Monday, August 24, 2015

Cookie Update, Crazy Love & Book Signings

View from my Kitchen

Take a quick minute to click the link above to watch the short but sweet video my daughter's Bella & Sophia put together to promote my new cook book. Be sure to listen too because there's some "Crazy Love". We chose that song because it sums up my passion for cooking and baking. The book helps me share my passion with you.

As for the Cookies I had a sign to let people know the days I'd  have warm cookies for sale. I have to say I didn't get to it as much as I'd have liked. With my teens home and all their happenings in the house and getting Sophia back and forth to her camps there was only a single day or some weeks possibly two days a week throughout the summer I was able to put my sign out and offer cookies. Besides there were a lot of good beach days to be enjoyed with family and friends too!

 I have a jar filled with cookie money (to save for a rainy day like my Nana used to teach me) and a number of texts and phone calls from customers letting me know how delicious the cookies were. I baked dreamy island, celebration and whale shaped sugar cookies. All three recipes are in my cook book.

And I feel very grateful to the kind folks at Schiffer Publishing. My book looks beautiful and I feel we collaborated well. The marketing lady suggests the best way to get my book out there is to schedule book signings.  I will let you know when and where they will be in the upcoming months. I wrote a chapter called Poem & Pies and I am setting up a couple of spots to host a Poem & Pies Workshop. Where you can come see the book, bake a pie and have a chance to write a poem with super fun and easy writing prompts while waiting for the pie to bake. If you'd like I'd be happy to sign the book for you too.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the last days of summer!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Specialty Cookies For Sale!



"Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon".  ~C. Day Lewis

  Yesterday I took my daughter's down to Wood Neck Beach and we enjoyed the simplicity of the sun, water and sand. It was low tide and when it was time to head out I didn't want to go. Late afternoon, low tide in the summer at Wood Neck Beach is one of my all time favorite places to be. July 4th weekend offered so many good opportunities to be out on the water and enjoy the summer. Yay, summer is finally here!

Over the holiday weekend we went to three different parties and brought some of my favorite treats to share including my new fave: Red, White & Blue Sundaes with Vanilla Ice Cream, fresh blueberry sauce, slices of strawberry, whipped cream in waffle cone bowls. For the Blueberry sauce simply take a pint of fresh ripe and clean blueberries, a 1/3 cup of sugar, a 1/3 cup of water and a splash of fresh lemon juice place in a small sauce pan and boil then let simmer for about ten minutes. Stir occasionally. I also made a Lemon Cake and a batch of my Celebration Cookies.

The photo above is the cover of my book that will be available in November. I'm looking forward to sharing it. I think it came out beautiful and I hope readers, cooks and other fans of Cape Cod like it.

And listen to this--I'm home with my daughter's for the summer and decided to sell my cookies right from home. I have a sign that I'm putting out on the road to let people know I'm here and the days that I'll have my cookies available. I'm thinking only one or two days a week and I'll make Dreamy Island Cookies, Celebration Cookies & Starfish and Whale Shaped Sugar Cookies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Slowing Down to the Pace of Summer

 from Bike Path near Great Sippewissett Marsh

Summer Salad
 
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." ~John Lubbock
 
With my Spring Semester grades in I'm feeling grateful for the gift of summer days with (two of my kids) at home. My son opted for a summer intern position and he's living in Boston. So far, he's loving it and I know he'll still get to visit.
Summer is a time where I want to make more fresh grown salad and fresh berry pies, take more late evening walks by the marsh and soak up the summer sun by the beach with friends. My daughter Bella is home for the summer after finishing her first year at College. She was on her way to her summer job the other day and I offered to make a Summer Salad before she left simply because I'm happy she's home.
As an update I created a new line of book marks with my text and photographs and if you're in town stop by Twigs on Main St. in Falmouth and take a look. With the warmer days ahead I decided to plan a Girls Night Out. We decided to meet at my house for Appetizers and a cold Beverage.
My book "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen" will be available in November 2015 and I hope to set up fun events to get friends together to celebrate its release because it's something I worked hard on (the food and photos are super fun) and I'm proud of it.
And we had such a harsh winter on the Cape, that I'm looking forward to a bit of slowing down our pace of the hectic school year responsibilities and enjoying some lazy days at the beach. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Meanwhile...


"Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate". ~ Alan Wolfelt

Here is the view from my dining room table on Christmas Day. It felt cozy and warm to make a fire while sitting down with my family for Christmas Dinner. I made some of our favorite foods between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because the making and sharing of good food is a symbol of my love for each of them.

My favorite meal over the holiday was breakfast on Christmas morning because I made Spinach Feta Quiche and Cinnamon Rolls. I made them the day before so I only needed to warm them in the oven after we exchanged our gifts to one another. I'd have to say my daughter Bella's favorite was that I baked one of my coconut pound cakes with fresh raspberries and drizzled chocolate for Christmas Dinner Dessert.

I've been receiving orders to purchase my recipe book from Amazon yet unfortunately I am out of my copies from my self published version. I apologize for not being able to respond to any requests yet. I am excited for the updated version to be published. For now, the details and deadline are out of my hand. The good news is I have done what I can so am waiting to hear from the Publishing Company about publication dates. I will let you know when I know.

Meanwhile, I have other interests and projects to tend to. One thing I'd like to do baking related is to start an ongoing Soup Swap. And of course, in the spring I will be teaching Analysis of Literature. And I've been writing more poetry too. My own photographs and text are captured in a series of creative book marks and for sale in local stores. I look forward to what creative opportunities and inspirations emerge as the new year unfolds.

Blessings for a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours from me and mine.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Pies

I am grateful that everything came together beautifully for our Thanksgiving day meal. I think what saved me was I took care of little tasks over a few days time instead of trying to do it all at once frantically on the Thursday. And I simply asked for help from my kids when I needed it.
 The pies are a Pecan and an Apple Caramel. I also made a batch of Celebration Cookies and Brownies with Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Chips.
Then last minute I decided to whip up a meat stuffing to go with the bread stuffing because I had some ground beef in my fridge. I sautéed the Ground Beef with finely chopped onions, celery, diced fresh garlic and tarragon. I don't normally like a meat stuffing but making it unexpectedly and with a creative flair it turned out really yummy.
And it was such a gift to spend the day with all three of my children.
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gratitude, Wooded Walks & Holiday Menu






'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding."

   A very Happy Thanksgiving from Cape Cod. When I looked for a quote related to gratitude and saw this one by Alice Walker it reminded me of many years ago when I met her in Dallas, Texas. She was, at the time, one of my favorite Authors. I went to a Lecture she gave at SMU-I was in graduate school at the University of Texas, Dallas. My two older children were in preschool and I wouldn't get pregnant with Sophia until a few years later. It's strange how much life changes with each passing year.
 I remember I was so happy  that day when I had a chance to speak with her at the end of the event. She struck me as a very powerful, strong and beautiful woman. Even though it's been about 15 years
since that day I still cherish that particular memory. All I remember saying to her was Thank You.
It's funny how in spite of life's many challenging and difficult times there are always so many blessings and things to be grateful for. I want to be the kind of person who always remembers to reflect on the good life has to offer.
I took a friend out to a fun celebration lunch yesterday at the gorgeous new restaurant in Mashpee Commons-Café Estia. The food and service were great. If you're in town give it a try. I wrote my friend a card and in it I shared fifty blessings on tiny pieces of paper of things we have shared that I remain grateful for. We had a lot of fun and even though our relationship over the years has experienced it's own minor ups and downs what remains constant is our willingness to maintain our friendship and support one another when we can.
I'm cooking the Thanksgiving meal this year. For starters I'm making Shrimp wrapped in Bacon, Curry Deviled Eggs and Hand-rolled Taquitos with cheese. I am cooking a Turkey too with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Brown Sugar Butter Nut Squash and Freshly made Cranberry Sauce. For desert, I've decided to make a Pecan Pie, Dreamy Island Cookies and Apple Pie. It's always a lot of work to create a Thanksgiving meal but it's so nice to sit down and enjoy it together once it's done.



Five Things I'm Grateful for Today:

1) All three of my kids will be home.
2) People in my life that I love to cook for.
3) Wooded Walks in the Fall. I love going to the Beach so much in the summer that I often forget about all the amazing wooded walks on the Cape. And how beautiful it is here in addition to the beach. Photo above was from a five mile hike between Cotuit and Mashpee this past weekend.
4) My passion for making really good food.
5) Friends and Family who remind me what there is to be thankful for.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Adventures in Paris!

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well".
                                                                                                ~Virginia Woolf




Bonjour, mes amis!

     I took Bella to Paris for her birthday/graduation gift and we had a fabulous time. I loved the entire adventure. We enjoyed so many fun things together. We wore lots of fun summer dresses, biked to Monet's former home and garden in Giverny (the photo above of the lovely kitchen was where Monet and his family ate their meals), visited le jardin de tuileries, the Louvre, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame and of course the Eiffel Tower.
 
We ate our way through every step of the trip. There was a Patisserie right down the stairs from the small apartment we rented and would stop daily for either a fresh baked quiche, a baguette or a chocolate éclair.

 Honestly, it was hard to decide what to choose because there were so many amazing options. We never let ourselves feel guilty trying them all because we walked everywhere and well, we were in Paris! Paris reignited my already strong passion for baking because there are so many bakeries with delicious and beautiful treats with careful attention to detail everywhere.

And at the end of the day one of my favorite things to do was head back to our apartment and make dinner for us--it was always something simple yet cooking at 'home' and enjoying our meal on the kitchen table or out on the patio was a nice way to relax after our travels exploring the City of Light.

 In the photo above we simply warmed a baguette with olive oil and rosemary for dipping, tossed a leafy green salad with mozzarella, tomatoes and peppers along with a pasta dish with sharp cheddar and goat cheese. Paris has a wonderfully long twilight and on a few occasions we would sit down to our evening meal at ten pm and it was not yet dark.

Our Paris adventure is something we will remember for a lifetime.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Exciting News & New Appetizer Perfection!


Last month I signed an official book publishing contract to produce an updated version of my 2009 self-published book "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen". I'm excited for this creative opportunity. I can add photographs of people, places and additional recipes to the current collection. I'm going to include more sections and some of my favorite food related quotes too.
I hope you will celebrate this fun opportunity with me and look forward to its release date. It's a great feeling to produce this book in the way I originally imagined because of the collaboration between me and the publishing company.
In the meantime, the Cape always offers so many fun opportunities to try new recipes. Just recently I attended a friend's party. She was celebrating her birthday, her father's birthday and her daughter's birthday all in one cool event at their home on Waquoit Bay overlooking the water. It was a fun time of good food, music and conversation.
 Her husband served an amazing appetizer that I found to be the perfect combination of sweet and savory. I'd like to tell you about it here in case you'd like to try it yourself.
You simply take individual pitted dates and wrap them in a small piece of bacon and then cook them just right under a low broil. And enjoy. Delicious!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter's Beauty & Butternut Squash Ravioli with Mascarpone Cream Sauce



One of the cool things about living on Cape year round is that even when all the crowds leave and the tourist season is over there's still so much beauty. Here's a sample: the early morning winter sun from my walk on the shining sea bike path, the swans from Waquoit bay and the sun rising over the snow taken from my living room window. 
On a walk with a friend earlier today it was only 14 degrees. 
I prefer the sun and warmth over the winter any day. Although the beauty is so comforting despite the cold. 
Last weekend I hosted a dinner party at my house for family we didn't get a chance to see over the Holidays. I so love to cook good food for family and friends and be creative in the Kitchen.
My son is home from College--and said "Mom, you really should be a professional chef". At least it's nice to be appreciated.
One of the dishes I made was a roasted butter-nut squash ravioli with a mascarpone cream sauce with candied pecans, and freshly ground black pepper. I also made a flat-bread with goat cheese, mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms and a balsamic glaze. We had Tiramisu and Peppermint stick ice cream for dessert.  I even opened my last bottle of red wine from Italy.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chicken Soup & Apple Cranberry Pie


   "God gave us our memories so that we may have roses in December". 

Because of daylight savings time sunset is at 4:30 today! We've had a beautiful summer and an amazing autumn so I feel I need to focus on the gratitude from the wonderful season I've had rather than my sadness of the upcoming early dark and cold winter that is soon to follow. I don't like when it's so dark so early on Cape.
I'm meeting a friend soon and we're going together to celebrate with another friend her current art show and reception. I've been making a large pot of home made chicken soup and a cranberry apple pie this afternoon so that there will be something to offer my daughter's and I comfort here at the house when we return.
I'm going to try and embrace the early dark this season with more get together's at home, the sharing of good food with friends and catching up on creative projects  instead of simply waiting for the good weather to return.