food & friends

perfect weekend for cooking with friends- look for good recipes and ideas at and let the chaos begin- check out

Ten Ways to Feed Ten People for Less Than $20…enjoy

just friends

what a week- I caught up with an old friend for hours and Ask Mom popped up with some new friends.. so I checked out ‘friends’ websites and found bazillions

quotes about friendship-

how to make friends-…/how-to-make-friends-
and of course read all of these while listening to Bette Midler’s Friends album….all you got to have is friends

almost fallish

there is nothing good about the end of summer, except for some of you your birthday is soon (and you know who you are), but I’ve decided to be positive…

good things about fall- btw it starts September 22, 2013 at 4:44 P.M.

 1. do absolutely anything with apples (applesauce, apple cider, apple juice, apple jack (whoa), apple cake, apple jam, apple pie (try melting some cheddar on it in autumn), apple chutney, roasted apples and sweet potatoes…

2. teach yourself something, since you’ll be inside more

3. learn how to make pumpkin pie or eat it

4. use cinnamon in your cooking

5. get some great socks and start wearing them again

6. take off the first rainy, chilly day and drink hot chocolate and play cards

7. get obsessed with a new TV show

8. open up the windows at night so you can pile on comforters

9. roast pumpkin seeds

10. get candy corn in as many different colors as you can find…enjoy fall


next time, ask first

Dear Mom- I called my mother and asked if she would be mad if I got my ears pierced (I’m a guy), and she said it isn’t the worst thing, but she would prefer that I didn’t do it. Too late, I already did it before I asked her. What should I do now?

Now you should hope that she doesn’t notice and don’t ask to borrow her earrings…

cats no, turtles ok

Dear Ask Mom, I live in an apartment and my next door neighbor, who I say hello to but I’m not friendly with, asked me to cat-sit for the week-end in my apartment. I hate cats, but I feel bad saying no. What should I do?

Maybe a compromise will work, offer to stop in and make sure that the cat has food and water and is doing ok a few times a day. If you’re not willing to do that just tell her you’re sort of allergic to cats and you’re sorry, but you have a pretty good record taking care of turtles…

best tiny berry tarts

it’s ok if you don’t have too many berries left, these tarts are perfect…enjoy

 tiny berry tarts


    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    • Salt
    • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 2 cups blueberries


  1. Pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar, and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With processor running, add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms (do not process more than 20 seconds).
  2. Cut dough in half; shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day. Cut 1 disk into 12 pieces; on a lightly floured work surface, flatten each piece into a 2-inch round. Press a round onto bottom and up sides of each cup of a 12-cup nonstick mini-muffin tin. Repeat with remaining disk of dough and second muffin tin. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Add berries; toss to coat. Fill shells with berry mixture. Bake until crusts are brown and filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly in tins. Run a knife around tarts; remove from tins. Let cool completely on rack.

berry good sorbet

make some berry sorbet for now and some for later…

Berry Sorbet


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups berries


  1. In a 2 quart pan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). It will turn into a sugary syrup.If you’re running out of time you can store the syrup in the fridge covered with plastic wrap until later.
  2. With a food processor or immersion blender, puree the fruit. You’ll need to end up with about one cup of puree. Mix syrup and fruit puree and combine completely. Pour into a 9-inch square metal pan. Cover and freeze until almost firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Remove from the metal tin and process very briefly with a blender or immersion blender, but don’t overdo this, you’re not making sorbet soup.  Place back in the freezer for two hours.
  4. Before serving, remove from the freezer and let it come to room temperature. This will keep for one month in the freezer.


beautiful berries

It’s almost the end of summer berry season, so if you’re headed downtown for groceries with a friend, turn around, you’re going the wrong way…find the nearest farmer’s market and buy buckets of berries…

There are lots of things you can make so that your summer berries will last past the summer: berry smoothies, berry vinegar, berry sorbet and berry tarts

Smoothies- use your favorite smoothie recipe and load it with berries

Berry-Berry Vinegar


  • 1-1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 to 8 blackberries for optional garnish (needed 10 to 14 days later


  • Rinse the raspberries and blackberries and drain on paper towels. Pat as dry as possible. Crush the berries slightly in a small bowl. Transfer to a wide-mouth jar.
  • Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat. Dissolve the sugar in it and pour over the berries.
  • Allow the berries to cool to room temperature. Screw on the cover and store in a cool spot (not the refrigerator) for 10 to 14 days.
  • Taste after 10 days for flavor. If it’s not strong enough, let it sit longer. If the flavor is strong enough, strain out the old berries.

Strawberries in raspberry vinegar:

Sprinkle a few tablespoons of  raw sugar on the strawberries, add a tablespoon of raspberry vinegar and macerate for 15 minutes. Serve.

recipes for berry sorbet and berry tarts tomorrow and Friday…





gift of appreciation

Dear Ask Mom- I know that you’re the right person to ask about this, I was invited to my friend’s ‘family home’ on a lake in upstate New York this summer and I did not bring a gift when I went there, should I send one now that I’m home? If yes, what’s an appropriate gift?

Yes, you definitely should send a thank you gift, something not too personal is the best. Handmade soaps and guest towels for the guest bathroom, ceramic candlesticks, a unique wind chime, a wine carafe or send a plant or flowers with a thank you note, all of these will make your hostess smile…and probably get you a return invite

I’m so sorry

Hi Mom- I did something mean to a very good friend and I want to apologize, what should I say to make it a good apology. signed Sorry

It seems like you’re really sorry so that’s a start, here are a few things you should do to make your apology heartfelt:

  • Let the person cool off before you apologize.
  • Don’t go over the whole thing again, you both know what happened.
  • Take all the blame and be honest about everything.
  • Apologize in a neutral place, keep things short and don’t turn it into high drama.
  • Promise it won’t happen again.