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Broken Tradition

KidsWe are a family of traditions. Every Christmas certain things need to happen or the planet spins out of orbit.

It starts Christmas Eve with an old chipped gingerbread man plate that we’ve had since my ex and I got married. Even though the plate is chipped, the kids still insist on putting cookies on it so that Santa will have something delicious waiting for him upon arrival.

Carrots are also left on the front lawn for the reindeer because they too need refueling after a long cold journey from the North Pole. And if it’s a year when I happen to have oats in the cabinet, they get a handful of those too.

Around 3am on Christmas morning you can usually find me in the kitchen cutting cinnamon roll dough because they need a final rise before the kiddos get up. So there I usually stand, in my jammies complete with apron tied overtop, rolling and cutting the sweet dough stuffed with cinnamon and butter.

Once the pans are filled, I crawl back into bed hoping for another solid four hours of sleep that never comes because the kids are usually awake shortly after my head hits the pillow.

And then the torture starts. This too is a tradition. Before we tear into the gifts, Mom makes everyone sit down to have a proper breakfast complete with the cinnamon rolls, homemade quiche, fruit salad and juice. Oh, and coffee. Copious amounts of coffee due to the 3am cinnamon roll wakeup call.

No one likes this tradition of having breakfast before opening gifts because of that whole delayed gratification thing. Even though Mom lets them open their Christmas stockings during breakfast, the kids are certain I’ve formed this tradition to make them miserable.

But the truth of the matter is that I created this tradition for them because when they become adults they will understand that the best part of the holiday is the time spent together. I also hope by then they appreciate how much work it takes to make those damn cinnamon rolls.

But this year tradition breaks and new traditions form.

This will be my first year waking up without my kids on Christmas morning. It’s not my year to have them.

This is not something I thought about as much as I should’ve during the divorce process. Maybe the mind skips certain things when it can’t handle the stress.

And there are no oats in the closet this year which I guess is just as well.

No one will be waking me up at 4am asking if it’s time to go downstairs yet.

There will be no cinnamon roll dough stuck underneath my wedding band that I always forget to take off while baking.

No one will be subject to my mandatory Christmas breakfast before the gifts are torn open this year.

All the traditions are broken or at the very least modified. Because I can still do some of the traditions with my kids when I see them afterwards, but it won’t be the same.

And I’m starting to wonder if  Christmas and all of the other major holidays on the days that I don’t have my kids, are those going to be the years that I just skip the whole thing? Sleep the day away hoping that the time passes swiftly? Or maybe that this is just awful right now because it’s the first year?

I don’t know. All I know is that this year is tough. And that the chipped gingerbread man plate tucked safely away in a box feels like it’s shattered on the floor right now and I’m standing barefoot in the midst.

In The Kitchen With Kris, Chicken Pot Pies and Brownies

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot PiesSo are you ready to dig into Kris Jenner’s cookbook In The Kitchen With Kris? Let’s see if this cookbook is as awful as the Amazon reviews says it is, shall we?

As I mentioned yesterday, there are seventy-one recipes in this book. There are also some personal anecdotes sprinkled in along the way that might be meaningful to you if you follow the family or their show. I do not, but I still read the entire book because I felt that it might shed light on the cook and quite frankly if people read A Beautiful Bite solely for the recipes and ignored my personal story, I’d probably feel a little insulted. So yes, I read the entire book.

Now, I thought I might be in trouble when I read the first recipe. It was for Cream of Wheat. Like the kind that comes in the box with the instructions already printed on it. When I first saw that I thought I might be doomed and that the reviews might be justified. And then the second recipe was for clarified butter.

If the next recipe had called for an Easy Bake Oven I might not have been surprised.

But you can’t judge a book but its cover or even by just two of its recipes, so I skipped ahead a bit and settled on two recipes that seemed like a good choice for tonight’s supper. Chicken pot pies and good old fashioned brownies. Foods my kids would surely eat on this cold and blustery day.

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot PieChicken pot pie is complete comfort food when made right. Too many times I’ve had a lackluster pie filled with canned veggies and wallpaper paste consistency sauce. Making a good flavorful pie takes a bit of work and this recipe took a heck of a lot of work. Like so much work that I was cutting a sweat at one point. Where was the ease of that first Cream of Wheat recipe?

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot PieFirst, there’s a bunch of different veggies in this recipe. Leeks, fennel, zucchini, carrots, shallots, asparagus and peas. Well, there would’ve been peas if I followed the recipe exactly, but peas are not my cup of tea. So they did not make the cut.

I spent a lot of time chopping, blanching and sautéing . Kris loves her veggies for sure. And not your typical veggies either. I can’t ever remember putting asparagus or zucchini in a pot pie. And fennel? As if. That just doesn’t sound right. But still, I put it in because even though I’ve never prepared it that way doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be good.

Something I tell my kids all of the time. Just because you haven’t tried it before doesn’t mean you won’t like it. Sometimes you’ve got to walk the talk.

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot PieThis recipe also calls for a homemade herbed pie crust. No Pillsbury pie crust for Kris Jenner! One thing I found odd was that her recipe calls for putting the egg wash on both sides of the crust. Top and bottom. I have no idea why one would need to do that, but I followed the instructions. I was committed.

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot Pies and LeelaInto the oven the pies went. I was a little nervous that the kids wouldn’t like this recipe because of the zucchini and the fennel. Fennel is a rather adult taste and not all kids like it. I actually do enjoy fennel, but was also unsure I’d like it in a chicken pie.

After about a half of an hour the house started to smell rather incredible. And slowly each kid came into the kitchen to see what was cooking. When I pulled the pies out of the oven, there were many oohs and aahs. I have to admit, they were rather grand looking.

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot PiesBut looks aren’t everything. You can have a beautiful looking pie and it can taste like hell. Been there, tasted that. So let’s start by evaluating the crust. This crust recipe called for all butter. I prefer to make my pie dough with a mixture of part butter and part Crisco. I’ve found that that combo produces the flakiest crust.

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot PiesBut Kris’s crust? It was beautifully flaky. You can totally see how flaky it is in my images. And the tarragon in the crust was a nice touch. Just the right amount so that you could taste it but it didn’t overtake the dish.

Kris Jenner Chicken Pot PiesAnd how about the filling? I will give you my adult perspective first and then I’ll tell you what the kids thought…

First, the sauce was exactly as it should be. Rich and creamy. Not gloopy and paste-like. The addition of brandy made this dish a little extra special and definitely appealed to my adult palate. But do you want to know what the real star of the show was? The damn fennel. Go figure. It made the dish.

Now the kids, they were divided. All liked the pies and ate up their dinner, but each kid was into or not into certain veggies. One loved the zucchini while another thought that the omission of potatoes and addition of wild card veggies like asparagus and zucchini was chicken pot pie blasphemy.

But they all agreed that the crust was killer. Each one was picking off crusty bits from the bowls and all looked indignant when I took the bowls away. Chipping off crust with your fingernails is far from civilized dinner table behavior. Ahem.

Kris Jenner BrowniesOn to dessert! I chose Kris’s brownies because hello chocolate! As we all know, I adore chocolate. So this was a sort of no-brainer for me. But I will tell you this, I am super fussy about brownies. If it doesn’t taste like heaven I won’t waste the calories. And while my kids are happy with Betty Crocker from the box, I am definitely not.

My all-time favorite brownie recipe hails from Boston, MA. Rosie’s Bakery makes a brownie called a chocolate orgasm. It is perfection. Nothing else has ever compared and that’s the recipe I judge all brownies against.

Kris Jenner BrowniesAs I was making Kris’s recipe, I thought that it was going to be WAY too sweet. Like sickeningly. Besides two cups of sugar, the recipe calls for two cups of chocolate chips. And in case you are wondering, that was an entire bag of Nestle Morsels. As I spread the batter into the pan I got a glob on my finger which I instinctively licked off.

Hmmmm, this tastes pretty fruit loopin’ good, I thought. Truth be told, I scraped a lot less batter out of that bowl than I should’ve. And then I licked the spatula once I was done with the bowl. So much for it being too sweet.

Kris Jenner BrowniesI showed a crap ton of restraint by allowing those brownies to cool completely. And the only reason I did that was because the kids were home and I wanted to set a good example. But once those brownies were cool, I sliced them into large fudgy squares and placed them in the corner of my kitchen. Far from eyesight because it isn’t right to eat brownies before dinner. Or for dinner which is what I wanted to do.

They were the bee’s knees. I’m not saying they are better than Rosie’s, but it’s ridiculously close. Kris can cook brownies for me any day of the week.

I will say this, I highly doubt Kris or her family indulges in these brownies very often because HOLY FATTENING! There’s no way they could keep their hourglass shape if they did.

But for you and me? Game on! These are especially perfect for that time of the month when you need ALL OF THE CHOCOLATE! I will for now on call these Period Brownies because that time of the month I will want these. Period.

So that wraps up this installment of Kooking with Kris. Two solid recipes that clearly the Amazon reviewers haven’t tried because if they had, they might’ve written something a lot more positive. Because Lord knows I’m a picky girl and these two recipes are worth cooking.

But that doesn’t mean I’m telling you to run out and buy the book. Two successful recipes out of seventy-one is not enough evidence yet that it’s a cookbook worth investing in. Let’s see what happens in a few days when I try a few other recipes, shall we?

This is not a sponsored post. There is an affiliate link in this post for Kris’s book.

In The Kitchen with Kris (and Melanie Too!)

Kris Jenner CookbookThis past weekend found me at Barnes and Noble with Leela looking for a book for her to read. And while she spent what felt like hours touching every single book in the kid’s section, I gazed longingly across the way at the cookbooks. There was a giant holiday display of new releases and many of them were on my wish list.

And if I had been true to my normal self, my impulse purchase would’ve been either The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum or Baking Chez Moi, Dorie Greenspan’s latest masterpiece. Because you know me, I’m a sucker for a good cookbook. One actually might call me a cookbook addict. While most of the population is gravitating towards digital download cookbooks, I still relish hard bound cookbooks with real pages that I can dog ear and take notes in. I’m very old school that way.

Once Leela finally made her selection, which was ironically the very first book she had touched, we walked over to the cookbooks. I walked around the table looking at each book, thumbing through the pages just like my daughter had in the kid’s section. I felt it only fair that I take my time. One must flip through cookbooks before committing. My readers who are cookbook aficionados can appreciate that, I’m sure.

After perusing all of the options, I came to the corner and there sat a book that caught my eye. Kris Jenner’s In The Kitchen With Kris. This caught my eye for several different reasons. First, I didn’t know she could cook. But this sort of goes without saying because I know nothing about the woman. I also know very little about the Kardashian family.

I’m sure that comes as a shock to you because who doesn’t know the Kardashians? I’m the only one waving my hand right now, I’m certain.

You see, I don’t watch television. Sure I catch the occasional Food Network show more because I’ve actually met and spent time with some of the personalities who have shows on that network. As you know, I’ve been to Ree’s ranch, so of course I find that show to be entertaining because I know Ree.

But beyond that, I do not watch television. I also don’t read magazines that aren’t about food or home. So I’m in this little bubble over here, ignorant of many icons in pop culture. So it’s no surprise that I didn’t know that Kris can cook.

It also took me by surprise because I haven’t heard anything about this release. As a food writer I get press releases almost every day with all of the new books that have been published. Not only did I not get anything from the publisher, I also haven’t heard a single mention of this book in the food world. Nada.

And I guess the last thing I found odd was why would she even have to cook to begin with? I would imagine someone so wealthy would have a live in chef. I’ll be honest with you, if I had her money I would absolutely have a chef. Cooking for four kids is exhausting.

So I left the store without purchasing any of the cookbooks. But when I got home, morbid curiosity got the best of me and I went on Amazon to read the reviews for Jenner’s book.

There are currently 62 reviews of this cookbook on Amazon and they are brutal. Averaging 1.5 stars, this book isn’t being received well by many.

And as I read through the reviews, something struck me. For the most part they were reviewing the family, not the cookbook.

Call me a softy, but that really isn’t fair. I mean, if the cookbook is awful, then so be it. The reviews should stand. But what if the recipes are good? Shouldn’t that mean something? Very few of the reviews critiqued the recipes and the ones that did were abysmal for the most part.

So I decided to cook my way through Kris’s book. Giving each recipe a fair and unbiased assessment because if there’s anyone on this planet who can do that, it would be me, the woman who knows nothing about her or her famous clan.

My dream is to publish a cookbook someday. That’s why I write A Beautiful Bite. My life hasn’t been perfect. I’ve made mistakes myself. I would HATE if someday I wrote a book and someone judged it on my past sins or hated it solely because I am not conforming to what people expect me to be. I want my book to be judged on the recipes inside the cover. That and that alone.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Starting tomorrow I will publish a post weekly that reviews recipes made from this cookbook until I cook every single dish in the cookbook. There are only seventy-one recipes. It’s not like I’m cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

It will be JUST like Julie & Julia minus the French accent, plus millions of dollars.

What’s the worst that could happen?

This is NOT a sponsored post. I actually bought this cookbook with my own hard-earned money. Kris doesn’t know I exist and I’m quite certain it will remain that way. The links to the cookbooks mentioned in this post are my referral links.

Getting There

Peppermint Hot Chocolate MixSo you know that I’m the MOST self-critical human on the planet, right? I am. Nothing I ever produce is good enough in my own eyes and my food photography has been the biggest thorn in my side since I started food blogging.

Part of my problem is that in my mind I have to be the best at what I do. Period. Many of my friends are food writers and photographers. One of my friends shoots for the New York Times. Another is one of the food photographers for Southern Living. So that’s what I compare myself to. Or at the very least that’s what I aspire to be.

And while that might sound absurd to most people, it actually makes me work harder. Even if I’m seeing nothing for my labors in the present, that’s ok. Well, I’m not totally ok with that because yes, I’d like to get reimbursed for my work. But I recognize that every professional has to start somewhere and we all have to pay our dues.

You’re probably sick of hearing me talk on this topic. I mean, it’s been three years that I’ve been writing on A Beautiful Bite, but guess what? I’m seeing progress. I’m actually happy with some of the work I’ve produced as of late.

See that mug of Peppermint Hot Chocolate above? I’m sort of smitten with that image. Sure the recipe is killer, but just look at that marshmallow defying gravity on the left side of the mug! God bless that marshmallow.

Oh and just so that you know, just seconds after I got that shot I lost my balance and fell over on that board sending the mug and all of its contents spattering all over my rug and curtains. Progress indeed.

LobsterPoutineThen there was this recipe…

 Lobster Poutine. If I had to walk away from my food blog today and only choose one recipe to represent me, Melanie, for the rest of eternity this would be it. Holy MOLY was this an epic recipe. Perfect in every way. So fruit loopin’ delicious and a damn near perfect image to boot. Honestly, I thanked God after that shoot for the lessons he’s taught me and for the people he’s brought into my life who’ve mentored me. I am so thankful.

SconesAnd then there’s this image from today. This recipe was a sort of joint effort. Actually it hasn’t even been published yet. I’ve not named it or even framed a post for it in my head. I started working on it today and it started when I texted a friend for their input on beer. I was standing in the package store texting one friend about the right beer to purchase for the recipe while simultaneously texting with another friend about different types of mustard that I was considering for this appetizer.

As I got their opinions I couldn’t help but appreciate my friend network and how much they affect my work. I’m telling you, as a food writer it helps to have a friend who can explain the differences between a stout, pilsner and a lager.

Avocado FrittersThese good feelings couldn’t come at a better time because it’s been tough around here as of late. For the obvious reasons for sure, but for professional reasons as well. This past week a very large website in Ireland took one of my recipes and published it in its entirety on their site where it was shared nine thousand times. In the United States that would be called plagiarism. But there wasn’t much I could do about it. Can I tell you how much it would cost to take legal action overseas? You don’t want to know.

But the week wasn’t a total loss. The Loop in Canada had reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and asked for permission to share my very popular Avocado Fritters recipe. They promised to do all of the right things like share my image with a link back to my original post so that the reader has to come to my site to get the recipe instructions.

And guess what? They did everything exactly right. However they forgot to tell me one thing. The title of the post. Not a big deal, right? How bad could it be?

You’re Going To Love How Our Balls Taste In Your Mouth.

When the traffic started pouring in I clicked over to see the post and damn near died when I saw the post title. I’ve been praying for exposure, but that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. At all.

Heavens to Betsy life is so weird.

Minted for the Holidays and a Giveaway!

Minted OrnamentsHave you started your holiday cards yet? I sure haven’t. Wasn’t it just yesterday that the kids went back to school? How did we even get to December? Please make time slow down a bit. I still have pumpkin guts on my stoop.

But as we know, time stops for no one. So I have to focus. Like really focus and get my holiday act together. Because at this rate, we might be celebrating Christmas on Valentine’s Day if I don’t get my fanny moving.

So about those cards…

Luckily there’s a great company that’s willing to help out us procrastinators. Have you heard of Minted? They’ve got you covered when it comes to holiday cards. So many beautiful designs printed on luxe thick paper. Really, the design work and quality is outstanding. Minted employs some of the very best artists to create their products, so you know you’re getting something special. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself!

Minted Holiday CardsAnd to make sure your cards stand out from the rest, Minted is offering designer envelopes with recipient addressing for no additional charge with your holiday order. How’s that for a timesaver? Addressing holiday cards is not one of my favorite tasks. I’m happy to hand that chore over to Minted.

Minted GiftsBesides beautiful and unique cards, Minted also offers products that would make lovely gifts for the holidays! Photo art, limited edition art prints, ornaments and calendars are just a handful of examples. And while you’re visiting Minted, be sure to check out the thank you cards. You’ll need them!

The deadline for ordering holiday cards from Minted is 12/12 for a 12/19 delivery. So even though you still have ten days to work on it, I’d hop to it! As we both know, those ten days are going to fly!

How about a giveaway?

The fine folks at Minted are offering one of my readers a $75 gift credit. Want to enter? Use the Rafflecopter entry form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is not a sponsored post. Minted did provide me with my own gift credit to facilitate my post.

Goodbye Eau de Turkey #SmellsClean

Wild TurkeysMy house still smells like turkey. At least it did until yesterday when I started sprucing things up around here. Have you ever cooked something on the first floor of your home and found that the smell settled in the upstairs rooms? That’s what happened over here. Every room on the second story smelled like Thanksgiving days after the holiday was over.

TurkeyAnd I have to say, for the first day or so I found that smell rather comforting. Proof positive that I spent thirty-six hours slaving away over a stove. Even after all of the dishes were washed and put away, I could still smell my holiday bird while nestled in my bed. Who needs dryer sheets when you’ve got turkey in the air?

Plug InsBut two days later I had enough of that smell. Opening the windows wasn’t an option because HELLO it was freezing out. So cold. So instead I lit a few candles and plugged some nice smelly things into the outlets. Goodbye eau de turkey, hello Frosted Cookie Party.

And have you seen the new scents in the smelly aisle? Er I mean the cleaning aisle? I don’t know about you, but whenever I walk down the cleaning aisle at the store I tend to sniff every good smelling thing on the shelves. They make it way too easy to buy every scent. And I have to say that the Frosted Cookie Party is a winner!

One Frosted Cookie Party and one Merry Citrus Melody later, my house smells more like Christmas than Thanksgiving. Which makes sense because Christmas is twenty-three days away. Are you ready? Neither am I. But at least it smells festive around here!

This is a sponsored post for Acorn. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m Hiding

LeelaI have to apologize, I’ve been awful about commenting back the past couple of posts. Things are so busy right now. And I bet you feel the same way. So much to do before Thanksgiving. I can hardly manage it all.

So for today I just want to share with you a funny photo I took of Leela the other night.

The girls and I were watching Maleficent and when the scary scenes came on, Leela covered herself with her wubbie. And when I caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye, all sealed off and oblivious to the scary stuff happening on the television, I couldn’t help but giggle thinking that I too would like to hide under my wubbie once in awhile.

Isn’t that a funny thing about kids? If they don’t see something happening it doesn’t exist?

Too bad that doesn’t work in adult life.

At any rate, I just wanted to assure you that things are ok. I’m here. Just super busy getting ready for turkey day. I’ll respond to comments over the weekend.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo

P.S. Are you shopping on Black Friday? Got your eye on anything special? I am so out of touch with the brick and mortar store deals.

Strength

Melanie In The MiddleI’ve been blogging for eight years. Can you believe that? Good Lord has a lot happened over those years. So many amazing things and some pretty catastrophic things too.

Looking back over the years I can’t help but smile at the highlights. As I look back over my blog entries I marvel at how my children have changed. My darling daughters who used to be round faced preschoolers have morphed into bra wearing tweens. Premature babes who have grown into healthy active and spirited young women.

And my sons. Oh the stories I could tell but cannot until many years down the road. They understand what blogging is all about and have not given me permission to share their individual stories here. And while I completely support them in that choice, I long to share  some of the crazy trials and tribulations we’ve weathered. Enough life lessons to fill a book!

The boys too have grown into strapping young men. And Lord have mercy can I see myself and their father in them. They are feisty and headstrong to say the least. They are also gentle of heart and quick to lend a helping hand. Wonderful qualities in young men. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their father and I raised men who will do great things.

And in every life some rain must fall. Oh how it’s rained over the years. Drought has not been an issue in my life that’s for damn sure. As a blogger I’ve shared these difficult times with you and for the most part I’ve been supported and loved on this blog.

But then there are the trolls…

Recently a reader commented on a post with the following:

“I now understand why your husband left you.”

Originally I just deleted that comment and put it in the trash where it belonged because I truly believe that people who spew comments such as this are people to be pitied. People who have such empty sorrowful lives that I ought to be praying for them. But still, I felt that it needed to be addressed. So here it goes…

Let me be crystal clear. My husband didn’t leave me. And that’s all I will say on that subject because I want to honor my children’s father in all things.

I am secure in who I am beyond anyone’s judgement. I did not go through a childhood of physical and mental abuse, lose a child and fight for my life after being crushed by a car to subject myself to anyone’s judgement.

That picture you see above? That is a picture of a woman full of hope. A woman loved by more than enough people. A woman who chooses to focus on the good in life and prides herself in building her friends and peers up, not tearing them down.

This blog is not an open target for judgement. It is a place where I choose to share my life. And if you’ve ever wondered why I moderate comments, this troll is a good example as to why I do that.

It saddens me that there are people in this world who are so empty, so sorrowful, so bitter that they take joy in hurting others. Because truly they are to be pitied.

But I will not allow them to rain on my blog because this is my space. And this blog speaks to strength, courage and hope. And no one, I do mean no one, will take that away from me. From us, really. Because we are in this together, you and I. And we will prevail.

If I Had A Magic Wand

Cookies Make Everything BetterThe past three days have been tumultuous over here. One of my littles is struggling with a personal matter. And it’s one of those struggles that can’t easily be fixed because I have no power over the situation. It’s weeks like this that I long for a magic wand.

If I had a magic wand life would be so much easier…

First I’d start by swirling it around every middle school that I can find in this country and make all the mean girls nice.

Then I would gently tap each of my kids with it and infuse them with a positive self esteem that would never waver. Making them impervious to judgement, hate and exclusion. Allowing them to walk confidently into any situation knowing that they can be free to make good choices without being scorned.

And then I’d erase any thoughts in my childrens’ minds that were born from the media. How they should look. What they should say to be accepted. And what they should own to be cool. I’d zap the crap out of all of that.

Next, I would aim that wand at my own heart and soften it towards people who are mean. Because deep down I know that hateful people actually really hate themselves.

People who are hateful to other people are to be pitied. Not only because those people are hurting and lashing out, but also because in the long run that hate will poison them and manifest in real physical ways. And that’s sad.

But I don’t have a magic wand. So instead I put out a plate of cookies, heat up mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows and greet my kids with a smile and hug after school because that’s the best I can do right now.

Parenting. No one warns you how hard it can be.

Mirbeau Inn and Spa and a Giveaway!

Mirbeau SpaThis past summer the town of Plymouth welcomed its first destination spa, the Mirbeau Inn and Spa. Located about 45 minutes south of Boston, the Mirbeau Inn and Spa is tucked into the Pinehills community which is popular for its Rees Jones golf course.

Mirbeau Inn and Spa boasts French-inspired accommodations, two fine dining establishments and a full service spa complete with resting room, heated whirlpool plunge pool and eucalyptus infused steam rooms.

As a resident of the South Shore for the past two decades, it used to be that I had to drive to the city in order to experience a full service spa. Now that one has opened in my own town, I was eager to check it out. So last month I booked a service in order to get the inside scoop!

Mirbeau Spa Serenity RoomMy day started with some quiet time in what Mirbeau calls a resting room. Spas often times refer to rooms such as this as serenity rooms. And I have to tell you, it doesn’t get much more serene than this. With a heated foot massage pool, ample beds for relaxing and a roaring fire in the oversized fireplace, I was feeling rather serene.

Mirbeau Spa

Mirbeau Spa RoomWith a full spa menu, it will be a challenge for you to decide which of the luxurious services you will indulge in. Massage, facials, nail treatments, scrubs and wraps are just some of the spa offerings. And if you can’t decide on just one, you can take advantage of one of their packages.

I chose the Mirbeau Ritual Body Treatment which included an all-natural sugar body scrub and full body massage.

After relaxing for a bit in the resting room, I was led to the spa room which was rather opulent with a roaring fire and soft playing music. Before the treatment started, I was asked to choose a scented oil from two vials that would be used during my massage. After making my choice, I climbed up onto the heated massage table and promptly forgot about any worry that was in my mind as my body was scrubbed, oiled and kneaded away.

It was utter bliss for eighty solid minutes.

Mirbeau Spa PoolAfter my treatment I took advantage of the complimentary spa offerings. The outdoor heated plunge whirlpool was a special treat on that cool fall day. I also went back to the resting room because that heated foot pool was by far one of the most relaxing things I’ve experienced. Did I mention that you can enjoy a glass of wine while you soak your feet?

And if it’s exercise you are looking for, there’s a fitness center on the property and daily yoga and exercise classes available. You quite literally could spend the whole day enjoying the facilities, there’s that much to experience.

Mirbeau Spa LunchI finished my day at Mirbeau Inn and Spa by having lunch at the Bistro and Wine Bar. Beautifully appointed with French style furnishings, the Bistro and Wine Bar is a sophisticated place to enjoy a bite to eat. Sandwiches, salads, entrees and a full drink menu are offered in their bright dining room complete with yet another roaring fireplace. I was delighted to find a charcuterie board on the menu which did not disappoint. That paired with a bowl of butternut squash bisque was a fine end to my sumptuous day at Mirbeau Inn and Spa.

If you are looking for a weekend spa getaway, Mirbeau Inn and Spa is a fine choice. Between the spa offerings, fine dining, luxurious accommodations and close proximity to an award winning golf course, this would be a natural choice for those seeking a decadent weekend away.

For more information on Mirbeau Inn and Spa, be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.

Giveaway!

How would you like to enter to win an overnight stay for one night at the Mirbeau Inn and Spa plus breakfast for two?* To enter, use the Rafflecopter entry form below. Please keep in mind that this giveaway is for a spa located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Please enter only if you can get to this location. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is not a sponsored post. However, I did receive a discounted spa service and a complimentary lunch to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

*Gift certificate expires 10/30/15. Can only be used on Monday through Thursday subject to availability. Not valid during July, August or Holiday periods. Gift certificate does not include taxes or gratuities. Gift certificate may not be transferred, extended or redeemed as a gift card. 72 hour cancellation policies apply for all spa treatments.