Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Big Reveal

It's here! I can hardly stand it! It was just about a year ago when the idea was first conceived and just like nearly any conception, it took a good amount of time to gestate. The experience of creating a brand could not be more similar to giving conceive the idea, nourish it, develop it, and push it out there for all to see (just don't forget to trademark and copyright it in the process) many ways I feel creating this line of cheesecake was waaaaayyyyy harder than giving birth. Or maybe I'm just better at giving birth to offspring, though I fully and completely consider this to be my fifth (well, sixth, technically) child. It's my baby. The baby after all my other babies. I could so use that epidural right about now. Given that this endeavor took almost as much time to grow as would another human being, I think I should get at least six weeks "maternity" leave. I'll settle for five days in the Domincan Republic along side the love of my life. I will not be offering many photo's from our tropical rendezvous - despite counting calories, running 5k's and a heated enthusiam for zumba, there are still some things that should not be me in a bikini...

I find it appropriate that our sixth "baby" is born on the cusp of our 15th wedding anniversary - the true reason for our upcoming Domincan getaway - 15 YEARS - can you believe it? In an age when the average marriage lasts three years, we count ourselves BLESSED to have weathered the ups and downs thus far.

Without further delay I give to you the most grown-up cheesecake you'll ever meet in four fabulous flavors:

Luck Be a Lady (infused Irish Cream)
From Russia with Love (a delectable vodka/raspberry blend)
Margarita Madness (a lime cheesecake like no other)
Kahlua Me Krazy (need we say more?)

While sales are only local right now, we have been approached by a major food distributor about the possibility of mass-manufacturing. Go big or go home, right? I doubt I'll rest until each of you can go to your major grocer and purchase our cheesecake from a cute little refrigerated case...or maybe I'll die trying, but either way....I'll die happy.

If you're local to me, hop on over to Lufkin on February 4th for the "Corks and Forks" event where our cheesecake will makes its official debut. We can't wait to tickle your taste buds.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Little Italy

I long for the days when I can once again give you step by step photo's for each of my recipes as I did with Shrimp Carbonara and Beef Stroganof. Then there was Black Cherry Forest Trifle - boy did I enjoy creating that one - lots of finger-lickin'-goodness leftover from that post.  But alas, I have these four adorable offspring who bring me so much joy (is there anything more rewarding than motherhood?) and yet, consume so much of my time...

Even now, at 10:30 in the evening on my second glass of chardonnay (or is it third? must be third as I just submitted headshots of my 2 year old to a modeling agency in The Woodlands, something I'm certain I would have thought twice about if I had my complete wits about me), I know there is no hope of step by step photo's in the forseeable future. It really is a bummer given my recent acquisition of a beautiful SLR camera - Canon Rebel T3i - 32 GB of nonstop creativity and so little time to experiment. However, I highly recommend this recommendation coming to you via my lack of experimentation, yet enough to know that I LOVE THIS CAMERA! It really is the bomb-diggety. I do hope within the next year life will settle down despite all of the indicators that everything good and glorious is just beginning.

With that I give to you a warm winter soup to thaw your chilly bones. My husband has been asking for this soup for quite some time and his incessant requests spurred me on to use the snazzy KitchenAid grinder attachment he gave to me two + years ago, undoubtedly as a birthday or Valentine's gift (yes, it takes me a while to use new things, the grinder, the camera - I'm a creature of habit and will be the first to admit my learning curve...good thing I married a professor). I finally did open the box for the very first time to christen my grinder as it produced for me the best ground chicken known to man...or at least known to me. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did...bear with me as I search for it, scribbled out on multiple post-it notes beneath the rubble on my desk...


Italian Wedding Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1 pound ground chicken
2 eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top the soup)
1 tsp. garlic powser
1 tsp. dried basil
7 cans chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
3/4 cup finely grated carrots
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 Tbs. dried oregeno
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
In a large bowl combine meat, eggs, parmesan cheese, basil and garlic powder; shape into 1 inch balls and set aside. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat broth to boiling, stir in spinach, carrots, orzo, meatballs, salt, pepper, and oregeno. Cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Serve topped with fresh grated parmesan and a thick crusty bread. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I just love a fresh start! 2012 will see many projects and endeavors come to fruition and I simply cannot wait to get this year started! However, first things first....

Several weeks ago I mentioned on my Facebook page that I had been working on a gig with a company on the east coast. After letting a very rude amount of time pass, I found my inbox flooded with questions and rumors that had begun floating around - some of them made me laugh out loud! Here is the short rendition of what is going on lately with my business in hopes of covering all the bases:

Yes: I know several individuals associated with the Food Network.

No: I am not currently working on any network television deals with the Food Network or any other television entities. Hello? The camera adds ten pounds!

Yes: I was contacted by a publishing company on the east coast and am discussing the details of authoring a cake decorating book.

Yes: I have a product launching in January (yes! this month!) under a separate label. I cannot begin to tell you the learning process involved in copyrighting, patenting, and legally protecting your work when taking on a venture such as this. Oi Vey. I will share more of the story at a later date.

NO: I am not having any more children - are you kidding me?!?

A heartfelt thank-you to all of my family, friends and clients for your continued excitement for my business as I work to follow my dreams. Your comments, encouragement, and loyalty are the fuel to my fire. You make the work worth the WORK and bring a light to my eyes. May you each have a blessed 2012.