A night with kitchensurfing.

It’s been a few months or so since I’ve been receiving emails from this site. (I did sign up for them after all.) The best way to describe it? You get access to amazing chefs with certain specialties. You browse; you make contact; a menu is customized and the price is set — tip included! And viola, next thing the chef shows up at your door on the agreed upon date: ingredients and cooking resources in tow.

This sounded too good to be true, and so I decided it was time to do something about it. I reached out to a few friends. Agreement was immediate and a mere 47 emails later, everything was set. There were six of us ready to show up at our friends’ house, whose kitchen just happens to be one of the best entertaining kitchens I’ve ever seen. (Thank you Kerry & Nathan.)

Merriment ensued. And thanks to Mark O’Leary, every bite was pretty much amazing.

Mark O'Leary

Hiramasa Sashimi

Mark O'Leary

Maine shrimp tom kar soup

Mark O'Leary

Squid ink steamed bao with butter poached lobster and shallot


Mark O'Leary

Scallion Ginger Noodles, Korean Chicken Bo Ssam

Mark O'Leary

simple warm chocolate cake with a touch of sesame, miso caramel and a little whipped cream

Yes, we tried to eat it all. No we weren’t successful. And, full disclosure: this was $60/person. And, it’s BYOB. So you save money there too. This is doable people. Book it now! (Available in Boston, New York, LA, Hamptons, Berlin and Chicago). Did I mention the chef cleans up too?

We can’t wait to do it again! I’m not sure I would do this as a date night, but I do like the idea. Especially if you have more than one kid and can’t easily get out of the house. How would you experience Kitchensurfing?

PS The Yellow Table (just discovered this lovely blog) wrote about a KS experience too. Hint: There’s a first time discount offered for The Yellow Table readers.

Photos by Kerry Lynch, Jon Whitney and Blair Morad.


Joy, aging and Alice Herz-Sommer.


Did you hear about Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest Holocaust survivor? She recently passed on at age 110! I happened to catch a piece about her on NPR while driving home. She sounded absolutely amazing. And she sounded like someone who could teach us all a thing or two on joy and aging. A quote taken from her interview with The Guardian in 2006:,

Life is beautiful, extremely beautiful. And when you are old you appreciate it more. When you are older you think, you remember, you care and you appreciate. You are thankful for everything. For everything.

I always heard the phrase age gracefully.  I suppose grace is something nice to have as we get older. But it also implies a bit of mystery, quiet and reserve and a lot of class. It doesn’t sound all that fun.  I’d rather the statement be age joyfully. The older I get the more joy I crave. Your confidence grows, your abilities and experiences, your skills. Why not your joy? I will take a lesson from Alice and choose to be an optimist. I won’t give up on finding beauty and joy in life. Thank you, Alice for your life and for your wise words.

Also, there was a documentary made about Alice: The Lady in Number 6. I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

What adjective would you want to describe you in your older years?

Food, Inspiration

It’s time.

I keep thinking about this space and how I miss not contributing to the big, vast blogosphere world. It’s rather amazing how wrapped up in your own life you can become — little one or not. So, it’s time to come back. My goal is to post at least once a week. And hopefully you’ll keep visiting and contributing too because that’s what makes this so fun. I think this is a very appropriate proclamation for December 31st, 2013.

And with that, I’ll wish you a very happy New Year. May it be exactly what you want it to be. We are celebrating at home. We’re going to make salted arctic char from a lovely cookbook my friend Elena gave to us for our wedding. B had to visit 5 stores (Not kidding!) to find the char. (Deep sigh…we miss living in Boston sometimes.)


Do you need a last minute recipe? Try one of these fantastic food sites:

Food52 (Really great for foodie gifts as well.)

America’s Test Kitchen

Or, if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the participating cities, try hiring a last minute chef at Kitchensurfing (This could be a blog post in itself.)


Impromtu hiatus.

Just a quick note to say I am still blogging. I am on an impromptu hiatus. In other words, I think I have to admit that little O has taken more time and attention than I thought would be needed. And since I’m a bit of a neat freak, my spare time goes to making sure the house is somewhat in order…But I’ll be back. Soon. So don’t give up on me!

In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful weather and the changing leaves. It is absolutely gorgeous around these parts.


Inspiration, Travel

All for bicycling.

Bike safety has become more and more of a thing lately. Don’t you think? Unfortunately, in our neck of the woods, there’s been one too many stories of bicyclists hit by vehicles. I know we’re not alone in this. And I do feel guilty about not doing more to promote bike safety. (I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. I’m just sharing my feelings.) I stumbled upon this article about how to create bike ways in your neighborhood and decided to join the bigger movement at People for Bikes. This organization exists to help create a united voice in speaking up on rights for bicyclists.

I am very much looking forward to getting back on my bike soon, and I can’t wait for Owen to fall in love with his own. (That’s an automatic thing, right?) We’re thinking of going the balance bike route (as opposed to the tricycle) for the little guy. And for me, I’ve been keeping an eye on this company. And I could very easily see myself riding to the beach on this lovely come next summer.

if you’re interested in learning more on lifestyles with bikes, there’s an over abundance of resources. Here are a few you may enjoy:

Lovely Bicycle!

LGRAB (Short for — Let’s go ride a bike!)

Cyclelicious This site has a celebrity tab too.

And for those who speak French: A Parisian Cyclist


On being a mom.

I’ve decided something today. I’m just about one month into this motherhood thing, and of course I don’t have it anywhere near figured out. Nor do I think I ever will. But what I am realizing is that this is a phase of life. I guess I wouldn’t call it a hobby, but just like when you decide to start anything new or take on a challenge or learn a skill, there are always people who have gone before you.

So as I’m processing what it means to be a mom, I’m so glad that there’s such an incredible road paved before me. I am not alone.  I am just in the beginning. And like most beginnings, growth comes slowly. But I’m in good hands, and I’m ready for lots of practice — which will include successes and failures. And I know those I’m surrounding myself with will give me lots of patience and more importantly help! This is going to be a great phase. (I sure hope so…since it lasts a life time!)

Speaking of a wealth of knowledge, have you seen this series on parenting around the world. So inspiring.

Design, Home


lighting west elm

From West Elm.

How much do you pay attention to light in the room? Now that I’m home a bit more these days, I’m paying a lot of attention to it. I’m noticing our kitchen, as nice and bright as I think it is, really doesn’t receive as much natural light as I thought it would — especially in the early afternoon. And for the amount of recessed lights we have in our family room and elsewhere, I’m realizing there’s nothing quite like creating a mood with lamps and lights of varying heights and sizes placed around the room — not in the ceiling.

Thanks to my mom and her thoughtfulness to get me magazines while resting up, I’ve discovered some great new resources for purchasing lights! So if you are experiencing the same home challenges as I am right now, perhaps you’ll benefit from this knowledge too?  And of course, if you have other sources or tricks, you have to share, please!

  • CB2 – a good, funky alternative to the parent store.