Friday, September 22, 2017

Ten Year Anniversary of my Blog!

Wow! Can't believe this Sunday will mark ten years of maintaining this blog.

I started it during the time I was offering a baking service from home taking small orders for cake or cookies. I named my business West Falmouth Baking Company because we lived in West Falmouth, I liked the sound of the name and I loved baking. Still do!

Then I went back to teaching and no longer took orders but as someone who always prepared meals for her family I decided to continue to post when I felt I had something to share.

 I've kept it non commercial over the years but some beautiful things have emerged from maintaining it. Most recently I was selected as SCN's featured blogger of the month. A few years ago it led to a fun podcast when I was interviewed by Girlfriendology. Many food related articles I've published started with an idea that I first wrote about here. I was invited to write a series of food columns for Cape Cod.com as they started to feature local food stories.

My book contract came in part because the Publisher liked my blog. I've printed out the blog and have a hard cover version of it that I keep on my Baker's Hutch.
What I love more than anything is that it offers me a diary of sorts of time spent in my kitchen preparing food for my family. The blog will be added on the Food Lover page of my website soon.
Thank you for stopping by! I haven't decided what the future holds for this blog as my creative interests have changed and developed over time.

The photograph above is of my cranberry biscotti with white chocolate.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Comfort Foods & Recipe for Linda's Lemon Cake



Look for my upcoming peice in the Falmouth Enterprise, Fall Home Supplement. I wrote an article offering ideas for using slightly healthier alternatives in our favorite comfort foods.

We can have the comfort we crave and eat healthy too! I shared a delicious recipe there for a healthier version to a baked Macaroni and Cheese. I made it yesterday, pictured above, to have throughout the week to add to my daughters school lunch. The recipe calls for cottage cheese as a healthier option and tastes delicious.

In case you'd like to bake yourself a bit of comfort this week here is my recipe for Linda's Supreme Lemon Cake included in my cookbook "Meet me in My Cape Cod Kitchen: Recipes for Seaside Living" (Published by Schiffer, 2015) that I mentioned in last weeks post. If you decide to make it be sure to share with a friend or two.

It's an easy recipe and so moist.

Linda's Supreme Lemon Cake

For the Cake:

2 sticks butter, unsalted and softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup grated lemon zest

For the Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease well a 48 ounce Bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, and butter at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy (2 to 3 minutes). Mix in lemon juice and buttermilk until well blended (about a minute).
2) In separate bowl mix together flour, powder, soda and salt. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.
3) Continue mixing on low adding the eggs one at a time and then mix in the vanilla until well blended then mix in the lemon zest.
4) Pour batter into greased bundt pan. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5) Let cake cool 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool completely.
6) To make the glaze, in small bowl, stir all ingredients. Generously spread on cake as desired.




Friday, August 25, 2017

Linda's Lemon Cake & Small Acts of Kindness




"No act of Kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." ~Aesop

     I get compliments often, either from people who have used my recipe themselves or eaten a slice of a Lemon Cake I  personally baked about how yummy it is. It feels so good to make people a little bit happier from something so simple as a thick slice of just baked lemon cake.  It's a Bundt cake with lots of fresh squeezed lemon juice in the recipe.
    Recently, one of my daughters traveled to see a friend in Malibu, California. They met in Boston at College last year and he invited her out for a visit. I knew she'd be staying in his family home so I decided to bake a few treats for them and drop in the mail so it would be there in California when she arrived as a thank you to the family for hosting her.
     My daughter was spending a week in Colorado before the California trip so it made sense that I send it directly to them in hopes it would arrive prior to her arrival.
       It seemed like such a small and easy act of kindness that would be appreciated. My daughter tells me they sat around the dinner table and enjoyed the fresh baked treats together. Later I received a super sweet hand-written note from the whole family thanking me.
Today, more than ever it feels as if we must keep offering our simple acts of kindness no matter how small they may seem because as the quote above suggests they are never wasted. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

New Story & Food Class available, Join Me!



Good Morning, I'm so excited to share my new online writing class with you called Story & Food!

 It's available through Story Circle Network, a wonderfully vibrant organization dedicated to supporting women to tell their stories.

At the end of the class you'll have your own collection of favorite recipes  and related personal stories as a keepsake for your own kitchen or available in time for holiday gifts.

Details can be found on the link below with a short video and a place for you to share with friends.

Story & Food with Linda Steele


Look forward to having you join me

Happy Story & Food to you!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Deep Gratitude for the Gift of the LIbrary

"If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need." ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Last night I gave a talk about my book at the Brewster Ladies Library. I am so grateful for the chance to have spent a bit of time there. There was a lovely audience and the staff was super helpful. I brought fresh baked Lemon Cake and Celebration Cookies and didn't leave with a crumb. I talked about how my book came to be and shared personal stories around food.

We talked about some of my tricks of baking good rolled sugar cookies either frosted or not. And I described one of my favorite salads and how my Summer Vegetable Tart is a great light dinner option now.

I shared where my Nana's No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe came from too. One of the shapes I often bake are my Lobster Shaped cookies, pictured above. I feel so grateful for the gift of a good library and I want to offer a sincere thank you to Brewster Ladies Library for inviting me.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Shifting into Summer

"One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by." ~Jeanette Wells, The Glass Castle

Last weekend I hosted my first summer get together of 2017. I invited a few friends I had not seen in awhile over to enjoy appetizers and conversation on my deck.
As a woman born and raised in New England I can appreciate something about each of the seasons although it has always been and will be summer that has my heart. I love to host get together's in the summer. There's something light and fun about them that I don't feel as much throughout the year.
I love that the days are longer, the sky is often clear and the temperatures warm.
And spending a simple day at the beach is one of my all time favorite activities. People seem to be more friendly this time of year and life seems a little more simple.
Yet this summer in particular there has been an unexpected change in our plans as my youngest daughter fractured her elbow on the First day of Summer. Talk about bad timing!
I am doing what I can to help her stay comfortable and positive. In the meantime we may find ourselves reading more often the books that we've always wanted to read or sitting under a tree with a good friend enjoying a cold glass of lemonade or a popsicle. Maybe even trying a new creative interest.
Summer always seems to be about shifting gears to a slower pace and this summer especially I want to surrender to what the day has in store for us at a pace that feels comfortable.
And who knows, we may be pleasantly surprised at where our slower pace takes us in our creative pursuits.
Wishing you a joy-filled summer at a pace that feels right for you.
And I am wondering what do you do to Shift into Summer so you can enjoy more fully all it has to offer?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Aprons


Happy Friday & Happy Baking!

I've been working on a project for a few months now that I finally made progress on today and I'm excited to share it with you. I created a line of aprons that I can use as a gift package to go along with my book. I have starfish and whale shaped sugar cookie cutters too. I love the way they turned out.

You can now buy my book along with one of my apron designs and cookie cutters as a Gift or for yourself.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Potato, Fontina and Rosemary Tart with a Quick Story


Last Sunday I felt like being creative in my kitchen. I wanted to come up with tasty new combinations. We were expecting a snow storm so I decided to get a fire going early in the day.
I went shopping before the storm hit.

I already  knew I wanted a big pot of chicken soup to have on hand for the week. I love making new versions of tarts and quiche especially to go with hot fresh Soup so I came up with a Potato, Fontina and Rosemary tart.

It was yummy and so easy to throw together with just a few ingredients. I want to share it with you here. But first a quick story.

Last week, I was invited to be a speaker at a We Can Mentor Meeting.  As a Certified Women's Group Facilitator I want to support and inspire the women involved there to embrace a regular self care practice that could bring a sense of peace and renewal to their hectic lives.

I wanted to give them tools so they would know how and where to begin. The talk went well. The women were engaged and we shared thoughtful discussions around the topic of self-care. One of the women who attended looked familiar yet I couldn't quite place where I knew her from. As my talk came to a close she approached me and said " I remember you from the Ladies Night Out in Hyannis last year you were selling your book." She was there with a friend and they were looking for a gift for another friends birthday who used to live on the Cape but now resides in Arizona. There friend was turning 80. She bought my book that night and planned to give it to her friend the following week as they were planning to meet in Arizona for a birthday celebration.

The woman at my talk told me she just happened to chat with her friend a day earlier and she mentioned how much she absolutely loves my book! She said she enjoyed the stories and all the personal items I included. It was good to hear her kind words.

 When you create something --a poem, a work of art or a book and it goes out into the world it takes on a life of its own and you don't really know entirely what happens to it. When I put that book together it was a true labor of love and I was so glad to hear how much she enjoyed it.
The Potato, Fontina and Rosemary Tart is not in my collection as it's something new so I will share it here in case you feel inspired to give it a try,

Potato, Fontina and Rosemary Tart

1 Puff Pastry
4 medium sized potatoes, sliced thin (if you have a mandolin use that as you want the potatoes to be so thin they are transparent)
1 Cup fontina cheese, cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp. Rosemary

1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet roll out the puff pastry flat.
2) Place the potatoes in a circular motion to cover the pastry and top with the cubes of cheese. Sprinkle the rosemary on top.
3) Bake for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft and the pastry is puffed and brown.

Baker's Tip: If you don't have a mandolin and aren't sure you can slice the potatoes thin enough to cook through shortly you can place them in a bowl with a bit of water and place in microwave to pre-cook for about a minute.