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…
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My SPECIAL little helper!
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 This is one of the lovely Gluten-free flours WinniE’s Bakery uses!

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Round one done! Now on to round 2!

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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:

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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!

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Almost done.

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

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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! 

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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.

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Lol…I made her close her eyes!

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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…

 

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A tasting…

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Inufused Salts

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They also carry infused honey!

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They carry pasta as well.

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Bottling up my chosen olive oil

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Gorgeous!

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

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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!

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

Delish Go-To Healthy Snack!

Hello everyone, I hope everyone’s had a wonderful week. I wanted to start my blog off with a post about something I am passionaste about…FOOD! As a Type 1 diabetic and FFK or “former fat kid”, I have found the things that work for me and that really enjoy them in the healthy lifestyle I now lead. I take conscious measures to fill my pantry and fridge with healthy and delicious foods (cause if it doesn’t taste good…I won’t eat it, let’s just be honest!!) If you’re new on this journey of liveing a healthy and conscioud lifestyle, I do realize it takes some time to get used to new healthy foods. Also, I know it can be a MAJOR CHALLENGE to bringing yourself out of the negative habits and choices you made in your lifestyle before. But here are some things I’ve found work for me: I have a high-protein, high-fiber and high water content diet. I love to eat lots and lots of veggies, lots and lots of fruits and lots of lots of lean protein, such as Chicken, fish, seafood, yogurt and various types of nuts…hahaha. In a later post I will give you a full and detailed breakdown of what I like to incorporate into my diet. I’m a big-time foodie and I am also I skilled and long-time lover of ALL things “baking”. But we will dive into that later. I love to make my own snacks and meals; especially if I’m cooking for my entire family (which I usually I am). But for now I will share with you a simple + delicious healthy snack. Thank you!ImageImageImageImageImage

Today’s Snack: Strawberries, Bananas + Raspberries fruit bowl…delish!

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