Monday December 19, 2011
When you focus on others, the season takes on the right tone! It's not about how decorated your house is, or how many presents you may give or get, or how many parties you've been invited to. It's about LOVE.
In our house, we show love through food - treasured family recipes that take you down food memory lane, new recipes that reflect where we are currently, and nibbles and cookies from friends and family. All provide that important centerpiece to the holidays.
My menu this year:
Christmas Eve: Lobster Risotto, Fried Flounder, Baccala Salad and a big green salad. Cookies and Baked Chocolate Pudding for dessert. And of course, assorted Christmas cookies. We are small group this year.
Christmas Day: Rib Roast, Turnip and Potato Gratin, Broccoli with garlic and browned butter, and a big green salad. Gluten-free Yule Log and Gingerbread Cake. And of course, assorted Christmas cookies.
What's on your menu?
Monday November 21, 2011
I read a really interesting article a few months ago about gratitude. In fact, it was about a gratitude exercise where you spend an hour walking through your house and then outside your house and you look at everything you have and express gratitude for it. It's amazing how many things we just take for granted - like windows, for instance. They keep out the weather but they let the light in. When's the last time you looked at your windows and thanked them? There's something about gratitude that changes your mood for the better. And in that spirit, I would like to express gratitude for all those who helped make the Heirloom Meals Thanksgiving special.
Firstly to JP Lipa, my amazing, talented, brilliant Director and Cinematographer. JP "got it". He understood that Heirloom Meals was a storytelling show with recipes and cooking as the glue. Add his artistry, attention to detail and intense work ethic and voila, the perfect match for Heirloom Meals. And, if JP wasn't enough, he comes attached to his brother, Chris who handles all the production details for their company Eleven 11 Images. To help frame why JP is impressive....he shot Michael Jackson's last video. Here's his camera with the late singer, the same camera that shot the Heirloom Meals special:
Next, it's my Mom and family I need to thank. If you've seen the special, you will see how important Mom is to me. She has always been my inspiration, my guide, my best friend. Dad is also a role model - he is the type A, entrepreneur with a heart of gold. And then layer on all the memories of my grandparents and there are not enough thank you's!!
Next, is my new family - Jim, my three step kids and all that living with Jim in the Berkshires has to offer - our beautiful house, our chickens, cows and horses. Jim has supported me every step of the way. I am a lucky girl, I am!!
Next is my friend and assistant, Donna. I am grateful for having Donna in my life BUT now I am grateful that she is recovering from her lumpectomy. She'll be getting radiation treatments for 30 days but her prognosis is excellent!
Next, is my new friend Ken Zuckerman from Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs who started this whole thing anyway....his belief in me and Heirloom Meals propelled the making of the special. He also promoted the show by organizing the 4 premiere screenings we had last week and helped secure all the pledge items for New Hampshire Public Television and WGBY that will be airing in December. I tip my hat to you!!
Next, I am grateful for Lauren Zivyak whose energy and enthusiasm for the project and for Erin Gernon, my amazing summer intern who both stood by my side before and during the shoot. And for Madeline Finnerty for being available to help during the shoot and Jake DeVarrennes for all his help!
Then there are all the great guests whose beautiful, heart-felt stories and recipes created the rich fabric for the show. And then there are the sponsors who took a chance on an idea.
All this thanking has me feeling euphoric! Try it, you won't be disappointed!!
Lastly, THANK YOU ALL for watching an enjoying the show.
Monday November 14, 2011
No words can sum up the feelings I am experiencing this week. Not only are there three more Premiere screenings of my first-ever hour long public television special, I am also the featured guest at Smith College's Julia Child Day. Humbled, grateful, thrilled....
Thursday November 10, 2011
In the spirit of thanks, and, in particular, thanking my sponsors, this week's post is dedicated to Hearst and Sears/K-Mart. They go hand in had because Sears and K-Mart are the exclusive retailers of the Country Living Magazine branded product. And, as you may figure - Country Living is one of the Hearst Magazine titles! Country Living is one of my favorite magazines because it provides great inspiration and tips for creating an inspirational country and heirloom look. In fact, the tabletop that is shown in the special has many of the Country Living products - the table cloth, plates, napkins and many of the serving pieces including the chicken butter dish, and gravy boat.
Thank you for your lovely magazine and for creating and selling affordable products to create an heirloom tabletop look!
Wednesday November 02, 2011
In the spirit of giving thanks for my sponsors - this week the focus is on Stonyfield.
I'll never forget when I first moved to Boston in February 1991, one of the highlights of my new city was discovering Bread and Circus. Bread and Circus was acquired by Whole Foods but was essentially a precursor to Whole Foods. And, one of my favorite foods that I discovered at Bread and Circus was Stonyfield Farm Yogurt from Londonderry, NH. I thought is was so cool to buy a "local" yogurt vs a big brand and it tasted so much richer and delicious.
So, you cannot even imagine the joy that I experienced when they agreed to be a sponsor.
Allow me to list some of the reasons I love Stonyfield and Gary Hirshberg:
The obvious - their delicious, organic yogurt.
Gary's book - specifically his commitment to the mission and his views on sustainability and stewardship of our planet.
Stonyfield's role and message in Food, Inc.
Stonyfield's Greener Cow Project.
Stonyfield's philosophy and message resonate with me. Here it is:
" We were on a mission to make the planet healthier even before we were making yogurt. Today, we make it our mission to work towards all sorts of healthy.
Our mission: We’re committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet and healthy business.
Healthy food. We will craft and offer the most delicious and nourishing organic yogurts and dairy products.
Healthy people. We will enhance the health and well-being of our consumers and colleagues.
Healthy planet. We will help protect and restore the planet and promote the viability of family farms.
Healthy business. We will prove that healthy profits and a healthy planet are not in conflict and that, in fact, dedication to health and sustainability enhances shareholder value. We believe that business must lead the way to a more sustainable future."
THANK YOU STONYFIELD for all that you do!! And, in particular for all my friends fighting breast cancer:
Monday October 24, 2011
For the next several Mondays I will be giving THANKS to each of my Heirloom Meals' Thanksgiving sponsors. First up is Pete and Gerry's Heirloom Eggs.
Pretty much, hands down the perfect sponsor for Heirloom Meals. Not only do they raise and sell organic, heirloom eggs, they are a family-owned business from New England. They are philosophically aligned with Heirloom Meals' desire to use only real, in season ingredients that are either local or sustainably grown.
"At Pete and Gerry's, we are a family farm that has produced high quality eggs for four generations in Monroe, NH, in the heart of the White Mountains. We believe in providing you, our customer, with fresh organic, cage free, omega-3 eggs from hens that are Certified Humane. As our family farm has grown our commitment to you has remained unchanged and we hope that you will enjoy our eggs as much as we do!
Happy chickens lay better eggs™"
Many of you know that I have chickens and Pete and Gerry's is my go-to egg when my chickens are in a laying lull or if I need more than my flock produces!! They also have chickens that lay those gorgeous blue eggs. When you buy their eggs, it's like Easter all the time!!
Pasture-raised eggs are healthier and rich in omega3 and have a deep orange yolk and are full of flavor. Try making a frittata or some custard with their eggs and you'll taste and see the difference. Worth every extra penny!
Thank you Pete and Gerry's! You have helped me realize a dream!
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