BookFest at the Marianne Beck Memorial Library

Exciting news! I’ll be the featured speaker at BookFest on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 3pm-5pm. From 5pm-7pm, all authors who spoke will be at a group Meet the Author.

My friend Carol Tate, who lives in Howey-in-the-Hills, will be introducing me. I’ve heard she’ll make tea sandwiches, and I’ll bring a sweet treat or two.

The Marianne Beck Memorial Library began as an Eagle Scout project before it was folded into the Lake County Library system. An interesting note in the “It’s a small world” category: Library director Tara Hall used to work at the Vero Beach Book Center.

I remembered that she was leaving the Book Center to go to a library, but hadn’t remembered which one. As soon as I saw her name, though, the lightbulb clicked on.

The flyer for BookFest is above – download it to see who the other authors are. If you can’t make it out to see me, maybe you’ll see another author.


Strawberry Gelato with Sugared Strawberries

We’ve been buying gelato when it’s on sale. It’s hard to resist the siren song of a tasty bargain, isn’t it?

Plant City (Florida) strawberries are in season, and the fragrant berries have also been on sale at Publix. I bought one package of ripe strawberries, and thought about macerating them with some sugar and putting them over the strawberry gelato.

Macerating is the same method as marinating, in which you soak food in flavored liquid. Generally speaking, macerating refers to soaking fruit this way and marinating refers to soaking meat or vegetables.

Sometimes I’ll macerate berries with sugar, a bit of salt, and a liqueur such as Grand Marnier or wine. Not having either handy, I just let the sugar break down the strawberries for the fastest sauce ever.

Strawberry Gelato with Sugared Strawberries

Strawberry gelato

Sugared strawberries

Balsamic glaze

Himalayan pink salt

Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries. Add 1 T sugar, or more if your strawberries aren’t quite ripe. Add a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness, and let sit at room temperature for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Place several small scoops of strawberry gelato in a pretty dish. Top with sugared strawberries. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan pink salt on top.

The Himalayan pink salt I have has large crystals, which give a nice salty crunch when you eat this. It contrasts well with the cold gelato, sweet strawberries, and tangy balsamic glaze.

Ice cream or gelato are perfect on their own, but it doesn’t hurt to dress them up, does it?


Avocado Toast

Publix had avocados on sale for 5/$5. I love avocados, and eat them with a sprinkle of salt right out of the shell. Husband likes his cut into chunks and dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

Avocado toast has become a thing, prevalent on menus for breakfast. Google tells me it made it’s first appearance in 1962, but it’s popularity has exploded in the past few years.

I picked up some German Dark Wheat bread, and it’s become my new favorite. Grainy, seedy, tastes healthy even though it’s probably not as healthy as I’d like it to be. Toasting it does all the things toasting does: warms the seeds, sprouts, and knobbly things in it, gives the bread crunch and texture. I’m swooning just thinking about it.

I can’t make breakfast faster than this, especially when I toast the bread while I blow dry my hair.

Avocado Toast

2 slices German Dark Wheat bread (or your favorite)

1 avocado, split in half, pit removed, and sliced in the shell

Toast the bread. Let it cool for a few moments before putting the sliced avocado from each half on one piece of toast. Use a fork to mash the avocado a bit, or leave it in pretty slices (assuming you removed it with a spoon and got pretty slices). Sprinkle kosher salt on top.

Eat and enjoy the smug satisfaction of a fast and filling breakfast.

Do you have a quick and easy breakfast?

Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

Making a sauce to top vanilla ice cream or gelato is an easy upgrade.

Husband had gotten the jumbo-sized bag of frozen wild Maine blueberries, and I thought about making a sauce. Healthy and delicious – score!

This sauce is fast and easy to make; it can cook while you’re making or eating dinner. It can be served warm or at room temperature, or even cold the next day.

Using a balsamic glaze instead of balsamic vinegar gives it a richness and depth of flavor that just cooking blueberries by themselves can’t.

I made it to go over ice cream, but I think it would also be delicious with a savory dish such as pork chops.

Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

2 C frozen blueberries

1 T sugar

1 Cinnamon stick, broken in half

1/2 t salt

1 T Balsamic glaze (found in the oil and vinegar aisle near the balsamic vinegar or salad dressing)

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until bubbling and blueberries start breaking down. Remove from heat and let cool; remove cinnamon stick.

Spoon over ice cream and dust with confectioner’s sugar.