The Schell Cafe has moved…

Please come to The Schell Cafe’s new location at

www.theschellcafe.com

If you are a subscriber and receive updates from The Schell Cafe via feeder or email, this will be the last! Unfortunately, when you move blogs around in cyberspace, subscriptions do not transfer. But don’t worry, you can easily re-subscribe at the new location.

I hope you’ll continue to be a special patron at The Schell Cafe!

Come see!

xo, Kristin

Tomatoes!!!

Remember I gave Husband a garden for Valentine’s Day? Well, the first fruits of his labor are finally here. Husband picked these jewels this morning.

Guess what we are having for dinner? Tomatoes with basil, salt & pepper.  If we decide to get fancy I might even add a drizzle of olive oil.

What is your favorite way to enjoy garden fresh tomatoes?

Community Sustained Agriculture!

It’s here! It’s here! Our first bushel of the season.  For those of you hanging around the cafe long enough, you know I’m a huge fan of Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) and we are blessed to be part of Tecolote Farms.  Our weekly baskets of fresh picked produce began today and for the next several months, each Monday, I will be giddy with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning.

Today’s basket included two big bags of fresh salad mix, savoy (crinkled) spinach, garlic, leeks, parsley, and mustard greens.  And to kick off the season, Katie and David tucked a birdhouse gourd in the basket.  Isn’t that cool?  Harvested last fall on the farm, they dried all winter in the greenhouse and are a special gift from our friends.  Littlest is currently outside trying to hang the birdhouse on the playscape.

I’m off to rescue the birdhouse gourd, but I can’t wait to share recipes with you inspired by the farm and the season.

Hipstamatic app for iphone

One of the things I would love to accomplish is learning to take better photographs.  I oooh and ahhh at fabulous photographs on various blogs and always think to myself — next week. Next week I’ll learn all about aperture, shutter speed, ISO and meters.  Well, four years of next weeks have come and gone and while I’ve definitely learned a thing or two, I still do not have the thriving, healthy relationship I crave with my Nikon.

I feel certain I am up for the task.  At least I’m telling myself mastering the art of photography is a time constraint rather than an ability issue.  I long for the day when I fully know and appreciate my Nikon. I dream of several lenses I can change with ease and of tossing around phrases like ‘hand me my macro lens, I’m trying to get a close up of the osso buco while the light is perfect’.  Traveling with my well loved camera and all its accoutrements will be a breeze, not to mention uber-stylish because I would definitely carry my wares in an Epiphanie bag.  (Which do you like best? Personally I’m partial to the turquoise…)

Until my fear of photoshop subsides and/or I find myself on a deserted island with my camera, laptop, and a full-time photography instructor I’ve found a very trendy solution.

Have you seen the Hipstamatic app for iphone? Rush over to your app store and download it now.

This artsy rendition of my morning coffee was taken with a John S lens, Ina’s 1969 film, and a Dreampop flash.  See, I already sound like a better photographer. I like the ethereal beauty of my ordinary cup ‘o java.

Of course this is all tongue-in-cheek, and I have no intention of permanently breaking up with my Nikon.  But, this fun little app will certainly come in handy on the days when no matter what my photography skills may be, the perfect shot just ain’t happening.

Emeril and The Saints

It’s Super Bowl Sunday.  I’m sandwiched between Husband and our soon-to-be ten year old son watching the pre-game commentary.  We are a united house and have our fleur-de-lis, #9 jersey, and NOLA mojo all goin’ on.

But really, you didn’t stop by The Cafe to talk about football, did you? In between the anticipated commercials I’ll fill you in on dinner with the Saints-loving, patron chef de New Orleans, Emeril Lagasse.

When the invitation came for the intimate dinner, I thought the night would never arrive.  Trust me, it was only momentarily embarrassing when Husband & I were the first to arrive at our friends home for the dinner.  As soon as I saw Emeril cooking in the kitchen I knew we were in for a treat.

I only took a few photos so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you the food was amazing.  Better than the food was the opportunity to just hang in the kitchen with Emeril.

I can’t believe I just said that!

Emeril was delightful.  He is an amazing storyteller and he regaled us with history and lore with each course he served.  Despite his fame and accolades, he’s very approachable and talked about family, fishing, and of course his beloved New Orleans and Saints!  The role Emeril has played in the rebuilding of New Orleans is truly remarkable and his Foundation is making a significant impact educating inner city children with culinary, gardening, and life skills.

But, back to the food…

The table was simply elegant.  Any hostess knows seating 14 people is well, odd.  But not so this evening.

And the flowers….

Hanging in the kitchen while Emeril plated up Oyster Bisque….

Husband’s menu…

Need a close up?

What was my favorite thing on the menu? Hands down the Oyster Bisque and the Confit Pork Cheek.  To my knowledge I’ve never had pork cheek and it was exceptional.  I told Emeril this was my favorite and he said he was glad to hear it as it was the only item on the menu that he and his team went back and forth on.  To which I responded  ‘always trust your instincts’.  Seriously?!?! I told Emeril Lagasse to trust his culinary instincts.  I politely hid out for rest of the evening in the powder room…

And just when we thought we couldn’t manage another bite the biggest surprise of the night arrived on our plates.  Emeril’s Signature Banana Cream Pie.  I have to be honest, I would not have ordered this off the menu given options that included chocolate.  And I’m so grateful I didn’t have a choice on this special evening.  Maybe because it was so unexpected or maybe just because it was so over-the-top divine, but it is now my personal quest to recreate Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie.  Think I can do it? It’s going to have to wait for an uber-occasion as it purportedly has 1575 calories per piece! Maybe for Husband’s birthday?

Speaking of Husband, here he is talking about fishing with Emeril and his Culinary Director, Chris Wilson…

And Husband & I with Emeril…

I never heard him say ‘BAM’, but he did leave us with his trademark signature…

And joyous memories for a lifetime.

Now, back to the Super Bowl…

Kickin’ it up a notch…

Last night was somewhat of a fairy tale for me…

I can’t wait to tell you all about our dream dinner with Emeril, but I have to digest it all first.  Oh, and get the Littles to school, go to bible study, do twelve loads of laundry, and hit the grocery store.  But, as soon as I finish my Cinderella chores, I’ll share the details of the fete with you.

BAM!

Love, Kristin

Blogging Anniversary!

As luck would have it…

With those first words, four years ago today, The Schell Cafe was born.  I remember the night well and the first menu I blogged.

Sea Bass Sauteed with Leeks & Red Pepper

&

Mixed Vegetable Tian

At the time, I had only seen two blogs.  I followed one written by a family who successfully adopted two daughters from Russia.  I remember linking to their blog from an adoption forum and thinking everything about these webpage thingamajigs was just cool.  I followed the trail straight to Blogger.

My dear friend Lulu, who is way ahead of every trend, also penned pages at Blogger.  I figured why not give it a whirl?

So, with a first menu under my belt and wine in hand, I bumbled through setting up a Blogger account.  Husband dubbed me Saucymomma and the journey began with this very first post.

So much has changed since that night in 2005. Both at home and at the virtual cafe.  The most important change occurred in 2007 when Littlest was born.  It’s almost impossible to imagine life before her!  The older three Littles have all started school and Husband has renewed his passion for fishing.  We renovated the kitchen.  And less than six months later tore the entire house down and rebuilt it.

The virtual cafe has evolved over the last four years too.  I’ve changed the look of the cafe more than once, moved to wordpress, bought my own domain, and updated with widgets and tools as time and my limited technical abilities allowed.

Through it all, I’ve kept on cooking and writing.  And you, dear readers, through it all (and for some reason) have kept on reading!

So, it should really come as no surprise that, once again, I have some changes in the works!  I’m working with a web designer who is helping me renovate the cafe, so to speak.  There will be friendly features I hope you will enjoy and find useful as we continue to cook together.  In addition to the cooking features, the menu at the cafe will be expanded to include a more personal glimpse into the cafe, specifically my spiritual life.  Many of you have found my writings over at The Kitchen Mission.  Part of the new web design will be to merge these two sites.  Soon The Schell Cafe will be serving daily offerings of food and faith.

In the meantime, please know how grateful I am for each of you.

Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Love,

Kristin (aka saucymomma)