Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hazelnut White Hot Chocolate

Call me crazy, but for someone that loves chocolate, I never acquired the taste for hot chocolate, so I created my own hot chocolate recipe that included three sweets that I enjoy.         1. Milk Chocolate 2. White Chocolate and 3. Nutella 

And yes, this recipe is FULL of calories and sugar.  You're welcome

  • 4 - 5 oz milk chocolate (bar or chips
  • 11 oz white chocolate (bar or bag of chips)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2 cups Nutella (or your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread)
In a large pot, add the dry ingredients and stir together.  Slowly pour in the milk while blending and stirring in the dry mixture.  Once that is done, add the two cups of chocolate hazelnut. Slowly bring the mixture to a soft boil making sure to stir regularly until all of the ingredients have melted and dissolved.  Serve alone, with whipped cream, or with marshmallows.  

To make this a bit more "festive", for those over 21 you can add a chocolate liquor, white chocolate liquor, or hazelnut liquor.   PS, It's good chilled too! Can you imagine blending this with ice cream?  Oh don't get me started!  I could go on and on! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A visit to Hinckley Yachts

Today my husband and I took a drive to Portsmouth, Rhode Island to visit the home office of Hinckley Yachts where we got to go step aboard several of their yachts and see their amazing workmanship.  

After our visit, I was inspired to share some items I felt emulated the "Hinckley Look".

Monday, October 10, 2016

Castle Hill Inn Newport Rhode Island

This past summer, I had the pleasure of staying at Castle Hill Inn, in Newport, Rhode Island.  I was invited to attend the Newport Music Festival and since my husband was not available to join me, I asked Lorna, a friend since childhood, to join me. Any pictures with me in them, were taken by her since I have yet to master the art of a selfie stick. :-)

Close to everything, but tucked away from it all with amazing water views:

Built in 1874, Castle Hill was first and foremost a summer residence before being converted into a private inn in the late 20th century.  Now part of the Relais & Chateaux family, Castle Hill Inn offers luxurious amenities, an attentive staff, gourmet meals and spa services.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

It's all about presentation

For me, visual presentation can change everything. When my husband ordered a burger and fries, I never expected the meal to be presented in such a beautiful way.  The white bowl, holding the french fries, was a simple addition to how they served the meal, but it made quite and impact.  Call me silly, but something so simple caught my attention. That said, I ended up going home to find a similar style vessel.  Not only do I think I found something similar, but the Sur la Table white lion crock / bowl looks like I found the exact item.  If you like the look too, I posted the link below. 

I will be returning to the Rangeley Inn's tavern soon and I will need to confirm how well I did with finding a "similar" item.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Gourmet dining on the porch

Last year, my husband and I had the pleasure of staying at Twin Farms, a Relais Chateau property, in Vermont.  Each day was an amazing experience, including our gourmet lunch that was served on the porch of our private cabin.  Below I have linked a collection of table top items if you would like to recreate this look. 


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A visit to America's oldest jeweler - Shreve, Crump & Low

I first walked into Shreve, Crump & Low, while on Newbury Street, to obtain information about how to clean diamond rings at home.  This information will be shared in a future post, but I also walked in knowing I had another mission to fulfill. 

That mission??? To keep finding New England businesses, or those who got their start in New England, that are unique, have a great story to tell, and exude "fine living" qualities no matter what the price point is. 

My visit to Shreve, Crump & Low absolutely fit my check list and then some.  Their story in a nut shell?  With a start in Boston in 1796, they are the oldest jeweler in America and what a story it is. At then end of this post, you I have included a link to their website and also their historic timeline.  

In the meantime, here are just a few stunning items I got to view.  I was like a magpie drawn to every glittery item hopping from case to case.  As soon as I saw one piece of jewelry, that lured me in, my eyes were being distracted by another piece and I could not wait to move on and hear more about it. Let me just say, my jewelry wish list has just gotten a little longer :-).   

This little beauty, a 20 plus carat tanzanite and diamond ring, called my name as I walked by the case.  Did I mention I LOVE tanzanite?  At one point it was a consideration to use tanzanite in my wedding ring, but I was informed it would be too fragile for everyday wear.  This glamorous ring would be perfect to wear to a gala, cocktail party, or a "just because it's fabulous" party.

I am always drawn to the estate jewelry section when visiting jewelers.  There is something to be said about knowing someone else enjoyed and loved a piece of jewelry. For the fun of it, I create my own stories of their history if there is not one to be told. The watch above is a vintage Shreve, Crump & Low piece that made its way back to store to be enjoyed yet again. 

Also in the estate jewelry case.... Sapphire and diamond rings and so much more!

There are three locations:Boston, MA - Chestnut Hill, MA - Greenwich, CT

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The revolutionary Bogányi grand piano makes its North American debut at the Newport Music Festival, July 9-15, 2016.

After being invited to a private cocktail reception to hear the revolutionary Bogányi grand piano, I wanted to make sure I shared the below information with you, so that you too will have the opportunity to hear this amazing piece of functional art at the Newport Music Festival, July 9-15, 2016. Information about the festival follows the below press release. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Eben House - A luxury inn in Provincetown, MA - New England

One of my writers had the wonderful opportunity to visit Eben House, a 1776 Home of Captain Eben Snow, that has been turned into a modernized luxury inn and I wanted to share her article with you, as seen in the fall 2015 issue of New England Fine Living magazine. 

Paradise in Provincetown

Written by Jessica Sacco for New England Fine Living 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sliced watermelon and sliced lime Jello shots

My previous post was for a watermelon gin fizz cocktail and I thought I would follow it with this recipe for sliced watermelon and lime Jello shots since we used the watermelon and lime leftovers. 

Keep in mind these can be made without vodka too, but these were for an adult 4th of July party. 

I currently do not have photos of the watermelon sliced since that and the large batch of watermelon gin fizzes is going to a party that I won't be attending, but hopefully the hostess will share photos of the watermelon with me once it's been sliced.  

That said, I did make these mini lime slices with the left over Jello mixture, just for fun, since I had the limes.

This is the Jello all firmed up and ready to be cut, but sending it off to the party whole was a lot easier since.
Recipe to make the Jello that is firm enough to slice and hold:

This recipe was enough to fill one half of a smaller seedless watermelon that was hollowed out (leave a little of the watermelon flesh for the Jello to adhere to).

3 packets of red Jello (we, my daughter and I, used strawberry since watermelon comes out pink)
1 box of Knox gelatin (the box has 4 packets inside)
4 cups boiling water
4 cups citrus vodka

In a large sauce pan, boil the four cups of water then add the three boxes of Jello and one box of Knox gelatin and carefully whisk until all of the gelatin is dissolved.

Remove sauce pan from the heat. This is when you add your vodka.

Instead of adding the cold water to the end of the process, as noted on the box, substitute the water with the vodka.  Of course if you do not want to use alcohol, go with the water.

Fill the hollowed out watermelon with the mixture and set in the refrigerator until completely firm.

Once firm, the watermelon can be sliced and served.

For the lime wedges:

Cut limes in half lengthwise and juice them (our juice was used in the watermelon gin fizzes as was the inside of the hollowed out watermelon) and remove most of the pulp.  We went down to the skin and found the Jello took on a little bit of the bitter taste, so I would recommend leaving some of the tart pulp.

Note: The limes were very time consuming to hollow out without a press, so if you want to make a large batch, you will want to give yourself some extra time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Watermelon Gin Fizz Recipe by New England Fine Living

My daughter is constantly juicing or making dried fruit, so when we were discussing a fun and super thirst quenching cocktail, we came up with our own version of a watermelon gin fizz since she just made a bet with a co-worker that she could dry watermelon (I will let you know how that turns out).

So I wanted to share the recipe with you before the holiday weekend in case you too had left over watermelon!  Below is the recipe and the steps we took to create this ultra refreshing watermelon cocktail. 

A visit to the Hotel Viking in historic Newport, RI

I know this is quite a bit out of sequence, but during these hot summer days of summer, isn't it a bit refreshing to see a bit of snow? :-)  As I mentioned earlier, I am playing a bit of catch up on my posts that were unfortunately put on the back burner due to circumstances beyond my control.  But I always say... "better late than never!" 

On a chilly February evening, I jumped in my car and drove south towards Rhode Island so that New England Fine Living followers could enjoy a stay at the Hotel Viking for the weekend with me, while exploring Newport and some of the grand Newport mansions that were still open during the winter season.  

As luck would have it, my friend and photographer for our magazine, Emily O'Brien , was already in town visiting her family, so she got to take a few additional pictures of my visit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beacon Hill residents really know how to make a great first impression

It never seems to fail.  When I think I am going to have plenty of time to share tons and tons of photos with you, along with a lot of text, the sky opens up and I get inundated with work, but that's a good thing! So if I may, here is a small selection of photos that I would like to share with you.  They are unedited (some of the edited versions can be seen on my instagram page - newenglandfineliving), but I thought you would still enjoy seeing some of the streets and homes I was able to enjoy during a quick walk between appointments. 

When it comes to first impressions, in regards to your home, the front door can set the stage when greeting guests.  It also gives company a little insight to the homeowners personality.  With door after door, on Beacon Hill, I was able to see that there certainly are a lot of different personalities and design styles in the neighborhood. 

I love that the lanterns on Beacon Hill are on and glowing even during the day. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

A walk in the flowers makes for a magical experience

I'm just taking a quick moment to share a photo my husband snapped of me while I was taking photo myself.  Our second home is a small lake cabin located in Rangeley, Maine, and at this time of year (June) the fields of lupine are abundant to say the least.  Some of the largest fields you will find are on the approach to Mingo Springs Golf Course. On this day, the warmth of the sun, signing birds, and the soft sweet scent of lupine made this little experience quite magical.  This is one of my many examples of a simple luxury.  

Note:  If you too want to walk in the lupines, make sure to saturate yourself with bug repellent. This was not my first rodeo and I learned the hard way. :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lela Rose Pret -A - Party Book Signing

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with fashion designer, Lela Rose, during her book signing at the Boston Design Center.  Below are just a few photos of the fun event and I have to add, I love her book!

Diced Vegetable Salad with Feta Cheese Recipe

When I'm looking to make something simple to bring to a party, or make at home for something delicious and healthy, I create a delicious diced salad with feta cheese or a Caprese salad with a balsamic glaze. 

The items I diced up for this salad:

- Tomatoes
- Yellow Peppers
- Orange Peppers
- Red Peppers
- Green Peppers (very few for us, the flavor can overwhelm the salad and I used mainly for color)
- Olives (I purchased a small can of pre-sliced)
- Red Onion
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Add a little salt to taste

Saturday, May 21, 2016

31 Home and Garden Gates, Fences, and Grand Entrances in New England

There is no doubt about it, I love making a grand entrance, but this post is about actual grand entrances 

Below are just a few photos of what I feel are beautiful gates and fences that welcome visitors to what lies ahead of them. Some are ushering you into a home, others gardens and private sanctuaries.  

Please keep in mind most are unedited and being presented in a casual manner. :-) 

Enjoy! Linda

North Andover, MA

Sunday, May 8, 2016

40 Things My Mother Taught Me

Today is Mother's Day and while I sit and sip my morning coffee, I am enjoying fond memories of my childhood and some of the many things my mom taught me whether by her words or through her own actions and pure osmosis.   Some are very important, some are frivolous, while others are her own personal thoughts and habits that I chose to emulate or at least strive to.

In no particular order, these are just a few things my mother has taught me whether she knows it or not.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rainy weather dampens wedding garden party project for a bit.

Spring has decided to remain a rainy one here in New England.  We are on a full week of dreary gloomy weather, but the flowers and plants sure seem to be enjoying it.  Not me! This week I find myself starting to feel a a bit anxious and behind in my outdoor chores, which is worrying me out a wee little bit. See, in most cases, I would not mind the weather, but this year Ben and I are hosting a very large outdoor garden cocktail party in our back yard in just a few short weeks.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring has arrived in New England

Spring has finally arrived in New England and I welcome it with open arms.  Our winter this year was not that harsh, and the snow storms were minimal, but I am ready for the warmth of the sun, walks around beautiful historic New England towns, and working out in our yard planning and planting new gardens.  

This photo is of a historic home in Concord, MA and I just had to take a snapshot of it during my walk.  It was so nice to see fresh flowers.