Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Midsummer e-Newsletter, in which our talented and knowledgeable spa experts will help you celebrate the season "In Full Bloom." They will share tips on skin care, make-up, buying and cooking fresh produce from your local Farmer's Market, and making easy, informal arrangements with flowers from your garden or Farmer's Market.

 

 

Spa

Spa Director Danielle Knerr talks about the tangible benefits of our Summer Spa Services that use coconut, pineapple and mango. They will delight your senses while benefiting your skin and elevating your mood.

Want to cool off this summer in a way that benefits your skin and delights your senses? We've gone tropical in our Summer Spa Services, which you can enjoy through September 14th. We're using pineapple, which is packed with Vitamin C, an important anti-oxidant which gives skin an extra glow of radiance, and mango, the juicy and aromatic "peach of the tropics," which has properties that help keep skin healthy, hydrated and soft.

We start at the top with a 50-minute Pineapple Mango Facial, which will deliver instant brightness to your complexion. We use an exotic pineapple gel and a mango butter cream, delicately scented with oranges, to surround you with sensory bliss.

We have two summer body services to offer. The 50-minute Coconut Pineapple Body Wrap begins with a coconut mango scrub to slough off dull skin cells, followed by an application of pineapple shea butter lotion. Your body is then wrapped in a warming blanket while your therapist helps melt away tension with a face and head massage. Your mind will have a vacation in the tropics, and your body will be soothed and moisturized.

The second body treatment is a 25-minute Coconut Mango Body Polish. Under the soothing rain of a Vichy shower, you receive a full-body exfoliation with coconut mango scrub and an application of pineapple shea butter lotion to soothe and moisturize your skin.

If you'd like, we can pamper your hands and feet with the Pineapple Coconut Manicure or Pedicure, each a 50-minute service. We exfoliate your skin with the coconut mango scrub, leaving it feeling silky-soft and smooth. A coconut shea butter masque is then applied, followed by an application of our soothing and moisturizing pineapple shea butter.

So come see us through Sept. 14 for a quick trip to the tropics – minus the long hours and the stress and delays of travel by air.

 

 

From The Boutique

Jill McDonough, a professional make-up artist in our Boutique, writes about how to apply bronzers, which give your face a healthy summer glow without exposing your skin to the sun...

Would you like to have a healthy, bronzed glow to your face this summer without risking sun exposure or experimenting with self-tanning products? One easy option for women who don't have deeply pigmented natural skin is to use a powdered bronzer.

Your goal is a sheer application of the of bronzer. For best results, buy a fan-shaped brush if you don't own one. It's worth the investment because it will evenly apply the bronzer. If you're not sure what shade of bronzer will work for you, inquire at our Boutique or at a cosmetics store near your home. If your skin is on the oily side, choose a matte finish; if not, you can use one that has a bit of shimmer to it.

As for application, start by applying foundation. Then use the fan brush to sweep the bronzer over your forehead, chin, cheekbones, nose and throat -- all the places the sun would hit -- for the most natural look. To finish, follow up with cream or powder blush on your cheeks, feathering out the edges. A brighter color blush will give you the freshest look. Your skin will not only glow, it will be will be healthier when you ‘get your bronze on' without the sun.

 

 

From Chef Daniel's Kitchen

Chef Daniel writes about his favorite summer vegetables and the benefits of shopping at your local Farmer's Market. And, of course, he has a recipe to share.

If you had to put music to Farmers' Markets in the northeast it would be Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Here in Connecticut, where there has been abundant summer rain and sunshine this year, the variety and bounty of crops is incredible. This summer you are seeing more locally grown food than ever before at market. The number of farms in the region is on the rise, and this is great news!

The following lists some of the produce you can expect to see at any Farmers' Market in New England during the months of July and August. Clip it and keep it for reference this summer and next.

Other parts of the country may vary slightly. But wherever you live, each month builds on the other, adding greater variety as the season stretches. In addition to your usual favorites, remember to be on the look out for those farmers growing the truly unique and rare goodies from seeds imported from Europe, Central and South America. Some of these goodies are nutritionally dense varieties that fortify your body and improve your health.

Early July   Mid-Late July Early August
Apple Cider
Beans (all kinds)
Blueberries
Cabbage
Chives
Collard Greens
Corn
Cucumbers
Kale
Mustard Greens
Nectarines
Peaches
Rhubarb
Squash (soft skin varieties)
Tomatoes
Turnip Tops (greens)
Peppers
Plums
Arugula
Blackberries
Broccoli
Carrots
Mint
Pears
Cantaloupe
Eggplant
Watermelon

When selecting produce ask the person selling where it comes from and if they grew what they are selling. Do they do the harvesting themselves? Not all farmers are created equal, so it's a good idea to get to know the people you buy from and ask them what they think of pesticides and fungicides. Stay away from sellers who seem detached from the produce or are too focused on the "cha-ching" of the transaction; they may not be the actual growers. Buy from the ones that are tuned in to the food they offer and seem intimately aware of the season and what's coming out of their garden next.

Corn and Zucchini Chowder
Recipe By: Daniel Chong-Jiménez
Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 0:45

Ingredients:

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth*)
1 cup heavy cream (optional, increase veg. broth by 1 cup*)
2 each ear native sweet corn
1 cup small-diced zucchini
½ cup small-diced waxy potato (Yukon Gold)
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup fine chopped maple-smoked bacon (or bacon substitute*)
1 each sprig of thyme
1 tablespoon farmstead butter (or olive oil*)
salt and white pepper
*Vegan Option

1. Shuck the corn, save the cob.
2. Heat a thick-bottomed saucepot to medium-high heat.
3. Add the butter (or oil), corn kernels, zucchini, potato, onion, celery and bacon (or substitute).
4. Cook until the vegetables are translucent.
5. Add the chicken (or vegetable) broth, thyme and corncob and bring to a simmer.
6. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
7. Add the cream (skip if vegan) and bring to a simmer.
8. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
9. Remove and discard the cobs and thyme sprig.
10. Season to taste and serve.

Nutrition Facts per 200 gram portion, about 6 portions per recipe:
271 kcal, 5 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrate, 24 grams fat, 2 grams fiber

Vegan Option Nutrition Facts per 200 gram portion, about 6 portions per recipe:
155 kcal, 7 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat, 4 grams fiber

 

 

Housekeeping 

Guest writer Joanne LeFrancois is the floral designer who supplies the beautiful arrangements that are the focal point of the lobby of The Spa at Norwich Inn. She shares easy-to-follow tips to help you make simple and attractive summer flower arrangements for your home.

With summer in full bloom, there are abundant choices for flowers to dress up your living spaces. Summer isn't a time to be fussy about flower arranging. You may want red roses in a crystal vase in February for Valentine's Day, but summer is all about mixing and matching in a relaxed style. You can cut greenery and flowers from your own garden or buy them at a Farmer's Market. If you have old mason jars, they are perfect to lend country charm. Or you may have saved clear or colored florist vases.

Flower arrangements start with greens for structure. For a tiny arrangement – say a bud vase that's 2 to 3 inches tall, - you can just add water and a flower. If you want to make a larger arrangement, perhaps a centerpiece, get some floral tape (or use chicken wire if you have it) to hold the greens. (The chicken wire gets inserted into the top of the vase; attach the floral tape to the rim of the vase, left to right and up and down to create the grid.) The rule of thumb is the arrangement should be 1 or 1.5 times the height of the vase.

Good backyard greenery for summer arrangements include ferns and hosta leaves.... but don't stop there. If you have a vegetable garden, you can have fun with the airy foliage of fennel and dill, the color contrasts and scents of green and purple basil and the many varieties of mint and sage. Stems of lavender, with their grey stalks and leaves, provide contrast as well as fragrance.

Once you have your structure of greenery in place, add the flowers you've picked or purchased. Aim for a loose, relaxed effect – a kind of country charm. Late summer flowers, including zinnias and dahlias, black-eyed Susans and sunflowers, can give you a great kick of color. I hosted a charity event at my home recently, and I cut from every plant in my home garden. It's all about the abundance of summer.

You also don't have to stick to the traditional "arrangement" to enjoy flowers in your home. I collect and use clear, antique medicine bottles to hold individual flowers, and I display them as a grouping on a tray. I also use antique toothpick holders for individual flowers. You might want to make a grouping of arrangements in three kinds of vases – a toothpick holder, an antique vase and a crystal bowl – one small, one medium and one large. These are simple and easy, especially on a hot day.

Where do I put flowers in my home when I'm not entertaining? I like to have a small arrangement on the nightstand when someone is staying in my guest room. If there's no company, I like flowers in my kitchen to enjoy while I do my chores. But when life is hectic, there is one room where I always have flowers: my bathroom. When you bring beauty into a space that only you or your family will see, it shows how much you care.