Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A many layered Cake or Where I've Been Hiding Lately

Hello friends! Hi Mom! How is everyone? Did you miss me? I missed you guys. Things have been... busy... to say the least. Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry Humperdink in little less than...

...wait. Wrong movie. Rewind. Start again.

This Cake has been busy! Busy cooking for friends, busy networking, busy cooking for work, busy making plans for the future, more cooking, meeting more new people, and then... then the Ankle of Fail returned and everything ground to a halt. In the middle of the street. Ouf.

Our adventure begins on a high note: cooking for friends. As someone who grew up in a family where affection was freely bestowed with hugs, kisses, and favorite meals I absolutely love cooking for close friends. There is no better evening for me than those spent with girlfriends with whom you share a mutual adoration, who love to talk to each other, who are appreciative of your cooking, and who are at home in your home.

The three ladies who graced my table last week are friends I met through school: my friend Keeana and I have known each other since 7th grade (never you mind how many years ago that was); through life: Ann, of deviled egg fame, is an honorary member of the family; and through work: Nahir, who is awesome to cook with, is among the group of friends I refer to as "the good girls from the bad job." The bad job ended almost six years ago but the friendship endures.

Along with wine, roast pork tenderloin with blackberry sauce, a garden salad, and grilled peaches with chantilly cream we talked, laughed, and planned our third annual girl's weekend to Cape Cod (the Saint Germaine bottle/bud vase is one I saved from last summer). I can't wait - love these ladies!

I went to my first blogger event on Thursday for the Boston Bloggers group. I met some fun fashion bloggers (who knew there were so many in Boston? Thank goodness I wore my new boho-chic top and one of the incredible necklaces Masi Tanvir has given me. Loads of compliments on the necklace) and a handful of local food bloggers. I took my own advice and just walked up and introduced myself. It's amazing how well people respond to a genuine smile (and an occasional admission of, "hi, I don't know anyone here. Nice to meet you!").

Cooking for Work
This of course came at the end of a long day of cooking. I've had this idea for a catering business for a while now. I've started working on a business plan and I may have found a catering partner in my co-worker turned friend Jordan. We had a very successful trial run of cooking together this past weekend at an art gallery show. Whilst deciding on a menu, we also decided on a name: Fresh, Savory, Sweet.

Don't you love it?! I do. So simple. So descriptive. And completely evocative of the food: a fresh watermelon appetizer with feta and mint; roasted asparagus and prosciutto in filo (and a vegetarian version with an apricot-rose jam glaze); oatmeal sandwich cookies with rhubarb-blood orange compote filling and white chocolate drizzle. Yeah, you love it.

I hope you'll be hearing more about Fresh, Savory, Sweet in the future but for the moment I need to concentrate on the business plan, insurance, etc. before I can safely launch the company.

More People; More Cooking
But wait, that's not all! I spent Sunday morning making about three dozen carrot-walnut muffins (recipe to come) for my first ever Boston Food Swap event! Have you heard of Food Swapping or been to an event? The premise is simple: community (and food!) minded individuals come together to swap foods they have made, grown, or foraged for other homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods.

In exchange for my carrot-walnut muffins I took home 3 different kinds of homemade jam (strawberry-rhubarb-basil; strawberry-lemon; and rhubarb-ginger), a spicy masala spice rub mix, granola, and best of all: a zucchini plant! I was so excited about the zucchini which is now planted in a larger pot on our little patio. The offerings were incredible; from homemade (prize winning!) bread to homemade ricotta to these gorgeously packaged white grape and berry kanten (also known as agar-agar, a vegetarian gelatin).

The Boston Food Swap is fast approaching its one year swapiversary and they're having a party! And you're invited! Yay! It's going to be a cocktail party with local foodie guest speakers. For more information check out this post by Boston Food Swap co-founder Tara Bellucci (she's also a Food Bloggers Network member! Our members are kind of awesome. You know, just sayin' is all).

The Ankle of Fail
Everything seems like a bed of roses, doesn't it? The sun was shining, there was a parade going on in the North End, and Thom and I were carrying home our swap loot when all of sudden, without any provocation at all, while crossing Hanover Street a pothole reached up from the ground, grabbed my ankle, and threw me viciously to the ground.

Yup. It happened exactly like that. Or... um... something like that. If you know me in real life then you know the Ankle of Fail has been a problem for many years, and never really healed right when I fell down those stairs and couldn't take the time to stay off of it. It's no surprise, really, that it gave out and I fell, but what was a surprise was that I absolutely couldn't bear weight on it and Thom had to take me over to the ER to get it x-rayed and then crutches, aircast and home. So, while I've been wanting to be on my feet cooking I've instead been on the couch catching up on emails and Mad Men. Honestly, I needed the break, but I don't have time for the break. And I don't want to be broken to get the break!

So stay tuned - Thom is doing the cooking for the time being (he made a killer chicken coconut curry with the masala spice mix), but I expect to be back at the stove in no time. Or... um... as soon as the orthopedist says it's okay to bear weight.


  1. Wow, you have been busy! I hope you are healing nicely and your ankle of fail is totally like my wonky left wrist. I had surgery back in college (right before the semester of my senior recital, smart move wrist), and ever since then it's been weird. I drop things for no reason, especially if it is something light, like a piece of paper. It will just fall out of my hand without me realizing it. You might notice it happen when we meet in August. Braden always makes sure that when I'm carrying food or a beer, it's in my right hand, aka the good one.

    1. Jessica,
      Wouldn't you know, just when you are super busy, your ankle fails. Hope that it is getting better. I have had many sprained ankles, and they are no fun.

      So many fun things going on in your life right now. Enjoy!

  2. Love the name of the business! Good luck with that and your ankle! These watermelon appetizers look amazing :)

  3. All this, except for ankle, sounds great. Now where are my muffins? Love, Bunny

  4. Well someone has been a busy bee...Sorry about your ankle. Those kind of things always seem to happen at the wrong time. At least it will give you the opportunity to do paperwork for your new business (and best wishes for it too).

  5. Oh no! Let me know if you need anything...deviled eggs or otherwise! :)

  6. Enjoyed the interview and what a post to to find. I don't know how you get all that done. I don't think I could. All except the ankle thing. I could do that without too much effort -- sadly.

  7. The Boston Food Swap sounds like so much fun!!! Hope your ankle heals fast.

  8. The name is perfect! Sorry about the ankle though....since you didn't have time to sit it out for a while, it looks like the decision was made for you. Best wishes for your new business!

  9. sorry about your's the time to REST! the name of your company....the food swap sounds so good....take care

  10. Jess, I'm so sorry to hear about your ankle. Congrats! That's awesome news about the potential for a catering company, and I love the name. Sounds like you made out pretty good at the Swap. I hope you heal quickly, and I can't see what you make for us when you're back on your feet.

  11. Sorry to hear about your ankle. I hope it heals quickly. I wish there was a swap in my area....that sounds like fun!

  12. Very busy indeed, good luck with the catering project. And so sorry for your injury and I hope you get better soon. I know how tough it is...still nursing a fracture from 3 months ago. Hang in there!

  13. I've been too shy to try hitting up the Boston Food Swap. lol!


    I love the name for your catering business.

    And, oh no! Poor ankle!

  15. What a great post! The Princess Bride quote was priceless. It's great to have so much going on. It's not great to suffer from the ankle of fail and I'm sorry that vicious pothole attacked you like that. I tend to have a knee of fail. Feel better soon.

  16. I just found this and as soon as I read the Princess Bride quote I said "ah Jesse" Hope the ankle is better and I love to photography and the food. I wish you all the best with the catering!


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