I am a mother of three, a grandmother of two and I currently work as a Pilates and Gyrotonic instructor. I have continued to evolve as a cook and baker over my 40+ years of cooking. My current fascination is with vegetables--organic and as much as possible local. I have recently experimented with cutting down the amount of sugar used in my baking recipes and with using coconut palm sugar as a substitute for white sugar. I hope to work on a new cookbook this summer (2014)--in between clients--of course!
This picture shows me at a bar in Philadelphia called Salsa in the Square. I am there to dance Rueda, a kind of Cuban salsa dancing that is danced with a partner in a circle with other partners. There is a caller who either speaks or signs calls and then the participants do the figures. It involves lots of changing partners and is terrific fun.
My philosophy of life: savour life, have fun, keep moving and eat wholesome food!
Why did you write this cookbook?
I wrote this cookbook to assist other families in creating quick and mostly nutritious meals for families. Cooking and eating at home is a way to slow down the hectic pace, to relax, and to reconnect with those we love. While going to restaurants can be a great experience, making satisfying and uncomplicated meals can also be a satisfying journey. After a rare restaurant journey my kids would say: "that was almost as good as home!" This was the ultimate accolade.
Can you give us a recipe with reduced sugar or with coconut palm sugar?
Certainly, I would love to. Here is something I just made. It is a variation on my brownie recipe and I use coconut palm sugar. The recipe is gluten free!! Almond flour and unsweetened coconut take the place of flour. By the way, these are delicious. They won't be around for long.
Flourless Brownies with Coconut Palm Sugar Ingredients: 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 3/4 C butter 1 C coconut palm sugar 1/2 C (scant) refined sugar 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 C almond meal or almond flour 1/4 C unsweetened coconut 3/4 C chopped walnuts (optional)
1) Melt butter with chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave oven. In a microwave, put chocolate and butter in a glass bowl. Start with 20 seconds, stop oven, then stir, and continue with 10 second intervals until melted. 2) In a separate bowl, whisk vanilla, eggs and sugars together. 3) When chocolate/butter mixture is slightly cooled, combine with vanilla, eggs and sugars. Do not over mix. 4) Add almond meal/flour and coconut. 5) Pour batter into a 9X13 inch baking pan which has been coated with a thin film of butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or when tested with a toothpick it comes out clean. Slice.
This book is intended to be a survival cook book of sorts. It is a combination of what I would hope to be “helpful ideas’” recipes, tips, and anecdotes for those men and women who feel somewhat committed to their kitchens, daily and nightly. Most of the recipes (other than cake and cookies) allow for substitution of ingredients or a variation in ingredients.