There's a lot about me most people don't know. I live, cook, bake, photograph and write about it all on a sailboat. Yes, in the winter too!
I'm a New Englander through and through. Rhode Island may be my home for now, but Vermont has always had my heart. However, I just can't bring myself to live in 30 below zero weather in Vermont on a sailboat in the winter!
My sailboat - "Ladyhawk" - is a 40 foot center-cockpit cutter-rigged sloop, and is tied to the dock while I go on with my daily life, working, sailing and always writing. Life on a boat in New England has been a challenge especially in January, but one that I would not give up for anything. It gets a little scary in the dead of winter when there's 8 inches of ice around the boat and an icy ramp. The summer definitely makes up for it though! I love the boat life and have a million dollar view no matter which direction I look.
Most of my life has been one culinary adventure after another. Starting out in my grandmother's kitchen at the age of 6 ~ or younger~ I quickly became obsessed with food, baking in particular.
When I ran away from home to sail into the sunset, I traded in my beloved 10 burner commercial stove and 30 quart mixer for a 2 burner galley stove ~ affectionately called "My Easy Bake Oven" ~ and a hand-held mixer. The transition from cooking commercially for 200 to dinner for 2 has been interesting to say the least. I love to cook and bake and it's truly amazing what can be produced in a small space. My son still operates our wholesale cookie business, so whenever I feel like playing bakery, I go see him and all his BIG commercial equipment. I make a mess and he cleans it up!
Over many years, I've done it all:
* Owner and operator of Schatzi's Bakery Cafe, NH.
* Schatzi's Wholesale Desserts selling to distributors in New England.
* Pastry chef for 4 posh country inns including Rabbit Hill Inn, Vermont and Sugar Hill Inn, NH.
* Owner and operator of Honeymoon Kitchens, a wholesale dessert company in Vermont.
* Chef and caterer for the Strong House Inn in Vermont.
* Commercial catering for hundreds and just as many wedding cakes!
* Organic produce farming
* Taught healthy and vegan cooking classes.
* Self-published 2 vegetarian cookbooks.
* Organic chicken farming
* And last but not least a fascination with everything related to wine.
* I help decorate million dollar boats for a large mega yacht dealership! I love the smell of a new boat, especially if it's over 60 feet! I like to imagine what it would be like to put my 10 burner stove in there and cook for the crew! It's a hard life, but someone has to do it!
I currently this very lively blog called Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases which shows off everything I love ~ Baking, Cooking, Wine and Travel! It's like a giant vortex, sucking everything in its wake! Visit often, see what it's all about and tell your friends!
I've teamed up with Stampin' Mama Designs to create a regular feature that fuses food and paper crafts together, called "Bake It, Make It & Take It". I've written articles for Startcooking.com, and joining a few baking clubs like Tuesdays With Dorie, Blakes Bakes, Just Baking, and The Daring Bakers keeps me very busy and out of trouble. My fellow dock mates love me and are the recipients of all my rejects and leftovers!
I've had photos published on TasteSpotting, FoodGawker and Photograzing. I'm also involved with Operation Baking Gals, an organization of hundreds of bakers that send cookies and goodies to our troops overseas. Why not join us? I'm working with a publisher that sends me free cookbooks for reviews, then I give the cookbooks away! Everyone loves a free cookbook!
Even though my motto is: "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first", my other passion is wine. Wine tastings, drinking wine, learning about wine, and writing wine reviews. This obsession with "My life as a Wine-O" has earned me 2 certificates with Wine Spectator. I'm currently on the quest for the perfect Big, Red California Zinfandel. Any suggestions?
All this has come in very handy since I'm Suite101's Feature Writer for Baking & Desserts! I love writing for Suite101, we're a perfect match!
Check out all my recipes on the left sidebar of Spatulas & Corkscrews. You're only a click away from some of my best recipes!
When not cooking, baking or wine tasting, my interests are sailing, traveling anywhere I haven't been yet and anything sci-fi. I have a long list of things to do before I die and I scratch off more and more each year. What a life!
Cooking, baking, sailing, sci-fi, wine tastings, drinking wine, talking about wine, dinner on the boat, pizza on the grill, writing, cookbooks and Lake Champlain Chocolates!