I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for over a month now, but something has been holding me back. I keep asking myself “do we really need another scone recipe in the world?”. If it were up to me, the answer would be yes. Scones are a great “get your feet wet” sort of project for those fearful of baking. There are no special tools, or pans, required, and the technique is very easy. Just mix some dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, etc.), rub them together with very cold bits of butter, and stir in a mixture of egg and buttermilk. In less than 30 minutes, from start to finish, you’ve got a rather satisfying breakfast, in my little ‘ol opinion. Continue reading »
It hit me in the middle of the day yesterday with an odd feeling of surprise. I’m talking about November. It seemed to tip toe in, and I appreciate the calm greeting. I hope it brings more peace than October. The leaves are defiantly clinging to the trees here upstate, showing off their shades of red, orange and gold with the fanfare of a peacock. I know how they feel, in a way. Letting go isn’t easy. Paying attention to the season changes is an important reminder that life is about loss and renewal; it’s a never ending cycle.
As we settle in for what is perhaps the busiest baking season, I wanted to share something that’s been on my mind for a while now. I’m going to geek out here for a moment, but please stick with me. I promise it’ll make for a better baking experience the next couple of months, in fact for the rest of your life. Continue reading »
I fell hard and fast for persimmons right around this time last year. The girls and I were visiting Todd and Diane, and there was a tree dripping with ripe, deep orange orbs. I mentioned to Diane that I bet they’d make an incredible cake, and she told me to help myself. With a sparkle in my eye, I looked at her and asked “are you serious”? I had no tried and true persimmon cake recipe in mind. This was a recipe development itch I’d be scratching, and didn’t want to feel as though I was wasting any of their bounty. Incidentally, Diane and Todd just came out with a new cookbook, aptly titled Bountiful, and this is a book you want to own. The photography is incredible, the stories they share are touching, and the recipes, well, they make Bountiful a win-win-win for me. Continue reading »
Like the quick snap of a finger, October is upon us. Is it me, or did that seem to come out of nowhere? My mind is a jumble of confusion, not having settled into all the realities of 2013, and now there’s only three months left to it. If only we could press pause, and take a moment to catch up, but time is relentless.
I must confess, I felt downright annoyed when I saw people pinning pumpkin recipes in September. I wanted to scream from the rooftops to cut it out. Time pushes forward fast enough, with no need for us to nudge it along. And yet, what am I sharing with you today—a recipe for pumpkin scones. Thankfully I adore all of my shoes, making it easier to digest the proverbial foot in my mouth. In my defense, though, October is a perfectly acceptable month to talk pumpkin. Oui?
I just wanted to pop in here for a quick hello. Life has been one big rush since I got back from Paris last week. My feet barely touched the ground in Brooklyn, and I was packing a couple of days later to leave for Baltimore. It was a whirlwind 36 hours, doing a cooking demo at the Baltimore Book Festival on Saturday, and then up bright and early on Sunday for a 6:30am call time at WBAL where I made my apple breakfast bars on-air. I’m going to catch my breath a bit, and play around with some more new pumpkin recipes before I blink and the calendar turns to 2014. Continue reading »
I want to say it took me a full two weeks to get used to the back to school schedule, but truth is I’m not even close. I simply tolerate it, and consider the juggle associated with the school year to be one of those things in life I can’t avoid (like death and taxes). After a lazy summer of no alarm clocks, the early morning routine has completely thrown off the girls’ eating habits. They’re simply not hungry for breakfast at 7:30am. Even their favorites, like pancakes and waffles, have been met with a lukewarm reception. The pep talks about needing their energy, and how it’s not good to go to school on an empty stomach weren’t cutting it either. Continue reading »
I burned a pot boiling water today. I’m not joking, and, thankfully, was able to laugh when I realized what I’d done. There I was, yapping away on Skype with a friend, wondering who was grilling a steak at 10:30am. After I hung up, I looked into the bottom of my empty glass, and remembered I had been in the middle of making more Moroccan mint tea before I got on the Jetson’s version of the telephone. More specifically, I had been in the middle of boiling water—in my little copper pot. So, that’s what it smells like when water has completely evaporated in a copper pot, and said pot continues to cook at medium high heat. Apparently, my brain and attention span have been on vacation too long. Continue reading »
My eyes stared in bewilderment as I read the words “I rarely bake on vacation”. This last week in North Truro alone, I’ve baked four loaves of bread, two types of muffins and a zucchini hazelnut quick bread. And yet, those words from three years ago, they were true. I wrote them on August 24, 2010.
This is our ninth summer in the same cottage. The location is perfect beyond words, the house nestled in the sand, just a few hundred feet from the bay. The kitchen, however, is better suited to cooking up simple meals. It’s stocked with pots and pans that show their scars from the many renters that have come before. I’ve learned over the years to bring some essentials from home, my kitchen bags always outnumbering the rest of my luggage. The year I snuck my cast-iron skillet under the front seat, I knew I was pushing it. Mikey rolled his eyes, but I stood my ground, demanding if his guitar got to go, then so did my favorite instrument. Continue reading »
I’ve been a moving target the last two years, running, trying to dodge the reality of learning to live without Michael. I lost much more than just my husband when he died. With one felt swoop, fate came in like a thief and also stole my sense of security. I’m afraid to trust in being happy again. Terrified at settling myself somewhere emotionally, and plant roots, for fear they will be ripped up again with no warning.
I’m tired of being on the lam, though. That’s why I bought the house upstate. This doesn’t mean I’m staying in NYC for the long term, but it is a huge step in taking chances again. No matter where I go in the future, I will always have a little house tucked away in the country to call home. That’s if the fleas ever leave.
Yes, the biting little bastards are back, and they swarmed around my ankles and legs the moment I stepped inside the house yesterday. The plan was to spend a relaxing two days there, and finish setting up the house before we travel onward to Cape Cod for our annual vacation. If the neighbors were watching, I left a lasting impression, no doubt. I did one last body check before getting back in the car to head home, to make sure there were no fleas clinging to me like De Niro under the car in Cape Fear. I saw one jump off my dress, and did what any irrational, and emotionally worn down person would do. Continue reading »
Years ago, when Isabella was a wee little one, we had a neighbor who insisted on counting her son’s age in months up until he was three. Mikey and I laughed so hard at the idea of that. Imagine someone asking how old your kid is, and replying 32 months. It just sounds odd, right? I’m guessing that mom’s rationale was wanting to hold onto her son being a baby as long as possible. I get it. Oh man, do I get it, especially these days. In just two weeks, my babies will turn five and ten. I feel like I blinked and life tapped me on the shoulder, then screamed SURPRISE!
This whole way of counting has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. People often refer to Mikey having died a year and a half ago, or almost two years ago. Me? I refer to it as what it is—20 months ago. Unlike my old neighbor who wanted to cherish her babies early years, I’m trying to stay close to Mikey. The more time that passes since his death signifies the growing distance between my old life and my new one. Continue reading »
It is no surprise that I’ve been in a state of foggy consciousness for a while now. My body seems to float in and out of moments, a smile on my face, while my mind is a million miles away. Part of my mental listlessness is due to having taken too much time off after the book finally went to the printer. I was so drained mentally, emotionally and physically that I decided not to focus on work until the New Year. It was a decadent move, but one I felt I both needed and deserved.
I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things, sowing my seeds for the year ahead. For starters, I did my first interview for Homemade with Love. I’m no stranger to interviews, as I did quite a few of them back in the day when I had my personal chef business. Still, it’s been over a decade since that part of my life, and I was admittedly nervous. The moment I got on the phone with the editor at HGTV magazine, though, my nerves calmed. I realized all I had to do was be myself, so keep an eye out for the June issue.