That Perfect Summer Isle

 

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image4An adventure this weekend reconfirmed my notion of summer. Cuttyhunk, in my opinion, is the epitome of an idyllic summertime landscape. Cuttyhunk is the outermost island of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts, just 1.5 miles long, who plays host to 52 full-time residents and a bounty of boaters and island hoppers in the warmer months. There are hardly any cars on the island, but plenty of golf carts driven by those carefree inhabitants. Rugged rugosa shrubs scatter the perimeter of the picturesque harbor and beaches, and historic homes dot the lush hills. Any spot on the island offers a special vantage point, whether it may be sand, architecture or a glimpse of the nearby Vineyard Sound. The surrounding waters have been known for shipwrecks and a plethora of striped bass for eager fishermen. Above are a few captures from the excursion.

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Moules Marinières

Mussels

One of my favorite things about summertime is the food. Fresh fruit for cobblers, seafood from local harbors and salads crafted from garden harvests…

We’ve seemed to have mastered the “Moules Marinières” dish, as we’ve feasted on mussels a few times and our recipe has progressively improved.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 
1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 small shallots
, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 
1 1/2 pounds mussels
  • 
8 ounces chicken stock
  • 
1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 
lemon wedges
  • 
salt and pepper
  • Crusty French bread

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Clean and remove beards from mussels.
  2. Preheat a large pot to medium and add olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted, add sliced shallots, a pinch of salt and pepper then cook for 5 minutes until the shallots have softened.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, chicken stock and mussels, then cover with a lid and steam mussels for 8-10 minutes or until all mussels open. (If any mussels do not open, discard).
  4. Add cream and parsley, stir and season with salt if necessary.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and slices of crusty French bread.

Enjoy!

xx

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Hibiscus at The Orchard

The Orchard Estate 2
 The Orchard Estate 4

The Orchard Estate 1

The Orchard Estate 3

The Orchard, a french style chateau in Newport, Rhode Island just steps from the cliff walk, played host to an estate sale this past weekend. The owners enlisted Tresor Estate Sales to sell the remaining items in their garden and carriage house. From the moment I saw the online posting, I had my eyes on the potted hibiscus and an instant vision of admiring their tropical blooms amidst summer cocktails. Tended to for over twenty years by the property’s caretaker, the hibiscus are rather substantial in size and were just begging for a new home. I’m happy to report I am the new proud nurturer, thanks to my handsome beau who helped get them home safely.

This coming weekend, the property will be open again for an estate sale, to include interior items from the carriage house. Arrive early and bring your coffee in tow! See here for details.

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