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Winter Romance & Chocolate All Month Long!

Take time to NOTICE the things that other people are OVERLOOKING ~ the slowdown challange
The Berkshire winter landscape is magnificent even on a cold and frigid day. It is always a good idea to fight that inner voice that wants to stay in by a warm fire, a good book, or a great movie.  Instead we must bundle up, and get moving! Once we are out there we are always inspired and invigorated!

Photo by Judith Monachina

My sister and I usually walk the same walk every week, during every season. We are often chatting away, when all of the sudden, one of us notices something we have never seen before.  We wonder how we could have missed an incredibly unique view, a detail on a house we always see, or some other wonder of nature.  These little winter wetlands and puddles made us stop and take notice. Had we ever seen anything like this before, or had we missed this miraculous scene of nature completely?

Photo by Judith Monachina
Photo by Judith Monachina
Photo by Judith Monachina

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive you will see it. – Thich Naht Hanh

Photo by Judith Monachina @ Naumkeag

Right now the skiing conditions are fantastic after our recent snowstorm this week. One place many of my guests love is Canterbury Farms  They have ice-skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing including rentals. They are located in Becket – just 20 minutes away.

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.  – Tich Naht Hanh

I love to snow shoe right up the street at the Greenock Country Club, just 2 minutes away!


We have a few new cookbooks here at Crabtree Cottage. Lately my daughter has been obsessed with pancakes from her favorite cookbook, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts.  During her birthday week I made these everyday for her.  I rarely make pancakes for my guests.  I never want to serve anything that they might eat at home or a diner. If I do make pancakes I like to serve unique ones they will never have anywhere else. These Tiramisu pancakes are now a guest favorite too.  To be honest we were never a pancake family ~ Chloe has changed us all – forever!



Pop over to my facebook page to get the recipe. Or, better yet, book a night during the month of February, and I will serve them for breakfast. February is all about Romance & Chocolate! We are offering a special to entice you!


Stay two nights and I will be serving chocolate and raspberry crepes on  one of those days.

Of course during the winter it’s all about healthy, hearty food! This year as usual it’s soup, soup and more soup!

IMG_0642This Curry Butternut Squash Soup was inspired by Emmy from the The Starving Artist Cafe, and Ina Garten from The Barfoot Contessa.

Curry Butternut Squash Soup

3 onions chopped

6 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large butternut squash chopped into 1″ cubes

3 carrots sliced

3 celery stalks sliced

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup unsweetend coconut milk

1 tablespoon curry powder

2 dashes of cayenne powder

salt & pepper to taste

Carmelize the onions with the olive oil. Add the butternut squash, carrots and celery. Stir in the spices and if needed a little more olive oil. Add the vegetable broth and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender and soft. Blend and return to pan. Add coconut milk to make a creamy consistancy. Season to taste. Garnish with olive oil, avacado’s and unsweetend shredded coconut.

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing towards the future – Tich Naht Hanh

When I am not eating my own soup I go to my very favorite lunch spot, The Starving Artist Creperie & Café.  I usually order crepes, delicious salads or a fabulous sandwich. In the fall and winter I always include soup! Their soup inspires me to come home and try to repeat what I just had!  Emmy the owner, is an amazing cook and makes up her own recipes. I love being inspired by her! I think she serves the best soup in the Berkshires! The Creperie also has my vote for the best lunch in the Berkshires! We all love the food and atmosphere equally. The attached gallery is always featuring colorful and interesting art. On Sunday’s they offer a musical brunch too.

The Creperie also has the best latte’s!

Thank you for coming by my blog today. I hope you come back soon.