Posted tagged ‘Food’

It’s National Homemade Bread Day

November 17, 2022

What do we need? We “knead” bread!

There’s nothing like the delicious smell of bread baking in the oven on a chilly day. The thought of it makes my mouth water.

When I think of homemade bread, I think of my mother. She was a master breadmaker. It was always a treat when we came home from school and opened the door to the smell of freshly-baked bread wafting through the house. It was a delicious after-school snack.

Swedish Limpa Bread

Whether it’s a loaf of white, wheat, or rye bread lovingly baked or sweeter bread like banana nut bread, pumpkin bread, or chocolate zucchini bread, homemade bread is a tasty treat that can evoke warm memories of days gone by. It easily satisfies a craving at the same time.

Bread has been around for thousands of years. It’s nourishment that can feed the soul. It can symbolize faith, love, friendship, and much more. The sharing of bread has brought people together for the better.

Celebrate today by breaking bread with family, friends, or a special someone.

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” ~ Poet, Robert Browing

Below is a beautiful picture book told in verse about a Native American Family making a special family recipe that represents their history and traditions.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, Roaring Brook Press, 2019

Winnie-the-Pooh and Twin Girls, Too!

July 23, 2015

We recently moved from the Midwest back to the East Coast. It’s been an adventure, but the best part of it is that we are now closer to our daughter and son-in-law. And the pièce de résistance is the impending births of identical twin girls. Yes, we’re going to be grandparents!

Last Sunday we celebrated the upcoming births with a baby shower. Close friends and family made the Winnie-the-Pooh-themed gathering a perfect afternoon. Come join the fun!



photo 1

It’s the 100 Aker Wood!


Presents and Balloons


Pooh’s friends and Pooh books were there.


There were flowers, food, and drinks.


Tigger Tails, Rabbit’s Munchies, Eeyore’s House Sticks, Piglets in a Blanket, Kanga’s Chicken Salad Pockets


Roo’s Fruit Salad, Rabbit’s Carrot-Top Rolls, Tigger’s Twisted Pasta Salad, Eeyore’s “Whine”


Pooh’s Honey Cupcakes, and Piglet’s Haycorns


There were games, prizes, and a take-home honey bear.


There was love. There was laughter. And the beautiful mother-to-be!

Having twins? Check out this book.

Take Two! A Celebration of Twins written by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen and illustrated by Sohpie Blackall

Celebrating With Family, Friends, and Food

July 9, 2015

“Laughter is brightest in the place where food is.” – Irish Proverb

Holidays are for family, friends, and food. That’s exactly how we spent our Fourth of July – with family and friends, enjoying a feast.

We began the day with a trip on a ferry that took us to Long Island. Our black jeep was the last one on. Yikes!

photo 1

After warm greetings, the feast began.

photo 3 (35)

To begin …

Oysters Rockefeller and Oysters Bienville

These oysters were harvested by our host, who created this delicious presentation on the half shell. Yum!

On to dinner …

doris 2

Doris, the Boston Terrier, got a peek at what was to come.

photo 4 (4)

Lobster anyone?

If that wasn’t enough, out came …

photo 5

perfectly grilled filet mignon with sides of corn, salad, red potatoes, and wine!

We ate outside on a glorious Independence Day, overlooking Long Island Sound. The combination of family, friends, food, and laughter made the day remarkable!

You’re My Little Cupcake

October 18, 2012

This is your lucky day. Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. What more could you ask for?

Cupcakes are in, and today they should be in your tummy. A cupcake is little cake you can call your own. You can poke it, prod it, lick it, nibble it, or gobble it down because it’s all yours!

Here’s a perfect way to treat yourself to a cupcake whenever you’re craving one. It’s as simple as 3-2-1 Cupcake!


1 box of Angel Food Cake mix

1 box of any flavor cake mix – chocolate is my flavor of choice

Combine the two mixes in a gallon Ziploc® bag.

For a true “cup cake”…

Put 3 tablespoons of cake mix into a microwave-safe cup.

Put 2 tablespoons of water into the cup.

Stir well to combine.

Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Voilà!  A perfect little “cup cake.”

For an extra delicious treat, I added some whipped topping and a raspberry. Store the bag of cake mix for a “cup cake” treat anytime!

Now please excuse me while I indulge myself!

Take a bite out of one these yummy cupcake books.

Cupcake written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper

Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake written by Thomas Taylor and illustrated by Jill Barton

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond

Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes written by Pablo Cartaya and Martin Howard and illustrated by Kirsten Richards

Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes (I Can Read) written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

It’s Raining Cupcakes (Middle-Grade) written by Lisa Schroeder

I’m Back!

July 31, 2012

True to my word I said I’d return at the end of July to continue to dazzle and entertain with my bi-weekly blogs, and here I am.

It’s been a busy six weeks since I last blogged. During that time, my husband, Tom, and I have been to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Summer has always been a perfect time for me to catch up on reading, but not this summer. Instead of Fifty Shades of Grey, our summer began with fifty shades of red. I’m talking about red paint.

Our daughter bought a condo in Boston, and “Daddy” agreed to paint. He didn’t realize she wanted him to paint every wall in the condo, using several different colors. Deciding which shade of red to use as an accent wall in her bedroom proved to be the most daunting task. She had every sample from the red color palette taped to the wall. Tom was seeing red by the time she made her decision.

End Result

In between painting and traveling back and forth to Wisconsin, we attended a shower and three weddings. Tom and I measure our life in stages, and we happen to be in – Our Friend’s Children Are Getting Married – stage.

Our first wedding was in the New England area. The groom was from New Hampshire. The bride was from Pennsylvania. The venue of choice was in Connecticut.


Our next wedding was in downtown Chicago right after a wicked thunderstorm. Streets were flooded and trees were down, but nothing stops true love.

Chicago and …

A Bucky Badger Wedding Cake?

For wedding three, it was onward and upward to Minnesota.


The best part about attending these weddings in different states was that I could wear the same dress!

We also got together with my sister and her husband for a mini vacation in Boston and Portland, Maine.

The Freedom Trail and good food were on the Boston menu.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Tall Ships

Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese

That was followed by a trip up the coast to Portland, Maine, the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, and more good food.

Portland Head Light

Lobster Linguine

I have literally eaten my way through this summer. This is NOT good. I need to keep my girlish figure because we have yet another wedding to attend in November. (And, yes, I’ll probably wear the same dress!)

Right now it’s home sweet home for us. Tom is taking care of the parched lawn, meager garden, and dead flowers. I am busy chasing the dust bunnies that have multiplied since the last time I cleaned. I’d better hop to it!

“Say It Ain’t So, Joe!”

June 1, 2012

If you had the opportunity to read the blog I posted about baseball last year, you know my feelings about the sport. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, you can see it here.

Since I last expressed my true feelings on the All-American game, nothing has changed. I still find baseball uninspiring. Not even peanuts and Cracker Jacks can pique my interest. Maybe a beer … or two … or three … or four would help, but I doubt it. I’d just end up with a headache and feeling bloated.

I must admit not all things about baseball are boring. I’ve learned to appreciate a few baseball terms – like cheese, donut, lollipop, meatball, and pancake. They conjure up some pretty delicious thoughts. On the other hand, the term spit ball grosses me out.

Even though I harbor negative feelings about the sport, I don’t want to taint the opinions of my library students – especially when there are some great baseball books for them to enjoy.

Cool Baseball Facts, written by Kathryn Clay, is a book that has some interesting information. The reading level is for younger students, but I’ve used the book with older groups, too. I pitch questions at them from the facts included in the book. Sometimes they get a hit. Other times they strike out. It’s a great way to get them actively involved.

Baseball isn’t for everyone, but I don’t want to drop the ball when it comes to giving others the opportunity to immerse themselves in the sport. Just because I’m the one out in left field doesn’t mean I’m a total screwball. I don’t want to be accused of having my foot in the bucket. I’m willing to step up to the plate and knock the cover off the ball to get kids interested in reading – even if it means reading books about baseball. Who knows, with the right attitude, this could be a whole new ball game for me!

Baseball picture books I recommend:

How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball written and illustrated by David Shannon (Blue Sky Press, 2012)

Bats at the Ballgame written and illustrated by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010)

Baseball Saved Us written by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee (Lee & Low Books, 1995)

Food, Friendship, and Books

May 18, 2012

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend, Karen. I’ve known her ever since I can remember. She lived one house away from me on Vliet Street in Milwaukee. We were together almost every day. We played in the hollow across the street. We climbed trees there. We sledded down Buffalo Hill. We walked to the old Washington Park Zoo to see the animals. And we dressed-up in our mom’s clothes and strutted up and down the street.

Karen and Me

When we entered kindergarten, we went to different schools, but we still remained friends. When I was in second grade we moved, but we remained friends. When we moved out of state, we remained friends. After years of living long distances from one another other, we are now living close enough to meet for lunch. We are still friends.

Lois Wyse said, “A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

That’s a perfect description of Karen.

During lunch she took out some old pictures taken on Vliet Street.  There was the hollow with its climbing trees, the zoo, and her backyard. Oh, the memories!

So many years have passed since we first became friends. We’ve changed – yet we haven’t changed. We talked. We laughed. We made profound observations about life and family, and then it was time to go.

Friends are good for the soul. On cloudy days, they can make the sun shine. Hug your friend today!

Here are some terrific friend books for beginning readers. They are all series. Read one! Read them all!

Frog and Toad

Cork and Fuzz

Henry and Mudge

George and Martha

Mouse and Mole

Houndsley and Catina

Mr. Putter and Tabby

Pinky and Rex

Iris and Walter

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa

Minnie and Moo

Ivy and Bean

Best Mother’s Day Ever

May 8, 2012

Mother’s Day came early this year for two reasons. We’re in Boston helping our daughter, Beth, move (#10) into her new condo, and Boston has some of the finest restaurants around.

On Saturday evening after spending the day painting, packing, lifting, pushing, shoving, and grumbling at one another, we took a well-needed break. Beth decided we should celebrate the two Ms – Mother’s Day and Moving. She made reservations for dinner in the North End — a neighborhood known for its history and great Italian restaurants.

Luckily, Beth’s place is within walking distance of many Boston attractions. That’s a plus because parking on the streets is a rare commodity. We followed parts of the Freedom Trail, and just around the corner from Paul Revere’s House was our destination.

We stepped inside Mare Oyster Bar. It was cozy with seating for approximately forty-two diners and seating for twelve at the bar. The staff was friendly and very accommodating. For the first time that day, we were able to relax and have a decent conversation with one another.

Even though raw oysters are not on the top of my list of favorite foods, it’s a must to try at least one oyster. Duh … It’s an oyster bar! I will say my choice was delicious. Each of us chose a different entrée. Beth ordered the Truffle Crusted Tuna with grilled eggplant, wilted spinach, and sweet baby peppers. Tom ordered the Seafood Cannelloni filled with shrimp, scallops, and swordfish with a lobster cream sauce. I ordered the Pan Roasted Halibut with asparagus and morel mushrooms.

Maybe it was because we were ravenous after a day of hard labor, or maybe it was because we savor good food – especially when someone else is preparing it, but we all agreed upon one thing. Dinner was fabulous!

Afterward, we joined the locals and tourists milling around the narrow streets. Before heading home, we made one more stop. If you’re in the North End, you can’t leave without popping into Mike’s Pastry. We didn’t pop in because the line into the shop was half-way down the street. With a little know-how, Beth managed to make it quickly through the line. Pastries in hand, we were on our way home to enjoy them.

Chocolate Chip Cannolo and Pistachio Nut Macaroons

Whether helping our daughter move, celebrating a special occasion, dining at a fabulous restaurant, spending time together as a family beats all. This was the best early Mother’s Day ever!

The Aftermath

December 27, 2011

Following three days of merry-making, Aftermath, the ghost of Christmas after, arrived. I’m not talking about the presence of bows and wrapping paper scattered around rooms, or the dust bunnies hopping across the floors, or the pile of soiled table linens and towels, waiting to be cleaned. I’m talking about what lurks inside the sleek stainless steel cold box in the kitchen.    

Opening the door of the refrigerator proved to be a turn-your-stomach experience. Leftovers from a Christmas made merry crammed the corners and shelves of the refrigerator. Foil wrapped plates, odd sized containers and jars, covered pots, and plastic storage bags held mystery food inside of them. I discovered…

Twelve crumbling cookies

Eleven stale sausage balls

Ten smokies in hot sauce

Nine almond clusters

Eight baby shrimp

Seven stuffed olives  

Six shriveled potato fries

Five brussel sprouts

Four potato skins

Three green peppers

Two brown bananas

And oyster stew in a soup pot.  

I’m tired of cooking. I’m tired of cleaning. There’s only one solution to this colossal mess. Get ready for Dinner Surprise!

Did You Say Moysters?

December 2, 2011

Last week in the library, I discussed the different types of food served at the First Thanksgiving with the kindergarten class. Were there grocery stores? No! The Pilgrims and Native Americans ate what came from land and water. There were no mashed potatoes or jellied cranberries, but there were mussels, clams, and oysters.

“Moysters! What are moysters?” a kindergartener wanted to know.

Aha! A teaching moment. I pulled the “O” encyclopedia off the shelf.  

“They’re called oysters,” I said, “and they look like this.”


When the class wanted to know how you eat them, I told them you shuck the oyster and you can eat them raw or cooked.


Okay, there are no oceans in the Midwest. So leave the moysters off the Thanksgiving menu. Enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes, and jellied cranberries. 

Who knew the Pilgrims and Native Americans were such gourmands. If you’re looking for a true delicacy, try some oysters today. From beginning to end, here are oysters made to perfection!  

Unshucked Oysters


Raw Oysters


Oysters Bienville

“He was a bold man that first eat an oyster.” — Jonathan Swift

%d bloggers like this: