Mother’s Day: A Dinner, Some Cake & Other Lovely Happenings!

Hey guys, happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, I know I did! I feel unfathomably and unimaginably grateful for the blessing that is my MOMMY!! She is my bestfriend and she never ceases to amaze me. She is undoubtably the strongest woman I know. My mom is loving, a fighter, a smart-ass, a medical encyclopedia and the best go-getter around. Now look, I adore Oprah as much as the next (let’s be honest…probably more than most), but my mom rivals her on a daily basis (and my mom doesn’t have multiple teams of people to help, assist or orchestrate her life and career!) She envisions, plans, works her ASS OFF, then makes her own damn dreams come true! I CAN’T hold back my tears as I write this post. She was nearly taken from my family and I, just 6 days before my 21st birthday. She had sustained fatal medical trauma, but by the grace of God, she is still here with us, being a blessing in our lives, day-in and day-out! Just months after leaving the hospital she completed her PhD and is now 1 semester away from finishing her 2nd. Master’s degree. She is a phenomenal WOMAN, mother, wife, daughter, friend, human and all the rest of the minutely significant attributes that amalgamate the person that I call Mommy! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! 
Here is a look at the day…
ImageImageImage
My SPECIAL little helper!
ImageImageImage
 This is one of the lovely Gluten-free flours WinniE’s Bakery uses!

ImageImageImage

Round one done! Now on to round 2!

ImageImageImageImageImage

So this is the unfinished result. I made my mother a Gluten-free “‘David’s’ Strawberry Delight cake w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream”. I had planned on decorating it with floral accents and lettering saying, “You’re the best, Happy Mother’s Day”, but she couldn’t wait. So, unfortunately we ate the cake in it’s more rustic form…lol!

Dinner:

ImageImage

Tonight’s players: a little garlic, thyme, wild spring mushroom, organic locally grown asparagus, locally sorced leeks and arborio rice. I decided to make Wild Spring Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto topped w/ Pan Seared Shrimp. Growing up my dad always cooked, especially for holiday’s, but as life got busier and I got older I started following in his footsteps. So now, I often cook the meals for special occasions or my dad and myself tag team the effort!

ImageImageImageImage

Almost done.

Image

Dad working his culinary magic! He is making his famous “Bruschetta Tomatoes”, a lovely accompaniment to the risotto.

ImageImage

Unfortunately, my brothers couldn’t make dinner because they have families of their own now, but that’s ok…since I am the ‘baby’ every now and again I like having my parents all to myself!

After dinner we went to visit my dad’s mom. Visiting her is always a blessing and a riot, being she is 90 years old and a firecracker, to boot! 

Image

My mom’s mother passed when I was 14. Even though it is rounding 10 years since her passing, times like this are really hard for my mom. She was as close to my Nana, as I am to her. I named my bakery after her. WinniE’s Bakery is done with love and completely in honor of her spirit and the passions she pursued during her time here on earth.

We ended the night with PRESENTS! We got her these new mosaic/art deco plates from Williams-Sonoma. And I think it’s safe to say she LOVED them. She was surprised too…which is amazing becuase she is really hard to buy for, which is why I tend to make things for her.

Image

Lol…I made her close her eyes!

ImageImageImage

Make sure you guys celebrate the deserving mother’s, women or parents in your life! I hope you guys liked it, see you tomorrow for “Wednesday’s with WinniE’s”!

P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G

 

E

A Splendid Afternoon in Secolari!

Hey guys, happy Thursday!

How many of you guys are foodies? Ok, now how many of you all like the nickname “foodies”? I personally love it! Call me whatever you like, food connoisseur, palate adventurer, appreciator of sustenance, etc. It doesn’t really matter what you claim, all that really matters is that you know that you love all things food. When it comes to food, I love learning and trying new and different things. The tasting, to smelling and even seeing where it all comes from. I want to know from which farms, to the different artisan ship that goes into crafting or making the food, to the chemical reactions that happen when you’re cooking. It’s all home to me, there’s something so innate about not only eating food, but creating and sharing food with others. And even though each culture has its own customs, the emotions that can be evoked, when you sit down at a table to share a meal of food with those someone is…UNIVERSAL!
Last week, I went out to dinner with my mom and our family friend Ms. Enor. I’ve known her since I was about 4years old…geez it’s been 20 years! Anyway, before we went to dinner we noticed a new shop across from our restaurant, called Secolari. None of us knew what to expect when we walked through the door, I was certainly surprised. It was a vast space hidden away in this tiny storefront. As I walked through the doors, I was greeted with the sweet aroma of rich vinegar, floral notes and the fruity accent of olive oil. Secolari, is an artisanal Vinegar + Olive Oil shop. So obviously I was immediately in love, and on top of that I had the opportunity to chat with the loveliest manager, her name was Erin. My mother, Miss Enor and I browsed around, tasted vinegars and olive oils and we sampled pairings of flavors; just the most delightful on the palate! Erin informed us of the farms they source their olives from for the oils and about the aging and infusing of the vinegars. It was also exciting…(I definitely geeked out!!!) The stores name itself means aged or ancient in Italian.
Here’s a look…

 

ImageImageImageImage

A tasting…

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Inufused Salts

Image

They also carry infused honey!

ImageImageImage

They carry pasta as well.

ImageImage

Bottling up my chosen olive oil

ImageImage

Gorgeous!

Image

And this is Erin! She was so interesting, engaging and welcoming! It was lovely to meet and chat with her.

Image

Here is Erin with one of the owners, Bart. He was friendly and said he would check out my blog! Thank you for a great experience in your shop. I will be back…SOON!

Image

This is what I got, Black Truffle Sea Salt, ‘GLUTEN-FREE’ Garlic Chive pasta, Champagne Mimosa Vinegar and Blood Orange Olive Oil…GLORIOUS!

Birthday Happenings & Family

Hey guys, happy Tuesday!

I wanted to do a quick post showing you guys what I did on my actual birthday. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to spend the day with my whole family. My mom, dad, both my brothers, sister-in-law and both my niece and nephew; plus my dad’s side of the family. I started my day off with my brother David, who’s birthday is TOMORROW, coincidently! He will be 26, poor guy…he’s becoming an old man! Anyway, I told him all I wanted for my birthday was to hangout with him, which is hard being we are both very busy and he has his own family. So, he surprised me with one of the best gifts he could have ever gotten me (short of another niece or nephew)…We. Went. Go Cart Racing! We had the entire place to ourselves…well his co-workers were there…lol! I just wanted to have fun on my birthday and I DID! After racing, I came home to find DELICIOUS Gluten-free Belgium Waffles…WAFFLES! My dad ironically, makes the BEST GLUTEN FREE WAFFLES!!! Which baffles me concsidering the man needs to be coaxed into eating Gluten-free food. Then, me and my dad’s went for our standing “Sunday Morning Coffee”. Next, the fam went to my Nana’s house and we rounded out the evening at my eldest brother’s house. My day was busy and lovely and I couldn’t be more grateful for the blessings in my life, both my angels at my side and in the sky!
Here’s a look at my day…
Autobahn Indoor Speedway:
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
I’ll be standing in 1st place on that podium!
ImageImageImage
brother on the right…”working”
Image
my safety video…which I couldn’t believe he made me watch, but he was about business.
ImageImageImage
Trying so hard and failing at not laughing.
Image
Geared-up and ready to go!
ImageImage
Dynamic duo!
Coffee with Dad:
ImageImage
My fave…Venti Iced coffee w/ Non-fat milk and they told me “Happy Birthday!”
Birthday Waffles:
Image
JUST DELECTABLE…THE BEST!!!
Corey’s House:
Image
We couldn’t find Dad and Dave was working.
Thank so much you guys, I hope you enjoyed sharing in my birthday with me.
P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G

E