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1. I recently made this cake for a dear friend. It was 6 layers, one for every rainbow color, and was adorned with a rainbow lotus flower and rainbows with clouds.
In the next couple of weeks I have some confections on my plate and since the kitchen is the ONLY place where my month-long stress eye twitch goes away, I’m all for spending some time there. I am gearing up for an ice cream cake for my brother-from-another-mother, baby boy cupcakes for my absolute best friend’s little sister, a dear friend’s wedding shower cupcakes, a birthday cake for my mother, a graduation cake for my nearest and dearest massage therapist and nurse grads and something extravagant for my little sister’s graduation from NYU. OMG. WTF. When did my little sister become legal to drink, get a job and rule the world. I must have blinked.
2. I am desperately awaiting the arrival of ramps.
Perhaps what is more exciting than waiting for them to hit my local store is the 2011 Ramp Fest. The anticipation is unmanageable. Anyone else want to join me on the 30th from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. I will be the girl in all my ramp glory. Smiling and taking pictures and undoubtedly getting inspired by some amazing chefs in the Hudson Valley.
3. The sun.
I know it is hiding out there somewhere and it teases me just enough to let me know it’s coming. The grey needs to go away. And the sun needs to stay longer than a day. I have faith, it will stick around eventually.
4. Over the next couple of months our lives have been and continue to be filled with music… “everyone deserves music, sweet music.” ~ Michael Franti
We recently checked out Rachel Yamagata at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock, the Wood Brothers at Club Helsinki in Hudson, Bob Marley Tribute at the Bearsville Theatre and Badfish at The Chance in Poughkeepsie.
And on our plates is Mountain Jam at Hunter Mountain, Mendelson Men Choir at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston, Shemekia Copeland at Club Helsinki, Festival for Humanity in Vernon, and the Dave Matthews Caravan in Atlantic City.
5. It’s hard to imagine BBQs and patio time when it is so grey out, but I am sure we will get there soon. Right?
Awake, thou wintry earth
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~ Thomas Blackburn from “An Easter Hymn”
As a stellar foodie duo, we create healthful Sunday Night Dinners, holiday celebrations and food on-the-fly for our friends in the Hudson Valley. City Mouse – Thea – brings presentation, creativity and tradition and Country Mouse – Noel – brings style, expertise and vitality to the table every time. It is important that we utilize our resources responsibly to sustain local merchants, farmers and artisinal crafters.
Théa – The City Mouse
Day job: Online brand manager for an international handbag company
For fun: cooking, entertaining, writing, travel
Favorite food: Pizza
Nicknames: Thay, Theloniuos, Thyza Louise, Thalya
Favorite dish to make: cake (cupcake, cheesecake, ice cream cake, chocolate beet cake, etc.)
Most prized kitchen tool: Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
Why am I a foodie?
When my grandfather, known by all as Pipop, passed away two years ago we taught my Nana a valuable lesson in today’s lingo. We discussed, “We’re out,” “whatup,” and even “redic.” I think one of the only things that stuck that week was, “foodie.” Defined by many as one who enjoys, makes, creates, appreciates, loves and does food.
At some point that week, after many homemade dinners, and even more deli platters and desserts, I said, “Nana, we’re foodies.” All in agreement, my entire immediate family nodded as it made perfect sense to us. I couldn’t tell you when that actually happened though. It could be the hundreds of family dinners, the dozens of holidays, countless BBQs, endless Sunday brunches or the meal that happens when there are a group of people at my parents house and there is a sudden combustion of plates, garlic and hungry mouths.
Being a child of a foodie is a big responsibility. You have to entertain like your parents do. You have to cook with your heart and not just your head. You have to do it just like them, but still in your own style. You have to know how much pasta is for 2, 4, or even 12 people. And perhaps, most importantly, you always have to be able to get back to where it all started. That table where the foodies once ate altogether.
Now that I live two hours away from my parents, I make sure to give notice and let the head-foodie-in-charge know when I will be back, for how long and if I will be there for dinner. That answer is always “yes” and “what do you want for dinner?”
What I think of my relationship with Noel!
Everything happens for a reason. Noel and I ended up at the same table in Uptown Kingston about a year ago. We shared lamb sliders, blood sausage and chocolate cristinis, huge roasted asparagus and sangria. We talked food. And not just what do you do for a living / for fun food. Real food conversations. About the earth, traditions and technique. Not being classically trained myself, I learned a lot about Noel’s culinary experience and trade. And most importantly her love for life. It matched mine.
Common ground found, friendship began and then we entered the kitchen together. Game changer. Comfort meeting healthy, local meeting mass distribution, dessert meeting vegetables and most importantly, nutrients for the soul created provided and shared.
Noel is the brightness in a dull day, the reminder of the earth we are from and the laughter that makes me spit my wine out, give a ‘lil snort and hide behind my apron.
Noel – The Country Mouse
Day job: Personal chef, community activist and childcare provider
For fun: cook with friends, read, hang with kids, garden and enjoy music
Favorite food: All dark leafy greens
Nicknames: Noey, Curly Pumklin, Queen of Kale
Favorite dish(es) to make: Sauteed Greens, turkey burgers, gourmet pizza, tarts, veggie burgers, fish cakes, roasted veggies and roasted lemon chicken
Most prized kitchen tool: Personalized knife from Japan and onion goggles
Why am I a foodie?
I consider myself a foodie for a number of reasons all of which revolve around my love for people. I like to work creatively in the kitchen to share with others, what I call, “premium fuel” for the body. A good quality life containing healthful varieties of foods able to sustain, nourish and enliven others is just so awesome. Growing up with grandparents who grew and cooked most of their own food and a father who was adamant about providing well balanced meals has had an everlasting impact on how I utilize and value food. I have surrounded myself with friends who are passionate and active about the quality, health, sustainability and education of our food system. The Hudson Valley is booming with hand crafted sustainable farm to table connoisseurs and entrepreneurs, myself aiming to be an active participant.
What I think of my relationship with Théa!
Well…where to begin? When I think of Théa I always think of good times with good people, food and music. There is never a dull moment with and life is always lived to the fullest, if she has anything to do with it. I love this about Thea and I love how infectious it is on my life. Since we met, I have found my life to be more full with friends who enthusiastically sharing their passions and goals. This is important to me, because I am one who wanders through life exploring the endless possibilities to embrace. It seems there is always a door of opportunity awaiting around the corner and having encouragement and excitement from Théa is priceless . I would have to say that I think my relationship with her has been a gift so special that I shall never forget. And I endlessly thank her.