers and Mash or Shepard's Pie) and B. F. Clyde's Cider Mill. There is also always, of course, a side trip to The Mohegan Sun for cocktails.

The Harp and Hound baffles and amuses me because it always has a menu posted outside featuring tasty sounding entrees and sides...but when you get inside, no matter what time of day, all they have is Bangers and Mash or Shepard's Pie. We, of course, are there specifically for those dishes but I find it really funny! It's all part of the tradition by is our crowding into the corner window booth with the over-sized map of Ireland and a shelf of ancient looking books.


My family has been going to B.F Clyde's Cider Mill since I was a kid. The smell of apples that permeates the air, the cider's the definition of a Fall outing.

Cider fresh from the press

How she works


As I said before, Mystic Seaport is one of my favorite places to photograph.  The tone, the light...the history...and it's always nostalgic for me since I grew up in this area.

Ship Carvings

Who knew rope-making could be so beautiful?

The beauty of The Ropewalk completely transfixed and fascinated me

My dream kitchen


Doctor's office

Druggist Counter


Peeking at the next table at The Seamen's Inne Pub

Fish and Chips at the Seamen's Inne Pub

Local Beer!

The Seaport has such a quiet beauty and dignity. I love that I see something new every time I visit.


Monday, December 21, 2009

A Holiday Evening in CT


Two weeks ago I went home to CT for a "Lantern Light Tour" at Mystic Seaport.  I hadn't participated in one since I was a kid so it was a nostalgic and festive evening. This time of year the Seaport is transformed into a living breathing 1870s era New England seaside town on Christmas Eve. It's brilliant!

I had my camera...but the photos are few because, well, the only light sources were lanterns! Great for a "mood" shot though :)

It's such a charming way to spend a holiday evening!  Mystic Seaport is one of my favorite places to visit because it's like stepping back in time...seeing how life was in "simpler times."  The Lantern Light Tours let  you step even further into that world. We got to dance in the reading room, listen to some sailors spin a yarn while warming their hands over a fire near their ship, were served cookies while entering a home (I think they were snickerdoodles...)

After the tour we had dinner at the S&P Oyster Company.

 New England Clam Chowder!

 Petite Filet Minon

Irish Coffee

Table Art

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mugwort Chicken Salad

In early November I completed the first year of my herbal apprenticeship. I can't believe a year has gone by already! I remember having the germ of the idea while standing in my room at Newbold House in August of 2008 (in Scotland).  So much has happened since then. 

Mugwort and Me
As part of the apprenticeship, we all chose plant allies to work with.  Mine was Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris).  Mugwort has been very magical for me.  The first medicine I ever made was mugwort oil. Since then I have meditated with her and made many other medicines such as tincture and salves.

Some Fun Facts about Mugwort
*According to “In the Middle Ages, the plant was known as Cingulum Sancti Johannis, it being believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of it in the wilderness. There were many superstitions connected with it: it was believed to preserve the wayfarer from fatigue, sunstroke, wild beasts and evil spirits generally: a crown made from its sprays was worn on St. John’s Eve to gain security from evil possession, and in Holland and Germany one of its names is St. John’s Plant, because of the belief, that if gathered on St. John’s Eve it gave protection against diseases and misfortunes.”

*Aids with Dream recall

*Helps relieve inflammation, such as arthritis pain

*It's a wonderful ally to women for cramps



 For my final project, I created a recipe!

The following was inspired by a "woman's" tea recipe that I found:

2 green apples
1.5 lbs chicken breast (no antibiotics, etc)
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts
Powdered Mugwort
1 lemon
Walnut Oil
Sea Salt

Brown the chicken breast in walnut oil, Celtic sea salt and powdered mugwort. I had harvested and dried my own, but you can buy powdered mugwort in Japanese markets.

While the chicken is cooling, chop the apple and tossed the pieces with some lemon juice (about 1/4 cup).

Mix the apple with the chopped dates


Pan toast the walnuts with a touch of honey and salt

Mix it all together with a little more salt, a little fresh grated ginger, and a dash of dried ginger. Dress it with a little more honey and walnut oil.

Mugwort is very useful in helping with digestion...which is why I decided pairing it with ginger would be lovely (since ginger also helps with the tummy).

This plant has become my fellow traveler. I took her with me to Scotland in tincture and salve form as well as in a little luck charm. I'm so excited to keep learning and growing with her!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving in CT, 2009


We tried frying the turkey this year...

 My Edinburgh TopShop Heels :)

Trees behind Mom's House



 Mom's Mashed Potatoes!






 Leftover Turkey Soup in the evening...

My finishing touch for the soup :)