A Real Sweet Week


For the best baked cookies use a light colored not a dark metal cookie sheet 

It’s been a real sweet week in the kitchen, but not without a few mishaps. Social media has a way of making one believe that all recipes look and come out perfectly, but for me that is far from the truth. On many occasions I have some real blunders. Like with Leena’s Finnish Slice Cookies from the blog Culinary Cellar. I got distracted by a phone call and over-baked them and then neglected to slice them while still warm as instructed. Instead of tender beautiful slices I had shards of brittle. Trial 2 gave me the perfect buttery delicious slice. These are the best cookies on the planet declared by my family. Bake them.


Speaking of family the week was extra sweet because I got to spend it with, well, lots of family. We spent 4th of July with my daughter’s in-laws and their extended family and then my brother and sister in-law came to visit. Here is what I made for the 4th.


Don’t those mini vanilla cheesecakes look grand. They look perfectly delicious, NOT. I had to fix them. The recipe was a little too sweet and after baked the cheesecakes were a little sunken in. Here is a hint…always bake extra so you can taste and adjust as you go along. The truth about cheesecake is that all it takes is some ingenious toppings to fix the defects. I filled the sunken in part with a dollop of sour cream to cut the sweetness and then topped with fresh seasonal fruit. The glaze is melted orange marmalade which adds just the right touch of bitter-sweetness to the tart fruit. It was a real joy to watch all the guests enjoy dessert.


Annabelle’s first selfie

As much as I love to bake, the sweetest part of my week is spending time with these two ladies. KiKi is in her glory being a grandmother. Annabelle is a beautiful mix of her mom and dad. She is just beginning to discover her hands and give us a true smile. She completely melts my heart. The greater joy comes from seeing a daughter be a mother. I am inspired by how calm and nurturing my Caitlin is. She has incredible instincts and I could not be more proud to call her my daughter. A long time ago she told me, “mom, one day we will be happy again” and she sure made it happen. I love my family.


But I am not loving my latest sweet treat. I think my fresh blackberry pie with a touch of orange is a little runny. Back to the kitchen.


A clear glass pie plate makes testing a pie crust for doneness easier

11 thoughts on “A Real Sweet Week

  1. Lisa, ever since I met you, I could hardly wait for you to experience grandmothering. I knew I could never ever tell you the joy it brings and happiness it adds to your life. I just waited and now see that you too are among the ranks of the happiest people on earth-grandmothers. My favorite part of your post? Aside from the “runny” pie, as you called it (even though I knew it tasted as wonderful as you are), the part where your daughter told you someday you both would be happy again. Annabelle is a miracle cure for what ailed you. Even though she can’t turn back the hands of time, she sure can make THIS time the best it can be. I’m SO happy for you!

    • such wise and wonderful words–just thanks for being my friend…and fellow grandmother. There will always be a little bitter-sweet in my blog posts as it is simply a part of my heart, but I am equally excited to face the future now and make the best of it.

  2. Geez Louise, Lisa, even your disappointments in he kitchen look great. 😊 Your granddaughter is absolutely darling!

  3. What a super blog entry this week. My favorite picture of Annabelle(and Caitlin) to date!
    I love how you share your mishaps in the kitchen which God knows we all have had. Nice job!

  4. Hi Lisa,
    Great post. Thanks for being always so open and personal. You are still the only person that we connected with from the world food event last November. My girls (Laura and daughters) just dropped me off at O’Hare for a trip to the factory in Padova, after a pasta demo at Eataly this weekend. If you look on our Marcato website or Eataly Chicago you can see us live in action. Keep sharing!
    Grazie, buona Domenica,

    Paul McCauley
    General Manager
    Marcato USA
    500 Renaissance Drive, Suite 105A
    St. Joseph, Michigan 49085
    Cell.: +1-269-697-9791
    Main Office : +1-269-932-0220

    • It’s always all about family. I have enjoyed very much using the Marcato pasta wheel and now watching your educational videos. Your pasta machines are just gorgeous, but that “tacapasta” pasta drying rack really caught my attention. It is amazing and a real genius product. My mom and grandmothers would dry the pasta draped over a broomstick. Thanks for letting me know about the videos. I am now following your instagram and twitter to learn more. Happy travels. I have been to Eataly, NY maybe some day Chicago.

  5. This post brought me to tears! It is so very true. Annabelle is one lucky lady. Also, “enjoy” is not strong enough a word for how delicious those mini cheesecakes are. Sylvie literally yelled for joy and held it in the air to admire it. The grown-ups loved them too 🙂 So happy to spend the 4th with you.

    • Sylvie is why I love to bake. Her love of my food is so pure and joyful. It’s simply heart-warming and healing. Love you all

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