Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oven is On!

I am busy baking today.

I am making mini Lemon Cakes and Dreamy Island Cookies for the farm tomorrow. I use fresh lemon, pudding, powdered milk and unsalted butter in my lemon cakes. I add chopped pecans, diced coconut and semi sweet chocolate chips to my Dreamy Island Cookies.

It does make a difference in baking when you use fresh, wholesome and natural ingredients.

It is gorgeous on Cape today. I have all my windows open and I hope to catch a walk at South Cape Beach later today.
My delivery time for Coonamessett Farm is estimated at ten a.m. tomorrow morning.
I always want to hear from people who have eaten my cookies and cakes. I received two recent emails about my lemon cake-"awesome" and "delicious".

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Soiree

We decided to have a little party to welcome the near arrival of summer at our house last Friday over Memorial Day weekend. I wanted to have a fire-pit in the back yard. My oldest daughter and I gathered the rocks. My husband dug the hole and collected fire-wood.
The fire made the party more casual and relaxed-like camping in the back yard. We laughed and talked as we sat around it.
I served lots of food. We had shrimp cocktail, meatballs, hummus with feta and vegetables, chips and queso.
For desert I baked a chocolate crown cake, soft lemonade sugar cookies and served the peach and pecan empanada's I made last week. I think the party was a hit.
I am so happy summer is on it's way!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Empanadas: Hot from the Oven!

When I first tried an empanada it was a sausage and vegetable filled pastry. But the dough can just as easily be used to house snack or dessert foods.

I tried a batch from scratch with peaches and pecans.
I made the dough early yesterday morning. Later in the afternoon I put peach slices, pecans, a bit of brown sugar and a spoonful of sour cream in the center of the dough before I rolled and crimped them. Next chance I get I am going to bake them with apple, cranberries, walnuts and a bit of cream cheese.

Yumm! They are best eaten warm from the oven. But they do freeze well and can be reheated later.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Top Five Reasons to Visit Coonamessett Farm, Falmouth

5. The grounds are beautiful.
4. The animals might appreciate the company.
3. It's good to spend time outdoors after a long winter.
2. You can pick your own vegetables.
And the number one reason to visit the Coonamessett Farm in Falmouth is.....
1. You can buy my Cakes and Cookies.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trial & Error with a Silver Lining

“Most species do their own evolving, making it up as they go along, which is the way Nature intended. And this is all very natural and organic and in tune with mysterious cycles of the cosmos, which believes that there’s nothing like millions of years of really frustrating trial and error to give a species moral fiber and, in some cases, backbone.” Terry Pratchett

Today I decided to wake up super early. I had two small writing assignments to complete, sugar cookie samples to bake for a new client and I wanted to make my lemon cake for the farm. I am heading off Cape Saturday and I wanted to get the tasks complete.

The morning went smooth enough. I finished cookie samples before Sophia even went to school and I made green starfish and blue whale sugar cookies as a birthday gift for her preschool teacher.

After that the day took a turn downhill. My lemon cake and I were simply not clicking . I had to go through three batches of cake before I got it the way I wanted. Somehow one batch got a little burned (maybe it was because I was writing at my desk and overlooked the timer) and another simply didn't want to come out of the pan.

After trial and error I finally produced a good batch of my lemon cake for sale. I guess I just need to see the silver lining here-the kids were happy to eat the batches that aren't quite going to make it to market.

Beyond that my daughter was being challenged by some friendship stuff at school. I tried to share with her what I'd learned from the botched lemon cakes in case it might help.

Not to give up. Try again. Look for the silver lining. As a mom to three I hate it when something isn't going right for my kids.

In the past two years I have made close to 150 lemon cakes without any trouble at all. I guess some days are going to offer room for trial and error-maybe that's what leads to silver linings in the first place.

Now that I am done what I had to do I am free to have some fun over the weekend-it's another silver lining.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thanks, Mom!

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." Mark Twain

One thing in particular that I appreciate my mother did for me was that when I was quite young-maybe 8 or 9 even she bought me a kids' cookbook of my own and would encourage me (or maybe it was really me doing the persuading) to make dinner for the family once a week.

I learned a lot from those trials and error. I also started my love for being in the kitchen at an early age.

I brought Dreamy Island Cookies, Magical Mermaids and Sweet Starfish shaped sugar cookies to the farm for sale yesterday. I have a batch of Hazelnut shortbread ready to be baked and I made a Lemon Cake for a friends Mother's Day party today.

Thanks Mom and Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Martha's Vineyard, The Ferry & Dreamy Island Cookies

Sophia and I spent yesterday morning at Woods Hole. Our morning reminded me that we'll have to plan a trip over to the Vineyard soon.
My Dreamy Island Cookies were inspired by a previous trip on the ferry ride from an afternoon spent over there.
By this weekend I will have Dreamy Island Cookies available for sale at the Coonamessett Farm Store in Falmouth. Can you make out the Vineyard from the top picture? Look at how green the water is near the shore. Of course, that's the Ferry arriving at Wood's Hole.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Funny Bumper Stickers, Spring Blooms & Baking

I probably should have been more busy baking this weekend. I have a few things coming up that I need to bake for.

But since my husband has been out of town I have mostly been driving all over the Upper Cape to help keep my kids involved in their activities. The truth is at their ages they need me to get them to where they want to go.

In my travels I saw a bumper sticker that made me laugh. It read "Monica Lewinsky's Ex-boyfriend's Wife for President". I am not a Hillary hater (or lover) for that matter. It's our fascination with the mundane side of things that makes me laugh the most. Do I think Hillary can help us to solve so many of the problems we face as a Country? If yes, then that's what I am mostly interested in.

After a weekend of almost constant rain I notice that the spirea is in full bloom in my back yard. The wild flowers I planted in my side yard are taking root and the Hosta's are starting to show signs of their presence.

With Mother's Day on the horizon I have a few extra orders for cookies and cakes. After all that running around maybe the kids will go to bed early and I might just get a bit of my baking done after all or I might just join them and go to bed too. I can always get an early start tomorrow.