My Story

I've always loved being in the kitchen. Isn't that the gathering place at parties and get togethers! That's where the action is, where delicious smells come from, and where I go to create some really great stuff! My Grandma was my inspiration. She lived her life in Baltimore and she was ALWAYS in the kitchen (or down at the VFW for a crab feast and beer) but Alice created so many wonderful meals for our family. I remember there was always soup before the meal, usually a steaming bowl of crab soup with a rich tomato broth and lots of vegetables. Her crab cakes were incredible, a recipe I use today, and undeniably the best. I would challenge ANY other crab cake recipe to match my Grandma Alice's. The first meal I made for my mom was macaroni and cheese from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook back when I was about 7 years old. I was very proud of it, and it was really good..a creamy white sauce combined with good old cheddar and shells sprinkled with toasted bread crumbs..yum. So off I went through life, cooking and baking, and came to realize that baking was the shizzy. I loved finding a great recipe and making it even better. Funny my kids didn't like sweets much, so I showered friends and neighbors with treats. Later down the road, when some real decisions needed to be made, I decided to attend the baking and pastry arts program at The California Culinary Academy. I was 47 years old and had no idea what I was in for (another blog). So I mastered the art of baking thanks to a dedicated and talented team of instructors. I did a gig in the basement of well known pastry kitchens and had a wonderful time working for a small caterer cooking with a great bunch of gals. But here I am now, still cooking, still baking and loving it, in my own kitchen where I can share my love of this sport with the world. I take all my own photos (another passion) and I hope you will have patience and stay with me in this newest adventure. So thank you Grandma Alice for all those delicious memories, stories and inspiration. Stay tuned..

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jenny's Tea

I love my sister-in-law's ice tea. She always has it her fridge, or on the stove ready to go. When you walk in her door you can smell it brewing. She uses the bags that have been around for years, you know, that cinnamon-y, spicy and slightly sweet black tea blend. It is almost a bit too sweet for me (how do they get it so sweet in that little tea bag?), so I tend to add a little water to mine. It's a great thirst quencher! So one hot, sunny day last month (one of the few we've had here in the east bay), I decided to make sun tea.

I had an old, very large mason jar that belonged to Jim's, grandmother. So I ran out and bought some of those tea bags fore mentioned, threw them in with a couple of mint bags (I used 3 of the spice and 2 mint) and let 'er steep out in my garden. The jar sat there most of the day (I admit, I had forgotten about it) and when I went out late in the afternoon, there it was, dark and warm and ready to be poured over ice, and I loved seeing it in this old jar, one that no doubt, was used many time in the past.

Tasting it, I decided that even with the mint, it was still a bit too sweet, so I squeezed a couple of lemons and added the juice to the mix, and there it was, Jenny's Ice Tea..Perffeto!!


  1. Nothing like the brew of tea out in a glass jar in the sun! Enjoying your blog Kate. Do you feature a apple or peach pie?

  2. just about time for a peach pie isn't it? The peaches haven't been quite ready yet, but I'm up for it now!