Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Felt like Summer & Summer Fruit 'Pizza'!

What a gorgeous weekend it was on Cape Cod for the Memorial Day holiday. It was so fun to get to do so many things I love like spending time with my kids, going to the beach, catching up with good friends and making, eating and sharing really good food. It all felt like such a blessing!
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

Conference, Cute Cupcakes & the (seemingly endless) Rain!

I'm happy to report the sun is finally back out on Cape. Here's a picture of the back yard sun from today after my son cut the grass. It's nice to have teens who are willing to help out.
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
4 eggs
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

Baking Banana Bread, Offering Support & Farm Store

"We must be small enough, humble enough, to always be beginners, observers. We must be open to experience, new experience, new sources of knowledge and insight, while still staying grounded in the fact that what we already know and have done is estimable, also important".

~ Julia Cameron

It was cold yesterday and the sun wanted to peek out from behind the clouds but it never did until late in the afternoon. I had bananas on the counter that were ripe and ready for baking. So I decided to bake banana bread because it was a good day for it.The house smells so inviting when banana bread's in the oven.

Sophia had a friend come over to play after school and they were happy that there was warm bread waiting for them to snack on.

As for offering support, I find it's important that I take a look at the lives of my friends and family and see if there is something I might do to offer them support. Life is hard and complex already, all on its own, and it feels good to know we can have support from others from time to time. Besides, it seems like we can do more with the love and support from the help of good people then we ever could on our own.

Recently, I offered a friend's teenage daughter a copy of my cookbook and an offer to call me if she was baking and needed my help. She'd been looking for a new hobby and she wanted to learn how to bake. I know my offer of support was small, yet when I ran into her the other day she said she tried my recipe for banana bread and that it came out really good. And, It's fun to know I've turned another person on to how much fun baking can be.

As for the Farm Store, I've been chatting with them this week about my summer baking schedule. I've decided to deliver my Celebration Cookies for sale just before the July 4Th holiday on the First of July. I've decided to make deliveries less frequently this summer in the hopes that I may get more of my book written. With three kids home, the summer gets filled up quickly. I won't be teaching so hopefully I can set a productive writing schedule. But I didn't want to let the whole summer pass without sharing my cookies.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dangerously Good Cookies & Gorgeous Day!

It's such a gorgeous day today that I snuck down to South Cape Beach for a quick early morning walk. I was playing with an idea I have for the cover photo of "Sweeter by the Beach" which is to write the title in the sand. One of the things I love the most about the beach is how easy it is for me to relax when I'm there.

I've been doing some writing about one of my favorite topics this week: Food. I submitted my guest blog post for www.girlfriendology.com that will appear Mid-June about Friends & Food.

I offered two tasty recipes and wrote about a fun story of an adventure my girlfriends and I recently shared. I also submitted my article on eating Lobster that I called "For the Love of Lobster". The lobster article will be in print in The Upper Cape Enterprise, Supplement Magazine Section that will hit newsstands Memorial Day Weekend.

Lately, I've been having just as much fun writing about food as I do eating and making it.

As for the 'Dangerously Good Cookies', I stopped by my Mechanic's Shop today to see if he could sell me a back break light that had burned out. He said, "you know those cookies you gave me the last time you were here? They were dangerously good"!

I love that comment. I think what he meant is that he liked them so much he had a hard time not eating them all at once. It was my Celebration Cookies and they are pretty good!