Monday, May 31, 2010

Enjoying my family and beginning of summer

My beauty signing "I love you" to her mommy.

Jumpin' right in!
My son helping build a deck...I was so sore after that. Luckily, the next day, I enjoyed some refreshing Mojitos for Memorial Day on the finished deck with some wonderful friends and family.

1/4 of my friends' new deck. They were able to fit 3 separate table and chair sets and a baby pool on this ginormous deck. It turned out so beautiful.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May's Cooking Demo

My confidence is soaring!!! I mean...I've always loved cooking for my friends and family, and I've never had anyone not like my cooking...but every time I go to do a cooking class, demonstration, or party, I feel like everyone will think I'm a complete fraud.

But, then I pull out all my artillery and set it out on the table or counter, and just pretend I'm at home in my kitchen. One of my favorite things is to have people sitting around my kitchen while I cook for them. Thankfully, tonight, I had some wonderful people show up for my cooking demonstration. They had great questions and were very kind and patient.

Tonight, to start my guests off, I tore up some crusty bread and served it with a small dipping bowl of olive oil, balsamic vinegar & cracked pepper. I prefer tearing my bread when serving it, as opposed to cutting it with a bread knife and making it look perfect. I feel it's more appealing when torn. While they were enjoying the bread that was crusty on the outside and moist on the inside, I grilled out in a beautiful Spring evening that was threatening rain, and actually threw down a few sprinkles. I made plank salmon rubbed with brown sugar, cracked pepper and garlic on half of it and the other half, basted with my new jalapeno infused honey. Under 350° heat, it turned out perfect and juicy! I had some open space on the cedar plank and put some asparagus with sea salt. Next to the plank, I grilled my portobello with sea salt and let it all smoke for about 5 minutes. Then, I drizzled Balsamic Vinegar on the mushrooms and cooked for another 2 minutes. After about 15 minutes total, everything was ready.

I ended the evening with a sweet treat. Mango, strawberry & kiwi cocktails garnished with fresh mango & kiwi. I love to see everyone enjoy good conversation with their friends and people they've just met, good food & drink and beautiful weather. 

The only thing I wasn't able to do was take pictures. SOooo...I'll be doing it again on Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Guests on my journey

I've met some really great people along my journey of getting to my own cooking show. Just treated myself to a new haircut & highlights last weekend. Thanks Karen at the Bee Hive in Philly. I definitely recommend her...if you check her out, tell her Mandy sent you. Went to the Collingswood Farmer's Market this weekend and met a nice woman at the honey stand. I discovered a very tasty honey with a kick...Habanero Honey. It's infused with habanero, hot cherry & jalapeno peppers. Very good. I'm going to try it as a baste for salmon, or tilapia. I also met a couple of nice brothers...Mac & Mac from a company called Duker. I got some delicious spicy pickled green tomatoes. Yum!

Tonight I had the pleasure of teaching a hands-on cooking class with a group of wonderful people. They were all so friendly! I just hope all my clients can be so great.

The theme of the night was Mexican. I provided instruction for turkey enchilada casserole, guacamole, pico de gallo and cinnamon & sugar crisps.  My little sous chef was the photographer. Thank you again Alyssa & friends!!! I had a great time.

We had a vegetarian in the house. She cubed these veggies perfectly!


Totally in my element.                                            

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dreams, Wishes & Goals

So, I made a photo album on my Facebook profile that is strictly for goals and dreams. I haven't taken a look at it for a while...until today, when I posted some new items for my wish list. I saw a couple of pictures that were on there that have already happened, or has started to happen. Is it the work of mind powers? The Secret? (awesome theory, by the way..."The Secret.") I'm thinking YES. But, right now...I'm thinking...England, England,'s going to happen! Here's my wish list album. It's small for now...but, I don't need much. Life is good. :)

Afternoon Tea

Hosting my first Afternoon Tea Party this Sunday (that isn't a birthday party for my daughter) Pictures to come.
I have so much planning I still need to do. This is the part where I go 100mph and throw out my ideas and book parties and classes and THEN  I plan the details. ha! It makes my life exciting and everything always falls in place wonderfully. (By the way...have you ever written down your dreams, wishes and goals?)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Table With a View

Went to a town wide yard sale yesterday and got this window. Found the legs at an old hardware store in Camden and fixed it up. If it weren't for the painting part, it would have taken me only about 5 minutes to make.

It was a nice breezy day out, so I did all my painting outside. It only took about 15 minutes. I'm hooked! I'm going to make this a part-time hobby. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Champagne Wishes & Tea Time Dreams

 One of my dreams is to have a cottage in a rural area in England that I can turn into a tea parlour. Possibly even a Bed & Breakfast. Ever since a good friend of mine took me to High Tea at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ, I've been slightly obsessed with having my own gig like that. I'm constantly collecting single tea cups and saucers, tea pots, serving dishes, etc. Today, I had an opportunity that gave me a swift kick in the butt. I'm going to go for it! I will fulfill my dream. I won't make it to my cottage in England for several years, but I will be working on a short term goal. They say if you write down your goals, they will happen. I will start now!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day in Atlantic City 2010

Takin' a break from work to take my youngest to the shore.

My most favorite pictures of her are when she isn't aware I'm taking a picture.

The water was soooo freezing....but the sun felt good.