recipes: Alkikinger

I don't know what these are called here but I had them in Italy and I will never forget the flavor. They only happen at a certain time of year (I think it was in October?) or maybe it was now in the summertime, at any rate, I had them once and loved them! I didn't know what they were called so I had to ask my Swedish friend, who lives in Italy and she said maybe the word is German (around the world there...). They are called Alkikinger.

So when I was at the Farmers Market over the weekend I found these... a friend said that they are Cape Gooseberries, but even at the Farmers Market they were simply labeled as "lanterns" but I had a feeling that I knew what they were... they weren't as plump as the ones I had in Italy but they were delicious!

We hardly made it home without eating the whole bag! We all loved them even the kids, and when I said I was going to dip them in chocolate - we all together went... "OOooohhh!"

I simply peeled back the 'lantern' and then dipped them in chocolate... Delicious! I think they would make such a nice party treat! If I made them again for a party I would probably dip they 2-3 times. But I used a very nice, high quality dark Belgian chocolate... YUM!

(kids liked them too, but not as much as I did...)


recipes: Summer pesto

There is no easier, yummier dish in the summertime (or anytime these days) than PESTO! I have been making it since the days I lived in Italy, there I kept it very traditional and since I was macrobiotic at that time I used to make it without dairy so no Parmesan (also delicious!).

I grow my own basil but I swear it's never enough so I get big bunches of organic basil at the farmers market too. I have on of those small handy food processors which makes this whole process easy and hardly any mess. I never measure so I will just speak in 'handfuls' in my recipe and you make your adjustment depending on your taste and your families likes and dislikes.


3-4 cups fresh organic basil (stems removed)
1-2 cups parsley
Handful of pine nuts* good quality (I explain why later)
Handful of Parmesan
Salt & pepper (I like lots of pepper)
Good quality olive oil (makes a big difference in pesto!)
Optional: garlic clove (I'll explain later)
One small head broccoli cut into small pieces 

Cook your favorite pasta, I like curly or elephants ears so that the pesto gets into the yummy crevices, but I also made one of my best pestos with orzo (there is a whole wheat biodynamic one that's so good!) I cut the broccoli into small pieces and throw in at the end of the pasta cooking (one pan and easier) - remember to save some pasta water aside (it's good luck) when you drain in case you need to add to pesto.

And make enough for leftovers - day-old pesto is so great!

I stuff my small processor with basil until it's full and then I add a handful of parsley. I put parsley in everything in the summertime, it's SO good for you and makes anything you make tastier! My kids love it too. Add the pine nuts* and Parmesan and buzz, slowly add olive oil until it becomes a nice thick consistency. Some people like it thin and runny but I feel like it sticks to the pasta nicely when it's thick. Remember you can add your good quality olive oil later, when you are tossing the pasta, if you want more.

Toss the pasta + pesto + broccoli and your done! You can top with some toasted pine nuts. And add more salt and pepper to taste. It's that simple! And your meal is done! You have all your good groups and it's delicious!

I love to serve this with a delicious very cold Lambrusco! I found this one that I really love and bring it to all the summer parties, everyone laughs.. Until they taste the slightly bubbly freshness, and they fall in love!

#pine nuts - make SURE you do not buy pine nuts from Thailand, they should be Italian. There is this crazy thing that can happen with bad quality pine nuts that will give you a metal taste, that is impossible to get rid of for about a week! All you need is one bad nut and POW you will know it when it happens.. It's totally weird.

Happy cooking!!


it's time to take and EXTRA 20% off!!

It's that time... markdowns are getting bigger and before we do that we like to give all you folks that read out blog the BEST chance to save on your favorite things... those items you have been watching are now an EXTRA 20% OFF!

Take an EXTRA 20% OFF already on sale items for a short time only!

use code: 'sun20' at checkout and your 20% off will be applied to your order

for a short time... this extra 20% ends soon!

shop now... www.nonchalantmom.com


Great book! :: Yes, Chef! By Marcus Samuelsson

I just finished this book and it's so great! You will love it and he singlehandedly makes you want to be a better person. His story is a journey and the food... Wonderful! Get it! (Thanks for the suggestion Patty!)


instagram is fun, save yourself and get a pair of glasses...

A while back I posted about Pinterest, which I love for other reasons but I have to say that Instagram is a daily hit for me. Pinterest is a place I go for inspiration, images, crafts, recipes, etc. Instagram on the other hand is a way to keep in contact with my friends in business (or photographers) and get inspired in my work life! and get inspiration on a daily basis. I post on what is going on in my store, impromptu sales and new things coming in... and then a bit of family fun while we are at it! I post on our travels and local things going on in Rhode Island.

I have quite a few friends and family who say that they don't want to get caught up in the pinterest, instagram, twitter, etc.. craze and I totally get that, but I like instagram because you can stay just as involved as you want, which for some means once a week or even once a month (my sister)... any way you look at it it's your decision (just make sure you don't make it alert you every time someone posts). You can be as involved as you want... at the moment I am following a very inspiring bunch, a couple of people have asked me who I follow (just to get them started) so here's my list of favorites right now:

hackwithdesign - Lisa Hackwith has a lovely feed
kaufmannmerchantile - great store!
ruschmeyers - because they are my favorite place on the planet
tortoisegeneralstore - my favorite store for home goods
tartinebaker - delicious SF bakery
craftmanwolves - I started for recipes.. but now I just love their feed
absinthemindedswede - just nice photos many of sweden
brooklynballooncompany - balloons and more
shinotakeda - pottery maker
coffeeshopcorners - just what it says photos of coffee shop corners
nativetextile - a gorgeous weaver
handcraftstudioschool - just what you think... crafts and things to do!
horsesatelier - love them! (clothing - shopping)
zenbunni - love their chocolates! (los angeles)
bluecollarart - artist jimmy sheehan
curated_by - creative director nice feed
mwmmpls - minneapolis designer
manrepeller - she's just funny - millions of followers!
cassblackbird - nice feed
jetsetterproblems - just what you would think travels
voices_of_industry - beautiful weaver
alexandrasklar - nice feed
hatchery - this is one of my FAVORITES follow them... great small recipe films etc...
_sarahnguyen_ - very nice feed
canarygrey - another minneapolis photographer I like
waxsurfco - nice surfing photos
mohawkgeneralstore - one of my favorite stores...
dramapothecary - LOVE these guys... + good drink recipes
alxgrossmn - creative director Bon Appetit
theamericanedit - beautiful feed lots of followers! (I think she's a Minnesotan too!)
kalonstudios - best furniture makers!
witanddelight_ - nice feed loads of followers
kylieturley - fun cute photos
lapetitemag - best kids magazine!
papiermachemagazine - nice kids magazine again!
blockshoptextiles - nice hand printing
what_my_daughter_wore - gorgeous drawings by a mom of her girls
rapo4 - editor in chief Bon Appetit mag
pilar_guzman - editor in chief Traveler
Yolanda Edwards - creative director Traveler (she also has a great kids blog travelswithclara.com)
florencerolando - pirouette blog editor and founder
girardstudio - alexander girard prints
pirouettekids - florences blog
aureus_art - my husbands gallery

Then I follow all of my vendors and some of them prove to be hilarious and so fun to be in contact with on a daily basis!!
studiodeseo (she's one of my favorites!)
clarevivier another fantastic instagrammer!
pollywales (I don't carry her jewelry but I love it and I love to see her pieces on instagram too)
jessekamm (I don't sell her either but love her clothing!)
elephantceramics - love these ceramics!
wwake - coming soon to nonchalantmom (love her jewelry)

I will also follow my favorite writers, stores, fashion editors, etc... it's all in fun! But remember part of the fun is that you also share your photos - it's a little funny when people follow but don't share... I'm just sayin'

and don't forget to follow ME!! nonchalantmom
see you on instagram!


summer reads :: 2014

I am a big fan of nonfiction and so when I saw this list by Flavorwire I knew it was going to be good... maybe it can help you find a good summer book too!

The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2014.. so far... By

scheduling your kids summer

back yard shenanigans

It usually happens just before school ends, the mad rush to sign your kids up for camps and I'll admit once I hear other parents doing it, I jump in and read through my list of options and trot on down the the Neighborhood Guild and sign them up! I like them to learn skills and activities that I hope that they will use in the future... and I usually feel guilty when I can't sign them up for more. But this article in Treehugger made me feel better, and I think there are a lot of good points to be made. I have seen my kids spend the entire day on the tire swing in the back yard and not come in until dark - I LOVE to see that and it does make me remember that's what summer is all about! It's not a schedule full of a litany of camps it's just that time to wander around in the 'vacant lot' or back yard and do STUFF.

Here is a link to the article.

Each summer is different as the kids have been growing and changing. My twelve year old son can read for hours, but my 9 year old daughter... it's like pulling teeth. I have some tricks in my back pocket just in case, I like to set up a tent in the back yard which turns into hours and days of fun. A tire swing went sitting unused until this year and now it's a constant thrill for my daughter. What I am trying to say is don't give up and sometimes it works best if you just leave it there for them to discover. I bought a sprinkler and they figured out where, how and the game of setting it up just right.

This article just shows the merits of unscheduled play and fun, so don't feel bad if you are not sending your kids to camp like everyone else... it's okay! I especially liked what one New Zealand Principal did:

"One principal in New Zealand, however, has gone against the grain, tossing out all playground rules at Swanson School in Auckland. Kids can play with the dismantled parts of the play equipment, build their own structures, flip tires, and climb trees. The results have been wonderfully positive:

“Fewer children were getting hurt on the playground. Students focused better in class. There was also less bullying, less tattling. Incidents of vandalism had dropped off.”

Now that's what I call some a real down-home, grass-roots involved principal!

link to treehugger article.


wolfechild midsummer sale!

It's that time of year when everyone gets out and has their sample sales and whatever sales... One of my favorites is when Wolfechild let's us all jump in! right now she is having her Midsummer sale and if your kids are baby - 2/4 year you are SET! there are some amazing things here...

And one of these days Claire is going to get it together and do a collection with me! But in the meantime shop with her on her website!

shop the website here

Summer Sale is ON!

The SUMMER SALE is now going ON... and I just took new markdowns!!
(prices as marked)



I try to be all relaxed about it but I just know how harmful some of these sprays and chemical-laden sunscreens can be so it's hard to keep my mouth shut. But as soon as someone asks me, what kind of sunscreen am I using I get my chance to launch into the weary troubles of some of these sunscreens and to my surprise even the most healthy eaters do no realize what they are putting on their skin and then going out into the sun and cooking in it... I am no expert, but I really trust the folks at the Environmental Working Group and I check my products out with them on their website.

through the link you can also download their SKIN DEEP app and have your product answers on-the-go! Because a lot of times your sunscreen is a last minute purchase, I can't tell you the amount of times I have been in a tropical place (Florida) and couldn't find a seriously non-toxic sunscreen.

At the moment we are using Aubrey - they have a very good rating on the Skin Deep cosmetics database, with almost the lowest (to none) rating on harmful chemicals. And it stays on pretty well in the water. I am adverse to using tons of sunscreen so we either go to the beach in the early in the morning or in the evening but if we have to we use Aubrey.

If it's a day at the beach we are after then I take a Hollie & Harrie Sombrilla with me (which I sell on the website) it just gives you a place to get out of the sun when you can't take it anymore - or if you are like me you just lay under the darn thing the whole time and hang out! - it's Perfect - problem solved!

At any rate I just think it's a good idea to be aware of what's out there and if there is something that is less-toxic then why NOT!?

The database is also good to check out your cosmetics.. don't stay in the dark...

have a great day at the BEACH!


travel :: Rhode Island

I always get emails from people about travel in Rhode Island and I have never had as much to say about it as I do now, so I figured it was time for a blog. I don't know if you noticed but our tiny state is having it's moment with the Ocean House (in Watch Hill, RI) on the cover of Traveler Magazine and I just got an email saying that Travel and Leisure listed it as one of the top five places in the WORLD... go RHODE ISLAND!

We live in a small community called Matunuck and while it's a terrific place, because of schools, nature, pond-ocean-pool trifecta it's not a hot-spot for lots going on... it's more of a place where you would rent a beach house, hang out at your house or the beach and visit the Ocean Mist for an occasional bar-on-th-beach type thing. We also have a nice pizza place (that doesn't have regular hours but if they happen to be open it's a terrific pizza place!) called La Strada - which is also on the beach. And we also happen to have a good surf spot which I think I am supposed to keep quiet (email me!). Our most-busy spot is the Matunuck Oyster Bar, you may have tried the oysters at fancy restaurants in the city, but you can get them FRESH here in Matunuck!

We are lucky to have an abundance of favorite places to go... it wasn't always like this and in the last couple of years there have been terrific things popping up here and there that I just can't wait to get back to!

Castle Hill Inn lawn

NEWPORT, RI - The first time I went over the bridges to get to Newport I fell in love with Rhode Island and I knew we were going to stay here. They are so beautiful it makes the drive delightful every time, we sing the "lighthouse keeper" song and it's just breath-taking. We have our old favorites like 41 North - which is a hotel, where you can sit outside and have cocktails with heavy hitters of the boat world (I like to take my Swedish cousins here because it's always a bit crazy with the big boats!). But a new favorite, which just opened is the Midtown Oyster Bar - we had a wonderful dinner and the newly built restaurant is a really nice structure, soaring ceilings and decks everywhere - it gets crowded so go on the weekdays or make a reservation.

Castle Hill Inn

Just a step out of Newport is Castle Hill Inn on Ocean Drive (take the drive for gorgeous views and beautiful homes). Castle Hill Inn is our new favorite spot, with deck chairs outside (with drink service!) lawn games, cliffs and a really beautiful bar and restaurant with amazing food. If you want a real New England picture perfect holiday this is your place! You can stay in the Inn or rent out a cabin, there are quite a few options and all have authentic, beautiful details! If you hear people talking about this place - believe whatever they say.. it's gorgeous! (I like it better for a visit than the Ocean House, it's more contained and has a rustic charm that is true to Rhode Island). If you are in Rhode Island for the weekend come to Castle Hill Inn for Sunday Brunch (live jazz and views forever!) don't bother planning anything for the rest of the day, this is all you need!

Cottages at Castle Hill Inn

I really like the Tennis Hall of Fame as well, they have lots of events going on so if you are in town see if it's going to be open for anything - grass court tennis at it's best! Recently, the GOOP website put up a post on Newport which was very good - I agree with all her suggestions Newport makes for a great trip.

JAMESTOWN, RI - On your way to Newport you will travel through another island called Conanicut where you will find Jamestown - we love a simple place in Jamestown called Slice of Heaven it's the perfect place for simple and excellent food for breakfast or lunch, in the style where you place your order and get a number and find a table.. but seriously good food, try the fish nanwich - I will drive miles for this sandwich! You can even take a boat that will drop you off in Newport, just in case you are dying to get yourself in the water. Don't miss your chance to climb on some rocks and burn some energy at Beaver Tail (if you look across the water you will see Castle Hill Inn-you may need binoculars!). Also great in Jamestown is the Village Hearth Bakery and the pizza on Sundays (from 4-7) perfect for home made sandwiches and great coffee or try their home made Chai - but the greatest pizzas! (only on sunday)

medelise is the best surf coach in Rhode Island and my new (old) board

NARRAGANSETT, RI - The Narragansett beach is a terrific beach and kids love it for it's shallow easy water for kids and great for making sand castles (some beaches have the big waves that crash on top of you - like our Matunuck Beach). We like to go very early in the morning to miss the crowds (8am) and do some surfing. Part of this beach is marked off for surfers and most often has a nice break. On your way from Jamestown to Narragansett you will pass by Casey Farm, they have a great farmers market (seriously the best in the area) on Saturdays from 9-12:30 - we surf and then go for the amazing tacos by Tallulah on Thames tacos! yum!

Traveling South from Narragansett to Watch Hill you will pass by Daves Coffee... BEST Coffee! (by far, there is no one else who can make coffee in Rhode Island, trust me!) so if you need your java this is your spot, and the only spot!

beaches forever! Watch Hill Beach

WATCH HILL, RI - I have written a few times about my favorite place the Olympia Tea Room, and this year it was even better (maybe new chef?) have a great dinner and then make your way over to the dunes for a great photo-op - if you are friends with me on Instagram you know what I'm talking about.. you will get yourselves the BEST photos ever! This quaint little town is also home to The Ocean House - which is a grand hotel, newly rebuilt, and it's absolutely grand! Large decks, a beach that is one of the most beautiful I have seen and an authentic "Library" for cocktails. Across the street visit the church - the interior is amazing! and last but not least one of the oldest merry-go-round in existence.

If you are looking for good antique shops you can come to our town, Wakefield - our favorite is Verdigris (next to the Alternative Food Co-op) or if you want a top rate liquor store (also a good one in Charlestown) - Wakefield Liquors.

Then there is the town of Westerly, which isn't on my radar at the moment... so we don't go often. But come and enjoy Rhode Island this summer - it's sure to not disappoint you! and email me if you want any specifics, I love to talk about Rhode Island!