I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Chicken Chowder

Here's a nice hearty soup for a cool fall day:

Chicken Chowder

Serves 4-6

6 slices bacon, chopped
8 scallions, white parts chopped fine and green parts sliced thin
3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 celery rib, sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded into bite-size pieces (After I remove the chicken from the carcass, I divide the meat into thirds and put each third separately into the food processor and pulse a few times.)
1 cup half-and-half

1. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve in the pot 1 tablespoon of bacon fat, and remove the rest. Cook scallion whites, carrots, celery, and salt in bacon fat until vegetables are softened. Add flour and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Stir in chicken broth and potatoes and bring to boil; then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender. Add the chicken and the half & half. Cook on low until the chicken is heated all the way through. When serving, sprinkle with bacon and scallion greens.

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