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Morris County home makeover: Small bath gets spa shower with laundry area

EUGENIO PHOTOGRAPHYJoseph Augis has become accustomed to clients showing him photos of dreamy, but unusual, home features that he always finds a way to build in his Linden workshop. Such were the shelves in the laundry area of a master bathroom his company, Heavy J Construction, recently renovated in a house near Morristown.

The owners wanted to stay on budget with stock cabinetry. So instead of building the custom cabinets that are a specialty of his company, Augis was challenged to use his creativity and woodworking skills in another way.

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Massa Pizza brings authentic taste of Italy to Scotch Plains 

Marco Massaro at Massa Roman Square Pizza in Scotch PlainsTucked between a hobby store and a health shop on Park Ave. in Scotch Plains, there is a little taste of Rome.

Marco Massaro paces himself to rock music in Italian, pressing soft dough into huge oblong pans.

Some are drizzled with rich, green extra virgin olive oil. Others are spread with a marinara of intensely flavored San Marzano tomatoes. For his Massa Square Roman Pizza, Massaro has prepared toppings of mushrooms, artichokes, broccoli rabe, fresh cherry tomatoes, roasted eggplant and roasted zucchini.

There is no pepperoni. Instead, he’s sliced imported prosciutto di Parma, prosciutto cotto, pancetta and soppressata. The sausage, and the porchetta used in one sandwich, are from a local butcher, originally from Ariccia, a suburb of Rome. Shavings of Italian Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese are sometimes used, but every Massa pie has fresh mozzarella from Lioni Latticini, the Union-based winner of coveted national and world-wide awards for its Italian cheeses.

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Beautiful Kitchens by Paul: Makeover for Westfield family of seven

The making of a dream kitchen


A Westfield couple’s dream home involved carving space from their backyard for a 310-square-foot kitchen. The addition would make room for lots of storage, two dishwashers and a 13-foot-long island.

“I felt it was important to give them an island that can seat every member of their family,” said Paul Barreto, owner of Beautiful Kitchens by Paul. He worked with the couple to plan the new kitchen and its island that seats seven, including their five children.

The two-level island elevates casual dining for the large family. One side of the island’s leather-finished granite top steps down to the same height as the other counters, expanding food prep surfaces and making it possible for several family members to cook together comfortably.

Like the kitchen’s custom, American-made Wellborn cabinetry, the island is topped with dark titanium granite from Brazil. Paul designed the island with a two-level top. The elevated area is for casual dining, and the lower for food prep. He also converted the home’s original kitchen into an office, with desks built from the same cabinetry used in the kitchen.

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Two gorgeous 'Double King' amaryllis flowers of reblooming water-grown bulb

Both flowers of the 'Double King' amaryllis in full bloom yesterday. The second flower to open (at right) has stamens and anthers while the first does not. This is the first time the bulb has produced a flower with obvious reproductive parts. It's interesting that they are only on one flower. I think this might mean that a male and a female flower are on the same stem? I did not have time to research this or why one flower would produce stamens after all these years.


Ask Dr. Barb: How to have the marijuana talk with teens 

Dr. Barbara RosenbergDear Dr. Barb: I am concerned about the prospect of legalized marijuana. Throughout my young life, I avoided it because it was considered a “gateway drug” that could lead to stronger drugs. I’m told that marijuana is not addictive, but I know people who seem to need to smoke it every day. I have never tried it, but I have actually had people tell me that marijuana can have health benefits. My concern is that legal weed will encourage younger people to try it and use it as a form of escape instead of dealing with their problems. I know some people use it for physical pain, but my concern is those who will use it to dull the emotional pain that signals a need to get psychological help or make life changes. Am I just a square who is out of touch with recent science? I would appreciate your insights on ways to talk with my children about a substance that was previously illegal now entering the mainstream.

Dear Reader: I definitely understand your concerns about legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults. Marijuana is now more potent than it was decades ago, and there are high-risk derivatives being made for use with the popular vaping devices.

The chemical changes in today’s marijuana pose serious risks to adolescent development. There is evidence that regular marijuana use during teen years can potentially damage cognitive processing and memory functions, resulting in a lower IQ.

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