1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
Friday, December 23, 2011
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Prosciutto, Sliced into pieces
Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
Friday, December 2, 2011
Regardless of how things turned out between he and I, I want my kids to know how important it is to show kindness and appreciation for the people you care about and what better way then to help them make a celebration for him. I didn't have to be there, it was enough of a reward knowing my girls had fun in their efforts. I have to admit, I also think it's pretty cool that my daughter's are learning the art of cooking and sharing good food too. Something I hope to share with them for years to come.
My oldest daughter and I took a day trip into NYC on Saturday. We had a lot of fun. After a long effort on my part I finally finished my book proposal for "Sweeter by the Beach" and sent it out to a New York Agent for her to take a look at last week. I was happy to finally complete it because I tried to get it done by summer's end but between the kids and my teaching job it simply took longer than I expected.
We had a blast tooling around the City. The cool thing was that at one point I realized we rode right by the Agent's office Building where I sent it to. I hope it gets published someday because it has been a fun project and I think people would enjoy seeing what it's about.
As for making Cake Balls, I baked some late Sunday afternoon because the holidays are fast approaching and I need to get a jump on my baking now before all the party's get underway.
For my first batch of the season, I made chocolate dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes. (Yum!)
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
We had plans that day to go to her Dad's sister's house for Thanksgiving Dinner, but got the call that my sister had gone into Labor. We drove to the hospital to meet her. I remember thinking she was so little, so cute and absolutely perfect! It's amazing how much life has changed in those twenty years and how fast the time flies.
I was doing my holiday baking by candle light and a fire early this morning. It's cold, dark and rainy today and the candle and fire made the house feel less gloomy.
The house was quiet and I had a chance to think about many Holidays I've spent in the past. I thought about that day twenty years ago, but I also remembered how much I used to love the holidays when my Nana and all her sister's were still alive. My grandparents used to attend a Catholic Church that would sing and deliver part of the message in French. I remember feeling as if there was something so special and sacred about that. Even if, I didn' understand exactly what was being said and sung.
Another favorite memory I have of Thanksgiving's past is all the pies my Aunt Ollie used to bake. She made pie perfection- chocolate cream, apple, pumpkin and pecan pies! As a kid, I couldn't wait until dinner was done.
I hope you have a peaceful Thanksgiving and remember to take time to give thanks for even the little things.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
“When someone dies, you don't get over it by forgetting; you get over it by remembering, and you are aware that no person is ever truly lost or gone once they have been in our life and loved us, as we have loved them.”
Silko's right it 's by remembering that no person is ever truly lost once they have been in our life and we have loved them.
After I returned home from the Funeral, I was eager to share food and new memory with friends and family. I made hot rosemary rolls, a Coconut Joy Pie and Chicken & Corn Tortilla Soup. I made a fire in the kitchen fireplace and called a few friends to come over. Late last night, Sophia said the Pie was 'amazing' and Bella said the soup was 'so yummy'!
And either way, the loss of our loved one will remain. Yet, we still must get together, eat good food and make new memories along the way....
Friday, November 4, 2011
When I got my library card, that's when my life began. ~Rita Mae Brown
I adore our Library system on the Cape. I'm constantly stopping at one of the many branches and either looking for a good movie, music or book to check out. I go there first when I hear what my book club is reading next.
When I need something for one of my classes, I often stop there before the campus library because it simply feels more like home. And I know that part of why all three of my kids have such a strong love for reading is the many times I've brought them there. There's nothing better than getting a library card and using it. So when the Children's Librarian recently asked me if I wanted to bake pies for the annual volunteer luncheon I felt it was the least I could do.
I baked a Cranberry Apple Pie and a Pecan Cheesecake Pie. Fall on Cape Cod is Cranberry harvesting season and cranberry's are in such wonderful abundance. My oldest daughter says, the Pecan Cheesecake Pie is the best dessert she's ever tasted. I offered to bake the Pecan Cheesecake Pie because the Fall always reminds me of the years we spent in Dallas collecting and shelling pecans from the many trees in our neighborhood that produced them. And for those who had never tasted a Pecan Cheesecake Pie, I didn't want them to miss out. It's such a perfect combination of creamy and crunchy.
In case you feel like doing some baking this weekend and have yet to taste this particular pie I'll leave you with my version of the recipe. You can use either a refrigerated pie crust or use my recipe for a simple pie crust in "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen".
And, if you give it a try, let me know how it turns out!
Pecan Cheesecake Pie
1 pie crust, placed in the bottom of a pie plate, fold edges and crimp.
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs, divided
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup light caro syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack on lowest position in oven. Combine the cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and the salt. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture into crust. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cream cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, 3 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla. Pour the mixture over the pecans. Place on the lowest rack and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the pie is set.
Cool completely. Enjoy!
Friday, October 28, 2011
I can relate to Colette's idea's on cooking. There are days when so much needs tending to that even the thought of having to boil water can feel like a chore.
But on other days, when I'm settled in at home I can make and bake a whole host of yummy foods. I'll make some for now and some for later and some to share as treat with a loved one.
And similar to love, the rewards, seem equal to what is put into it.
I was in my kitchen first thing this morning baking a Lemon Cake. The house was cold because I haven't turned on the heater quite yet so I made a fire to take away the chill. At the bus stop my neighbor said she could smell the fire. I must have used an especially fragrant piece of wood because it really filled the air throughout my yard and beyond.
We joked about how between the smell of the Lemon Cake baking and the fire burning I was making my own form of aromatherapy.
And like cooking, love comes in so many different forms. This week, I was lucky enough to witness the love my niece has for her new born baby. I got to watch my youngest daughter's face light up when I surprised her at her school lunch. And, then saw another family member's concern over her loved ones recent illness that progressed for the worse. Like the quote above, it's better to enter into with abandon than not at all.
Friday, October 21, 2011
I decided to host a small autumn get together to celebrate the harvest this weekend for two reasons. It had been far too long since I hosted a get together and one of my main ideas in the book I've been writing is to share how fun it is to gather friends and family around good food inspired by living near the beach-I consider hosting a party as research for the book!
Another reason I decided to host a party, is that I've been invited to a number of Halloween Costume parties and for whatever reason (I can't even come up with a good one) I really don't like having to wear a costume to a party. Although by passing on those parties, I didn't want my friends to think I didn't want to get together with them so I decided to invite them to a Harvest Party instead.
I'm going to serve all things harvest related and have a fire going in the fireplace.
First thing this morning I baked a carrot cake, cranberry biscotti with white chocolate and a pumpkin bread with a white glaze. I'm serving baked brie with preserves and walnuts, pumpkin and sage ravioli, bacon and blue cheese tarts and an apple crisp. I will offer guests Pumpkin Flavored Beer, Pomegranate Martini's or Apple Cider to share in a toast of this season's harvest.
More than anything, it's a chance to catch up with friends!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Earlier this week I decided to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies for one of my three English Composition Classes. When teaching I often use the over head projector to share with the class different images, videos or notes and one day this week the computer wasn't working properly and a student offered to let us use his laptop instead. I told him I would thank him by bringing in cookies to class. They said things like, "Mmm" and "Yum" and "Thanks for the Cookies".
In case you want to give my recipe a try:
Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, unsalted (softened)
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
12 oz milk chocolate chips
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine in small bowl salt, flour and baking powder.
3) Beat together in a separate bowl butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla blend well but don't over mix.
4) Stir in flour mixture until well blended and dough forms and then stir in chocolate.
5) Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup drop rounds of cookie dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15- 17 minutes or until bottom of cookies brown.
These cookies are perfect when shared with a large glass of cold milk!
Friday, October 7, 2011
It was such a treat not to have to get up so early make breakfast then lunch first thing and rush everyone off to the bus. We slept in and took the morning slow. I drank coffee. The girls snuggled in their beds and we had a chance to laugh over silly things and catch up after a busy week. My son had a couple of friends over but they were snoozing until almost noon.
There's a chill in the air this morning and the house felt cool. Sophia and I took a walk and she asked if we could bake something together. We decided on her favorite's: chocolate chip cookies and an apple pie. The kids will be at their Dad's this weekend and it will be fun for her to bring them with her to snack on over the weekend.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
But I also love setting out to cook and bake by using my intuition. I like being creative in the kitchen and waiting to see what will emerge.
Last week I made the recipe I've had for years for Tortellini and Tomato Soup. But I didn't have sage, thyme or paprika on hand so I used cayenne pepper and lots of freshly chopped basil instead. It was delicious.
My oldest daughter asked if I would bake her a Chicken Pot Pie because she had one at a bakery recently and liked it. So, I made one up from scratch. The entire pie was gone within a single weekend. I made up my own version (simple and easy, perfect for a busy week-night).
As for the Roasted Red Pepper and Cheddar Tart, I made that for book-club last night and I just used a simple combination of sharp cheddar cheese and roasted red peppers on a flat sheet of puff pastry. Here is what I used to make the Chicken Pot Pie.
Super Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Take two pie crusts and place one on the bottom of a pie plate.
15 oz. can of cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups corn
1/2 cups of peas
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped garlic, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and diced fine
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until mixed well.
Pour into pie crust and cover with additional crust, fold over the edges.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Pictured Above, From Top: Sophia and Mom's Apple Pie, Coconut Cake & Celebration Cookies, View from Bike Ride to Seconsett Island, Sunset at Chappy Beach and S'mores on the Fire-Pit, back-yard.
Friday, August 26, 2011
My neighbor has a wonderful garden and recently she invited me over to pick things I might enjoy. I used all the vegetables pictured here in a Cold Pasta Salad tossed with Feta, Italian Dressing and Balsamic Vinaigrette. It was yummy- even better because the vegetables were grown in her garden.
I love when people get passionate about a new recipe they try or create themselves. Recently, I saw a friend post about a sauce he made to dip his freshly steamed mussels in. I asked for the recipe so I could share it with you. I am a big fan of making good food and sharing it with others. He called it "Creamy Garlic and Wine Mussels".
I haven't always liked eating mussels, but since moving to the Cape I have had some very tasty ones at Chappaquoit Grill on 28A in West Falmouth and at Amari's on 6A in Sandwich. Amari's is just before the turn to Sandy Neck Beach and I've stopped there to pick up a batch of freshly steamed mussels before on the way down to watch a sunset.
Recipe for Mike's Creamy Garlic and Wine Mussels
1) Wash Mussels, take out any broken ones and place in a large pot with two cups of water.
2) Add lots of fresh chopped garlic, a whole small finely diced white onion, 3 tbsp. butter, fresh squeezed lemon, bunch of finely chopped fresh scallions and a sprinkle of fresh chopped basil and 1 cup dry white wine.
3) Steam for about five minutes. Drain, reserve liquid.
4) Place mussels in a large bowl.
5) Take the reserved liquid and add approximately a 1/4 cup of cream stir and place in a bowl.
You can either pour the liquid over the mussels or use in a separate bowl for dipping.
6) Make sure you have a loaf of really fresh, warmed sour dough bread to dip in the left over broth. Enjoy!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
"Trust in your heart." ~ Paulo Coelho
3) Fold over and crimp the edges of the pie crust or puff pastry as pictured above. Bake for 20 minutes or until begins to brown.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Food's such a fun way to bring people together. Earlier this week my daughter Bella asked if I would make her a blueberry pie.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
As for company, I definitely have more people come to visit me in the summer and I can't really blame anyone, it's an enchantingly beautiful place during the summer months.
In the winter, I still find solace from the natural beauty but it isn't quite the same as the long lazy days of summer and not nearly as many people come down to visit.
When I know company is about to arrive I like to think ahead and have some easy food combinations on hand. I want to feel relaxed when company comes but I also want them to have food ready and to feel like they can help themselves.
Of course, life gets busy so things don't always fall into place. Last night we ate a roasted lemon and pepper chicken, a large leafy green salad and corn on the cob! My favorite company is the kind that isn't afraid to help out in the kitchen. My kids Dad's mother is in town visiting from Texas and it's nice to have a couple of extra hands around to help out in the kitchen. She made dinner while I picked up my son from Basketball camp and brought my youngest daughter to running camp.
When I finally sat down to eat last night, it all tasted so delicious.
Friday, July 29, 2011
I've decided to give myself the gift of time. At least a little bit of it anyway.The bit I can reasonably squeeze for myself with three kids, a house and freelance writing and baking work to tend to. For the next three weekends I am limiting my social obligations and devoting myself to my baker's book and related writing project I set up for myself this summer.
Although, other demands, summer get together's and projects often seem to get in the way, I'm going to commit myself to spending as much time over the next few weekends as I can to writing. This weekend the kids are spending time with their Dad so I'm taking myself on a close to home mini retreat from house chores then next weekend I'm going to Kripalu and packing my Laptop to take with me. The following weekend, well I won't get too far ahead of myself. I hate to make promises I can't keep. But I already know it involves time spent writing.
As for Pico De Gallo, I spent six years in Los Angeles, CA then ten years in Dallas, TX and among many other gifts and treasures I took away from that time in my life I learned how to make really good Pico De Gallo. Earlier this week, I grilled a steak, sliced it into thin slices and placed it into warmed tortilla's with shredded cheddar and slices of fresh avocado then topped with the Pico De Gallo.
And I just happened to bake Cranberry Biscotti first thing this morning. My oldest daughter had been away at Camp. The first thing she said when she walked in is, "Mom, I want some of your baked goods". She was happy to see I'd just made the Biscotti.
And I realize that I'm not the only one with only 24 hours to fill each day. You have that much as well. If you happened to stop by and read this particular post remember to use your time well toward the dreams you wish to accomplish too.
Recipe for Fresh Pico De Gallo
2 Large fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped fine
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tsp. jalapeno, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh garlic, diced
Mix ingredients in a small bowl, chill and enjoy simply with corn chips or tortilla's and cheese.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
With the weather so nice this week there were so many beach adventures to be had. On Monday, a friend I had not seen in literally 25 years came down with her girls to spend the day with me and my family. We took the Island Queen over to Oak Bluffs. The day flew by in an instant but it was fun catching up and making new memories.
On Wednesday night, my book club decided to meet out on the Knob. It's a beautiful spot in Falmouth overlooking the water.
We laughed, ate good food and enjoyed watching the sunset. Sophia had a play date this week that lasted throughout the day and I took them to Wood Neck Beach. It's so fun to enjoy the sand and calm of the water while listening to the chatter of the girls playing.
Today was so hot that I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day than down at the beach cooling off. Sophia and I packed our lunch and met some friends down at Menhaunt. It was one of those perfect beach days where you wish that time might stand still forever.
As for Sophia's Peach Cobbler, the peaches are so amazing right now that I couldn't resist making peach cobbler. It's a recipe that Sophia loves. If you have some ripe peaches in your fruit bowl ( or have a chance to stop by and pick some up at your local farmer's market) give this a try it's dee-licious!
Sophia's Peach Cobbler
4 lbs, fresh ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
2 cups biscuit/baking mix
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter, melted
In a bowl combine the peaches, lemon juice and extract. Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt then sprinkle over the peaches. Top with the butter.
Bake at 400 degrees for approx. 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine biscuit mix and cheese add in the milk and butter until just blended. Drop by Tablespoons onto the hot peach mixture and bake for an additional 20 or so minutes until the biscuits turn golden. Eat warm with either fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Friday, July 15, 2011
The quiche is my daughter Bella's favorite, I sent it with her to her dad's this weekend because this morning is her birthday and I wanted her to have something special from me first thing.
As for writing, I've completed a few writing assignments this summer since my teaching semester ended in June. The good side is I enjoy writing and it's nice to earn (a little) extra money from home. The down side is I've had less time to work on "Sweeter by the Beach" than expected. I try to have faith that I will complete it when the time is right.
As for the quick story, I recently submitted a food related article that will be published this fall. I mentioned briefly in the article a time I baked for my Dad before he died. Because of space limits I didn't have time to tell the whole story so I wanted to post part of it here.
My dad died a few years ago, and when he died it reminded me of a time when my son was first born. I wanted him to meet his grandson and I knew he wouldn't have a lot of food prepared for our visit. That morning I baked a tart, a loaf of whole grain bread and a lemon cake in my kitchen. I packed them up, bundled up my ten day old son and drove to his apartment in Boston so we could share the meal and he could meet his grandson.
It wasn't until years later, after he died, did I look back on that day and see how much that day must have meant to my Dad: our visit, our gift of sharing good food and the joy that a new baby always brings.
Friday, July 8, 2011
I'm so grateful for so many of my friends- people in my life who are willing to be authentic, helpful and supportive. I find it's so important to make sure I strike a balance between give and take with each of my friends so that there exists a reciprocity between us.
I'm also aware that not everyone in my life is a true friend and that some are mere acquaintances. Different friends fill different needs and that's OK.
I went down to Sandy Neck Beach over the July 4th weekend to meet up with an old friend. It was good to reconnect. The weather was such a blessing on Cape Cod over the 4th. We couldn't have asked for better weather. They have a Winnebago they park out on the sand and offer an open invitation for friends to come down to visit. It's become a fun tradition to spend at least part of my July 4th weekend out there. The fireworks in Falmouth were really good this year too. My daughter said, "July fourth is my favorite holiday" as I helped her get ready for bed late Monday night.
As for my cookies for sale, I sold them at the Coonamessett Farm Store and at the Pavilion on the bike path. I made a new acquaintance this week and it was fun to bake a batch of cookies and offer them as a gift as we talked over coffee.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
I printed out red white and blue labels that say "eat more cookies, they'll make you feel good".
One of my favorite foods to eat in the summer is corn on the cob. Sophia and I picked up a batch of super fresh and sweet corn earlier in the week and had fun shucking the ears together. Last night I decided to try my own version of herb butter and it was delicious! As for wood-neck beach it is one of my favorite Falmouth Beaches. I took the girls and my sister and my niece for the day on Tuesday. It was one of those beach days where you feel you might never leave. The breeze was nice. The water was warm and not a cloud in the sky. Too bad every day isn't like that.
Linda's (touch of lemon) Herb Butter
Stick of unsalted butter, softened
Tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
Tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh dried basil (or oregano, your preference)
Tbsp. lemon juice
Place all ingredients in a bowl and with a wire whisk, fork or even use a hand mixer blend together until smooth. Spread on still warm corn on the cob. Enjoy!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I was interviewed by the Creator of Girlfriendology last Friday, a wonderfully supportive woman named Debba Haupert and in case you'd like to listen in I am posting the link here. http://girlfriendology.com/podcasts/108/Girlfriendology-interviews-LINDA-MARIA-STEELE-Friends-and-Food/
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
for June and the fire felt welcoming.
I love to make pasta and salad's in the summer. One night this week I made the easiest pasta dish and yet it's one of my kids favorites.
All you do is cook angel hair pasta and toss with olive oil, lots of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, ground black pepper and fresh squeezed lemon juice. It sounds too simple to be as good as it is. My kids always come back for seconds.
As for the recipe from book club-we met this week for our monthly get together and one of the women brought an appetizer that was really yummy so I wanted to share it with you here. She said, she found it on a Ritz Cracker box.
Layered Artichoke & Bruschetta Spread
8 oz package cream cheese
14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, sliced fine
2 Tbsp. Italian dressing
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup black olives, chopped
Combine the first four ingredients, mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Refrigerate both mixtures for an hour or so. Spread the artichoke mix on a serving plate. Make an indentation in the middle and fill with the tomato blend. Serve with crackers. Invite a friend or two over and enjoy!
Friday, June 10, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Here is the recipe for the Summer Fruit Dessert 'Pizza' I made in case you want to give it a try soon. It's really easy and it's a light and refreshing treat that disappears quickly!
Summer Fruit Dessert Pizza
1) You can use your favorite pizza dough, there's a good one in "Meet me in My Cape Cod Kitchen" or you can simply buy two packages of refrigerated croissants and place in a rectangle on a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes. Let cool completely.
2) Whip together until smooth 8 oz of cream cheese, 8 oz. fresh whipped cream (take heavy cream and whip on medium with electric mixer for about three minutes) or frozen whipped cream and two Tbsp. of strawberry preserves. Spread evenly on cooled crust.
3) Wash then let dry fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and then slice and peel a kiwi and cut strawberries. Gently arrange the prepared fruit on top of crust and cream, let chill before serving.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I presented a workshop at a Teacher's Conference at Bridgewater State yesterday called "Give Them Something to Write About".
My presentation was well attended and I got some good feedback. It led to some interesting discussions with my co-workers. It was good to have that opportunity but it was a hectic day getting my kids off to school and traveling off Cape.
I felt inspired by the Keynote Speaker. It's funny though when he began his talk he was rather dry and dull and I wondered if I would gain anything of value from listening to him.
But then- just like when the rain stops and the sun finally arrives- his talk turned around and he showed us a video clip about a really cool documentary on happiness which led to a wonderful discussion among the group.
It reminded me how important it is to give things a chance, to remain open and hopeful that I will learn and grow and that the sun will eventually return.
I've had my baker's hat on today and I'm trying a new kind of cupcake called lemon butterfly cupcakes. If you feel inspired to bake this weekend give the recipe below a try. They are delicate and yummy.
Lemon Butterfly Cupcakes
For the cupcake:
2 sticks sweet butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1 stick sweet butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 18 paper baking cups in muffin pans. Combine all ingredients for the cupcakes in a bowl and beat until smooth. (2 to 3 min) Spoon the batter into cups.
2) Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool. Prepare the frosting, beat ingredients until smooth.
3) For the butterfly part, slice a thin layer off the top of the cup cake and cut into two. Frost the cucpakes and then place the half circle of cake at an angle on each side of the frosting.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
I received a birth announcement in the mail this week of a friend who recently had her second baby, a boy. I baked celebration cookies and then printed out a label with the baby's name and birth details on it then dropped them in the mail to send to the family. It's fun to share a good cookie to celebrate a happy occasion!
Monday, April 25, 2011
As for dessert on Easter Sunday, I made dreamy island cookies: my own cookie creation with pecans, coconut and chocolate and lemon cake. Bella took her first bite and said, "Mom, this frosting is amazing!"
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I received a friendly voice mail from a woman yesterday who asked where West Falmouth Baking Company was located. Her message said that she's been looking for me since she moved here in December because she heard I was a very good baker.
Her call reminded me of the importance in life of perseverance. I started West Falmouth Baking Company while my daughter Sophia was only two, we'd recently moved here ourselves and at the time I was commuting from Falmouth to a teaching job in Worcester at Clark University (two hour each way commute). I knew I needed to find something closer to home so I could be here for my youngest daughter. At the time I made a list of my favorite things to do and baking and writing topped the list.
I applied for a home food license, started testing recipes and exploring creative packaging ideas. I remember my very first customer was a neighbor who wanted my cranberry biscotti to serve to the women at her bridge club. From there, I sold packages of Lemon Cake and Dreamy Island Cookies (my own creation) at the Coonamessett Farm Store. I sold sugar cookies in the shape of a cross for a Baptism. I personalized the labels to reflect the occasion. Time passed and Sophia went off to school. I found another teaching job (another passion of mine) and since I wouldn't be baking as much at that point, I decided to write a small book with my recipes included so that others could still enjoy my cakes and cookies. Working on a second longer book about food and life on Cape Cod feels good partly because baking and cooking is something I am very passionate about but also because it reminds me of that little nut that held its ground.
Who would have thought that my small at home baking service with Sophia by my side would have grown to the point that I'm working on my second book and receiving word of mouth calls from people I've never met?
Yesterday, I spent the day in the company of some amazing writer friends of mine. We gathered in Hingham for an author release party. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to connect with such talented and creative women. Women who themselves have persevered. As for the red shoe shaped cookies, I baked and brought them along to the event yesterday. I love offering thoughtful touches to a good party. My friend released two books yesterday and on the cover of one of them are bright red shoes. It was my way of letting her know how proud I am of her.
If interested, visit http://www.kathyhandley.com/ to check her work out for yourself. As for the baking business, some of my very best memories are the times Sophia and I spent baking together in our kitchen. I still bake often but now I have turned my attention more fully to my writing about it. I still test and share my recipes with family and friends but they are being gathered to be included in "Sweeter by the Beach".
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The early mist had vanished and the fields lay like a silver shield under the sun. It was one of the days when the glitter of winter shines through a pale haze of spring. ~ Edith Wharton
After a long winter I always look forward to the signs of spring:
*It's been lighter later and the kids love having more time in the evening outdoors.
*On walks around the neighborhood I've noticed the dailies slowly coming out of the ground.
*The robins are back and I filled our bird feeders with seed.
*I planted basil & tomato seeds then put them into the kitchen window box for early planting.
To greet the first day of Spring's arrival, I made an adorable butterfly cake first thing this morning to serve to company that's coming for dinner tomorrow. It's a butter cake dipped in chocolate.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I made them recently for my older daughter to share with her class. They look like a regular sugar cookie until you bite into one and Surprise-you get the sweet taste of lemonade!
If you're home baking this weekend give this a try.
I love to bake cookies and then share them with others, it's good karma! People really do love it when you bake for them.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 can frozen lemonade, concentrate, thawed, divided
1) In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2) Combine flour and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with 1/3 cup of lemonade concentrate, beating well after each addition.
3) Drop by rounded, tsp. 2 in. apart on cookie sheet.
4) Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
5) While cooling brush with the additional lemonade concentrate and sprinkle with sugar.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
When I self-published "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen" the whole experience was a fun and learn as you go kind of adventure. I wrote it because while caring for a house, three kids and a teaching job I've never quite been able to fill as many baking orders as I'd like to. Soon I'll have to decide if I'm going to re-print copies of "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen" as I'm close to the end of my current inventory.
In the meantime, I've been working on a second longer work that I'm calling Sweeter by the Beach. It's a book about food and family inspired by life on Cape Cod.
As for the food it's about family favorites, special summer drinks and Cape inspired party foods. And, as for raising a family here, if you can survive a winter the rest can be amazing. And, I've always secretly feared that if Tommy and I weren't together my kids would no longer have a family. Yet now that this has become a reality, I realize my kids will always have a family even if it doesn't look exactly like I'd hoped it would.
As for the Ganache recipe I shared I want to point out that it goes a long way. The recipe I made covered not only the Coconut Pound Cake I described but also a Two Layer Chocolate Decadence Cake with plenty left over for the girls to taste.
As for Facebook, I've been slow to consider adding my blog there. Not because I don't value it as a good place to make friends and connect with fellow foodies but rather I tend to be a shy writer even though I've been a freelance writer for years.
However, since I've decided to begin this second book I thought a Fan Page might be a good way to gather support and feedback for my next writing endeavor.
I hope those of you who look for me here will also look for and then like Sweeter by the Beach on Facebook. And in the meantime, Happy Baking!