Monday, August 29, 2016

Simple Recipes for Surviving First Apartment

It's been a great summer here and although there's so much to love about the Fall, I feel a little sad to see the summer go. I'm so grateful all of my kids have been happy, healthy and home and I have thoroughly enjoyed having them here.
 Over the past week with the reality setting in that two of my three beloveds are going back to college, and I know denial won't stall this fact, I've been thinking of things I might do to help send them off and get them settled.
 My daughter Bella is starting her Junior year at Lesley University and has decided to rent an apartment in Boston with a few of her friends. It's such an exciting opportunity for her and yet it will be a big change because they won't have the luxury of going to the cafeteria for a quick meal before or after class!  As mom, I don't want her to starve or only eat ice cream and tortilla chips.
 So when she asked me recently if I might write out a few easy food recipes to help her get started I thought that was a great idea. She's a great help around the house, but she's simply not used to preparing her own meals.
 Then it got me thinking that would make a great cook book collection for young adults starting out-something like

"Simple Recipes so you won't Starve in Your First Apartment" .

For now, I will start with a small collection of hand written recipes I can send along with her. And maybe a bag of groceries or two.
The first three I thought of are Big Salads, Basmati Rice with Fruit and Cashews and Avocado Quesadilla's. Each are healthy, fresh, with minimal ingredients and easy to prepare.
Big Salads at our house are simply a combination of fresh chopped leafy greens, fruit, nuts and vegetables with a light home made dressing of balsamic vinegar, honey and garlic and maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
The Avocado Quesadilla's are thin slices of avocado, sharp cheddar cheese grilled with two buttered tortilla's and browned on a skillet until the cheese melts. The Basmati Rice dish is something so simple that I've made for years especially in the fall when everyone seems to head in different directions and you need something ready made to grab and go.

Basmati Rice with Blueberries and Cashews

1) Cook the rice as directed. Basically it's one cup rice per one and a half cup of water and a dash of salt. Let the water boil then reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes. Basmati rice has a nice nutty flavor that is great for adding and blending in different fruits and nuts of choice.
2) Mix into the rice a cup of fresh blueberries and a cup of chopped cashews stir until blended.
3) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, the blueberry juice from the fresh blueberries will melt into the rice a little and the combination is so simple and good.

We have also made this rice dish with fresh peaches, we often add the peach juice to give it a sweeter taste or we add pecans instead of the cashews. When winter arrives and there is less fresh fruit available we opt for mixing in frozen spinach with the cashews and rice instead then adding salt and pepper to taste and a Tbsp. or so of butter for a bit of creaminess.

And I hope she knows she can always come to visit and I will make her something to eat.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Joy of Having Daughter's with Summer Birthdays

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability". Sam Keen

In the past month, we have celebrated my daughter's turning 12 and 20. I feel so blessed to have not one but two daughter's with summer birthdays. In June, Sophia and I took some friends to the Vineyard to celebrate. I baked a Butter Pecan Cake with a Buttercream frosting. We ate it on the Ferry and shared it with those around us.

Last weekend, Bella and I treated ourselves to a weekend of fun. We hiked, went kayaking and took a super fun Dance Yoga class together. We enjoyed a Blueberry Cake with a Lemon Buttercream frosting.

At the end of the weekend we went down to Chappy Beach to watch the sunset. We brought Pizza and thick slices of cool watermelon. We swam until the sun dipped out of sight. My son joined us too.

Summer is all about allowing ourselves the joy of being lazy. I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding ways to be a little lazy.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Invitation to Check out my new Column


Some fun things have been going on around here lately. It's been a lot of work too. Yet a labor of love for sure.

For starters, I am featured in the current issue of Cape Cod Magazine. It's a super nice article and they included a bunch of my photographs and recipes too. If you get a chance, check it out. They did a great job.

I have not been posting at my blog lately because I am writing a new column over in the Lifestyle/Food section at Below is a sample of the first entry. It's a weekly column--released on Wednesdays.

We decided to call it My Cape Cod Kitchen based on my self published book originally released in 2009 and the more recent hard cover expanded version published by Schiffer that I called "Meet me in My Cape Cod Kitchen".

The title came about from 2006-2009 spending so much time at home with my daughter Sophia and making food for my family in my own Kitchen. It's intended as an invitation to you to explore the fun to be found in your own Kitchen--whether or not you are on Cape Cod.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Blessed, Photo on Book Cover & Mom's Best Banana Bread

"You will be blessed the moment you realize you already are" ~Bryant McGill

 The book events turned out fun. I went to Chatham, Sandwich, Mashpee, Osterville, West Falmouth and Worcester. I met a lot of beautiful people, shared samples of some of my favorite recipes and signed books.
In Worcester, I offered a poem and pie workshop and we wrote about favorite food memories while a pie was baking nearby in the oven.
In West Falmouth, I shared the story of how my book came about. It was well attended and I loved that a few people told me how much they share my deep love for baking. I spoke a little about the photographs on the cover-- the recipe for cranberry biscotti and white chocolate and the image of one of my favorite beach walks on the Cape.
I want to mention something about this particular photo that is also on the cover of my book that I didn't get a chance to share at my talk. I took this photo in the summer of 2014. I had a ton of fresh tomatoes just picked from the garden. I was making a baked cod pasta dish and added the fresh tomatoes last minute. We decided to eat dinner on our back patio because it was a perfect summer evening. The bugs were few, the breeze was gentle and my kids were hungry.

When I set the meal on the table I realized I had not yet taken the photograph of my seafood fettuccini. I grabbed my camera and shot the image above. I loved the mix of colors from the blue and white dish and the red of the tomatoes. The fish looked fresh and scrumptious. It wasn't until much later that I  realized the photo was slightly different than the recipe I shared. The version in my book is delicious too and when cooking it's always OK to be a little creative and add extra items to your taste and liking. The image above is basically the same as in the book except with a slight variation.

 My collection is intended as a reflection of some of the things we enjoy eating and making while living on Cape Cod year round and a starting off point for you in your kitchen.

People have asked me if I prefer cooking or baking and I find that is a hard question to answer. I love both for different reasons. Baking brings me pure meditative joy. I love that it's like a science and I must tend to it just so. Cooking for me is a chance to be creative and try new variations on familiar recipes.
As the new year approaches I feel blessed for so many reasons. I will continue my daily beach walks and be creative in my kitchen as often as possible. Please feel free to send me a note if you have questions about any of the recipes.

Blessings to YOU in 2016!

PS and about mom's best banana bread--  It came to my attention that somewhere along the way the ingredient of flour is missing from my banana bread recipe-- for my banana bread use 1 1/2 cups of flour.  And do try it soon. It is so easy and yummy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

In Case you Missed it!

A very happy thanksgiving from my home to yours. I've been thinking about the menu and gathering what I need for dinner at my house this week. The Holidays can get easily stressful so I am making a point to spend time each day keeping things simple with daily walks on the marsh and taking a few minutes to write down five things I am grateful for.

Today the five things I am grateful for include 1) the super sweet article written about the release of my book in Friday's Enterprise ( I copied the link above in case you didn't see it) 2) long walks on the marsh 3) morning coffee 4) the love in my life from each of my children and the peace I feel that they each will be home for the holiday and 5) the release of my book.

What are you making this Holiday? an Old family favorite or are you trying something new?
What are you most grateful for?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Feeling Grateful & Looking Forward to Some Fun Events

"With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity".  ~ Mark Twain

 It's been a busy couple months at my house! I am so excited and looking forward to the very near release of my book. The wonderful people at Schiffer Publishing sent me a bottle of wine and an advanced copy of my book. I invited a good friend over to flip through the pages and enjoy the wine together. Thank you Schiffer--it was delicious! 

What fun it was to flip through. The book is a sweet and personal collection of all things from my kitchen and I am grateful for the opportunity to share it with you.  Below is a list of items I have scheduled for Upcoming Book Events for “Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen” by Linda Maria Steele

Book Signings

Saturday November 28, 2-4 pm Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham

Saturday December 5, 2-4 pm Mashpee Book Store, Mashpee Commons

Sunday December 6, 2-3 pm Titcomb’s Bookstore, Sandwich 
Saturday December 12, 1-3 pm Books by the Sea, Osterville

Talk & Signing

Sunday December 20, 4 pm West Falmouth Library, West Falmouth 

I chose the quote above because as happy and proud as I am to share my book with a wider audience it still  requires a bit of courage. I hope I see you at one of the events but if you can't attend please do order it either directly online from Schiffer Publishing or through Amazon. I hope you not only enjoy the book but that it inspires more creativity and fun in your own kitchen. And please do share with your friends!

 I have put together a couple of extra fun items that I will bring along to my signings including my original photo bookmarks, a writing prompt sheet for the Poems & Pies chapter and list of tips that my daughter wrote.

 In the meantime, Happy Cooking! XO

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cookie Update, Crazy Love & Book Signings

View from my Kitchen

Take a quick minute to click the link above to watch the short but sweet video my daughter's Bella & Sophia put together to promote my new cook book. Be sure to listen too because there's some "Crazy Love". We chose that song because it sums up my passion for cooking and baking. The book helps me share my passion with you.

As for the Cookies I had a sign to let people know the days I'd  have warm cookies for sale. I have to say I didn't get to it as much as I'd have liked. With my teens home and all their happenings in the house and getting Sophia back and forth to her camps there was only a single day or some weeks possibly two days a week throughout the summer I was able to put my sign out and offer cookies. Besides there were a lot of good beach days to be enjoyed with family and friends too!

 I have a jar filled with cookie money (to save for a rainy day like my Nana used to teach me) and a number of texts and phone calls from customers letting me know how delicious the cookies were. I baked dreamy island, celebration and whale shaped sugar cookies. All three recipes are in my cook book.

And I feel very grateful to the kind folks at Schiffer Publishing. My book looks beautiful and I feel we collaborated well. The marketing lady suggests the best way to get my book out there is to schedule book signings.  I will let you know when and where they will be in the upcoming months. I wrote a chapter called Poem & Pies and I am setting up a couple of spots to host a Poem & Pies Workshop. Where you can come see the book, bake a pie and have a chance to write a poem with super fun and easy writing prompts while waiting for the pie to bake. If you'd like I'd be happy to sign the book for you too.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the last days of summer!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Specialty Cookies For Sale!

"Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon".  ~C. Day Lewis

  Yesterday I took my daughter's down to Wood Neck Beach and we enjoyed the simplicity of the sun, water and sand. It was low tide and when it was time to head out I didn't want to go. Late afternoon, low tide in the summer at Wood Neck Beach is one of my all time favorite places to be. July 4th weekend offered so many good opportunities to be out on the water and enjoy the summer. Yay, summer is finally here!

Over the holiday weekend we went to three different parties and brought some of my favorite treats to share including my new fave: Red, White & Blue Sundaes with Vanilla Ice Cream, fresh blueberry sauce, slices of strawberry, whipped cream in waffle cone bowls. For the Blueberry sauce simply take a pint of fresh ripe and clean blueberries, a 1/3 cup of sugar, a 1/3 cup of water and a splash of fresh lemon juice place in a small sauce pan and boil then let simmer for about ten minutes. Stir occasionally. I also made a Lemon Cake and a batch of my Celebration Cookies.

The photo above is the cover of my book that will be available in November. I'm looking forward to sharing it. I think it came out beautiful and I hope readers, cooks and other fans of Cape Cod like it.

And listen to this--I'm home with my daughter's for the summer and decided to sell my cookies right from home. I have a sign that I'm putting out on the road to let people know I'm here and the days that I'll have my cookies available. I'm thinking only one or two days a week and I'll make Dreamy Island Cookies, Celebration Cookies & Starfish and Whale Shaped Sugar Cookies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Slowing Down to the Pace of Summer

 from Bike Path near Great Sippewissett Marsh

Summer Salad
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." ~John Lubbock
With my Spring Semester grades in I'm feeling grateful for the gift of summer days with (two of my kids) at home. My son opted for a summer intern position and he's living in Boston. So far, he's loving it and I know he'll still get to visit.
Summer is a time where I want to make more fresh grown salad and fresh berry pies, take more late evening walks by the marsh and soak up the summer sun by the beach with friends. My daughter Bella is home for the summer after finishing her first year at College. She was on her way to her summer job the other day and I offered to make a Summer Salad before she left simply because I'm happy she's home.
As an update I created a new line of book marks with my text and photographs and if you're in town stop by Twigs on Main St. in Falmouth and take a look. With the warmer days ahead I decided to plan a Girls Night Out. We decided to meet at my house for Appetizers and a cold Beverage.
My book "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen" will be available in November 2015 and I hope to set up fun events to get friends together to celebrate its release because it's something I worked hard on (the food and photos are super fun) and I'm proud of it.
And we had such a harsh winter on the Cape, that I'm looking forward to a bit of slowing down our pace of the hectic school year responsibilities and enjoying some lazy days at the beach. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


"Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate". ~ Alan Wolfelt

Here is the view from my dining room table on Christmas Day. It felt cozy and warm to make a fire while sitting down with my family for Christmas Dinner. I made some of our favorite foods between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because the making and sharing of good food is a symbol of my love for each of them.

My favorite meal over the holiday was breakfast on Christmas morning because I made Spinach Feta Quiche and Cinnamon Rolls. I made them the day before so I only needed to warm them in the oven after we exchanged our gifts to one another. I'd have to say my daughter Bella's favorite was that I baked one of my coconut pound cakes with fresh raspberries and drizzled chocolate for Christmas Dinner Dessert.

I've been receiving orders to purchase my recipe book from Amazon yet unfortunately I am out of my copies from my self published version. I apologize for not being able to respond to any requests yet. I am excited for the updated version to be published. For now, the details and deadline are out of my hand. The good news is I have done what I can so am waiting to hear from the Publishing Company about publication dates. I will let you know when I know.

Meanwhile, I have other interests and projects to tend to. One thing I'd like to do baking related is to start an ongoing Soup Swap. And of course, in the spring I will be teaching Analysis of Literature. And I've been writing more poetry too. My own photographs and text are captured in a series of creative book marks and for sale in local stores. I look forward to what creative opportunities and inspirations emerge as the new year unfolds.

Blessings for a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours from me and mine.