How to clean, stuff and eat an artichoke

How to clean, stuff and eat an artichoke

Am I right in thinking that the artichoke is a vegetable that many people love but have no idea what to do with? Sure we love them, but we buy them marinated in jars or pureed in dips but don’t have a clue about how to handle the real thing…big,...
The autumn garden: A work in progress

The autumn garden: A work in progress

As summer shifts into autumn, yard work for many means raking leaves and moving the outdoor furniture indoors or covering it to withstand winter. Whatever color is in the yard comes from Mother Nature’s annual fall spectacular as the deciduous leaves change from green to reds, golds and oranges, the...
Dog-a-logue: Local pooches talk toys and treats

Dog-a-logue: Local pooches talk toys and treats

Author Laurel Braitman explains in her book Animal Madness (Simon & Schuster) that dogs can become depressed and suffer severe anxiety if they’re left alone at home too much, or if there’s no time for play; they’ll mope around, sleep too much and suffer quietly. So what’s the solution? We...
October 2014 Home Personality: "Homes with Man Caves"

October 2014 Home Personality: “Homes with Man Caves”

38 Wee Burn Lane, Darien, Conn. $5,795,000 Doug Milne, 
Kelly Real Estate, 203-667-0344 Our feature “Home of the Month”: This classic stone and slate Colonial designed by architect Mac Patterson and situated on nearly five acres on a quiet Darien lane boasts not one but two “Man Caves.” First, the...
Gadget gurus: What's in store for the home cook

Gadget gurus: What’s in store for the home cook

Do you have a Blossom uCap Sipping Cap? If you don’t, you may be missing out on one of today’s newest kitchen items. It’s a colorful, durable, silicone cap that transforms a mason jar into a beverage container with a watertight seal, explains Sanjay Dipchand, vice president of Cook’s Nook...
Say it with flowers

Say it with flowers

Arranging flowers is such a delightfully creative art form, the perfect pursuit for those who wish to display expressions of beauty, elegance and grace throughout their home. From formal or extravagant, to sweet and simple, flower arrangements utilize the most beautiful material with a seemingly endless array of textures, shapes,...
Updating jewelry insurance appraisals

Updating jewelry insurance appraisals

With the current gold market above $1,200.00 per ounce, everyone who has their jewelry insured from an earlier time should be aware that those insurance levels are most likely no longer adequate, even if you have the type of policy that raises values automatically over a period of time. Ten...
The Recipe Box: "Flavors of Fall"

The Recipe Box: “Flavors of Fall”

PUMPKIN BISQUE WITH CURRY AND PEAR (Serves 4 – 6) Ronnie Fein, Ronnie Fein School of Creative Cooking, Stamford, Conn., 203-322-7114 Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder...
Keep growing with season-extending gardening tips for fall

Keep growing with season-extending gardening tips for fall

Warm weather, continued care and robust plants have yielded a bounty of beautiful, fresh vegetables – and personal satisfaction – from your garden this season. As the weather cools and fall approaches, it is not time to hang up your hat, gloves and trowel for the year. Autumn provides optimum...
Latest entries
Diamond dilemma — Part II

Diamond dilemma — Part II

I hate to bring this up, but as long as we’ve been on the subject of making choices when buying diamonds (please see last month’s column, thehomemonthly.com), there are also diamonds that have been man-created, and I’m not just talking about synthetics. One of the two methods for doing this involves the same process (HTHP) that may be used to color-enhance an existing diamond, and this particular...
Down to earth: Tips for green living

Down to earth: Tips for green living

Kermit was wrong … it is easy being green I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to ways I can live more sustainably. With two young children, it’s really important for me to set a good example. We are primarily a vegetarian household.  We recycle (my 3-year old is a master in her own...

Storing children’s artwork

It’s not long now before school starts and the art work begins to show up at your door step, every day, in large quantities and in large sizes. At art stores they have what they call “portfolios” which is what artists and photographers carry their artwork and photographs in. Well, they used to before the...
Unforgettable

Unforgettable

When interior designer Olga Adler and her husband, William, decided to purchase a dated 1960s beach house on Westport’s Saugatuck Island in 2012, a stone’s throw from the ocean, they had several goals in mind. First and foremost, they wanted a year-round vacation home, a simple beach house with a pool, and they strategically chose...
Launch pads

Launch pads

If sofas could talk, imagine what they’ve witnessed! One of the most lived-in pieces of furniture you can own, a sofa fosters family closeness, guest hospitality, reading, napping, cuddling, snacking, and pet naps, and is the center of attention and style-setter of any room it’s in. The Darien Design Center (dariendesigncenter.com) is one of the...
August 2014 Home Personality: Homes with Spectacular Gardens

August 2014 Home Personality: Homes with Spectacular Gardens

152 Cheesespring Road, Wilton, Conn. $1,599,000 Elaine Gibbons, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, 203-858-7452 Our feature “Home Personality of the Month” — Landscaping for this four bedroom, 4700 sq. ft. home begins with a 120 foot long boxwood hedge along the driveway that leads to a Williamsburg-inspired front door garden framed by a low, white...
The heat is on!

The heat is on!

Cookouts with friends, family barbeques, and picnics by the water are as classic this time of year as the rise in temperature and the lengthening of days. The soft sizzling of flames and drifts of smoke epitomize these summer traditions. Grilling and the corresponding equipment, accessories, and various techniques can be found at the heart...
Building My Passive House - Part 6

Building My Passive House – Part 6

This is the sixth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program for highly energy efficient homes and separate certification programs for home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org for more information). The Passive...

Moving on

1968 was a turbulent year. I am not an historian, nor is this the venue to review the past. I moved some junk this week. In 1968, amid the mayhem and hijinx of the world, voters were given the option of selecting Richard Nixon, Eugene McCarthy or George Wallace. Mainstream, peacenik or racist. Over at...
‘lil Fairy Doors line debuts

‘lil Fairy Doors line debuts

A line of decorative whimsical fairy doors, intended for both children and adults, has been launched; the doors, available in pink, purple, yellow, green, blue and red, come packaged with a bottle of ‘lil Fairy Dust, mounting supplies and a note to the fairies. The doors can be placed low on a wall or high...
Diamond dilemma, Part I

Diamond dilemma, Part I

Anyone considering the purchase of a diamond these days is faced with a multitude of choices, not only those concerning the “4 C’s”, which are Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut. (“Cut”, by the way, is the least understood, and can have a 40% — or greater — impact on the overall value, all other factors being equal; your jeweler can...
Sam Bridge Nursery offers herb air-drying tips

Sam Bridge Nursery offers herb air-drying tips

If you have an herb garden you know what a great pleasure it is to have access to your own home-grown herbs — ones that are exactly to your taste, rather than a generic supermarket blend. Drying or freezing some of your herbs can give you that pleasure year-round. Along with the taste advantage, your...
Summertime appliance malfunctions: Quick fixes

Summertime appliance malfunctions: Quick fixes

Summer is the prime season for blackouts and power surges, so many of your household appliances may start acting faulty. But did you know that at least 25% of all appliance repair and maintenance calls are made for problems that can be solved with something as simple as the flick of a switch? The editors...
Bathroom maintenance 101

Bathroom maintenance 101

Have you inspected your bathroom lately?  Richard Fogel, owner of Grout Rescue CT, a Westport, Conn.-based company, suggests that with every change of season you take time to carefully check your bathroom tub, shower, tile floors, toilet and sink.  Richard, who has been repairing bathrooms professionally for almost a decade, says there is no reason...