Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve Menu & Wish List

I'm hosting a Christmas Eve Open House.  I love planning what I am going to make for a party. To one friend who asked what I was serving, I said, "the menu looks a lot like my life overall. Plenty of old traditional favorites and a few new food forays."

I  decided to make a large pot of  Chicken Noodle and Thyme Soup to have warm on the stove and a  crock-pot of meatballs and hot sausage. I'm serving a Green leaf Salad with fresh red berries. a baked brie with fig jam and chopped pecans wrapped in pastry dough. For something new, I'm making Lobster Cakes and roasted red pepper mini quiche.

For dessert, we're baking "Nana's no Fail Sugar Cookies", a blueberry pie and Double Chocolate Brownies. To add to what we traditionally serve, I also baked Italian Wedding Cookies and a Gingerbread Cake with a spiced glaze.

Among my guests, I invited a wonderful new friend I met at the writing group I attend and her husband. I  even invited my ex-husband's new girlfriend and her son. A friend told me, "wow, that takes a lot of courage." To be honest, I can't disagree with her on that. I'll always care about my family and my ex-husband is very much a part of that.

Besides, life is short (preciously so at times) and far too often we lose people we love or care about deeply because we don't have the courage it takes to hold a space for what we really want for ourselves or for them or even what they want for themselves.  At the end of the day, I want the people I care about to be happy above all else.

What do I want for Christmas?  I honestly can't say there is a single material thing I need or want. Last night my daughters and I had a dance party in our kitchen and after we laughed over a game of  "Catch Phrase" --I've decided all I want for Christmas is much more of that-laughter and dancing with my daughters.

Whatever you are hoping for this Christmas, my wish is that you receive it. Dream big and remember the best gifts are the unexpected ones!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Simple Recipes for Surviving First Apartment

It's been a great summer here and although there's so much to love about the Fall, I feel a little sad to see the summer go. I'm so grateful all of my kids have been happy, healthy and home and I have thoroughly enjoyed having them here.
 Over the past week with the reality setting in that two of my three beloveds are going back to college, and I know denial won't stall this fact, I've been thinking of things I might do to help send them off and get them settled.
 My daughter Bella is starting her Junior year at Lesley University and has decided to rent an apartment in Boston with a few of her friends. It's such an exciting opportunity for her and yet it will be a big change because they won't have the luxury of going to the cafeteria for a quick meal before or after class!  As mom, I don't want her to starve or only eat ice cream and tortilla chips.
 So when she asked me recently if I might write out a few easy food recipes to help her get started I thought that was a great idea. She's a great help around the house, but she's simply not used to preparing her own meals.
 Then it got me thinking that would make a great cook book collection for young adults starting out-something like

"Simple Recipes so you won't Starve in Your First Apartment" .

For now, I will start with a small collection of hand written recipes I can send along with her. And maybe a bag of groceries or two.
The first three I thought of are Big Salads, Basmati Rice with Fruit and Cashews and Avocado Quesadilla's. Each are healthy, fresh, with minimal ingredients and easy to prepare.
Big Salads at our house are simply a combination of fresh chopped leafy greens, fruit, nuts and vegetables with a light home made dressing of balsamic vinegar, honey and garlic and maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
The Avocado Quesadilla's are thin slices of avocado, sharp cheddar cheese grilled with two buttered tortilla's and browned on a skillet until the cheese melts. The Basmati Rice dish is something so simple that I've made for years especially in the fall when everyone seems to head in different directions and you need something ready made to grab and go.

Basmati Rice with Blueberries and Cashews

1) Cook the rice as directed. Basically it's one cup rice per one and a half cup of water and a dash of salt. Let the water boil then reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes. Basmati rice has a nice nutty flavor that is great for adding and blending in different fruits and nuts of choice.
2) Mix into the rice a cup of fresh blueberries and a cup of chopped cashews stir until blended.
3) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, the blueberry juice from the fresh blueberries will melt into the rice a little and the combination is so simple and good.

We have also made this rice dish with fresh peaches, we often add the peach juice to give it a sweeter taste or we add pecans instead of the cashews. When winter arrives and there is less fresh fruit available we opt for mixing in frozen spinach with the cashews and rice instead then adding salt and pepper to taste and a Tbsp. or so of butter for a bit of creaminess.

And I hope she knows she can always come to visit and I will make her something to eat.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Joy of Having Daughter's with Summer Birthdays

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability". Sam Keen

In the past month, we have celebrated my daughter's turning 12 and 20. I feel so blessed to have not one but two daughter's with summer birthdays. In June, Sophia and I took some friends to the Vineyard to celebrate. I baked a Butter Pecan Cake with a Buttercream frosting. We ate it on the Ferry and shared it with those around us.

Last weekend, Bella and I treated ourselves to a weekend of fun. We hiked, went kayaking and took a super fun Dance Yoga class together. We enjoyed a Blueberry Cake with a Lemon Buttercream frosting.

At the end of the weekend we went down to Chappy Beach to watch the sunset. We brought Pizza and thick slices of cool watermelon. We swam until the sun dipped out of sight. My son joined us too.

Summer is all about allowing ourselves the joy of being lazy. I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding ways to be a little lazy.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Invitation to Check out my new Column


Some fun things have been going on around here lately. It's been a lot of work too. Yet a labor of love for sure.

For starters, I am featured in the current issue of Cape Cod Magazine. It's a super nice article and they included a bunch of my photographs and recipes too. If you get a chance, check it out. They did a great job.

I have not been posting at my blog lately because I am writing a new column over in the Lifestyle/Food section at Below is a sample of the first entry. It's a weekly column--released on Wednesdays.

We decided to call it My Cape Cod Kitchen based on my self published book originally released in 2009 and the more recent hard cover expanded version published by Schiffer that I called "Meet me in My Cape Cod Kitchen".

The title came about from 2006-2009 spending so much time at home with my daughter Sophia and making food for my family in my own Kitchen. It's intended as an invitation to you to explore the fun to be found in your own Kitchen--whether or not you are on Cape Cod.