Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yule Log!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mixed Brushetta plate

From left - Gorgonzola and poached pear, tomato, roasted red pepper and olive tapenade....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


lecker.. delicious, decedent... recipe to come

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Birthday cake!

Healthy cake with edible flower decorations, simple is always classic!
 Here is the recipe

1 stick of organic grass fed butter
i cup of raw local honey
2 cups of chunky organic applesauce - I made my own from some local apples
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached pastry flour- you could also use 50% wholewheat, 50% pastry but the texture will be more dense
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
optional extras include organic raisins, you could add nuts ect

Butter and flour a 10 inch  bundt pan - you can also bake this is a round or square tin but I think the bundt pan makes it look more festive and beautiful!
Cream together butter and honey
Stin in applesauce and vanilla mixing well
Sift flour, spices, and baking soda over the applesauce mixture. Stir well
Pour batter into pan and set on middle rack of the oven. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn onto a rack to cool.

Decorate with edible flowers such as nasturtiums, borage, calendula, apples and I put a festive vase of flowers in the center of the cake.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A quick birthday message to my neighbor who did not want his age on the plate!  Edible flowers from the garden and a quick butter cream icing made these little cakes a delight for the eyes and the senses!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are there "GAPS' in your family diet?

Until I left home for college, the "Nourishing Traditions" approach to eating was all I knew even if I didn't even know there was a formal name for it at the time...  After all I was brought up by a very wise mother in rural Ireland who fed us primarily  raw eggs, raw milk, cod liver oil, liver and bone broths along with the best and seasonal produce and meat all produced on our small self sufficient farm.... Fast forward 20 years and having lived in many different countries and even continents and my diet had migrated towards something very different that didn't resemble the "wise " diet of my formative years.... think croissants, coffee, lean meats, still a lot of home cooking but somehow the important basis of a nourishing diet had been lost as did some of my vitality, clarity and health. In 2006 before I became pregnant with my son, I discovered the book that changed a lot of things for me and give me some " aha" moments, even then I was still struggling with all of the different diets and their approaches out there, raw, vegan, vegetarian, you name it, I read about it, tried it, developed amazing recipes for them but somehow I kept coming back to the realization that cooking the traditional way is the best, be it French, Irish, Italian or any other cuisine...

 I also was lucky to attend a conference in which Dr. Natasha McBride, author of the amazing "The Gut and Psychology Syndrome" was the keynote speaker and met an amazing women in the Ann Arbor community who had successfully implemented the "GAPS" diet to help her son overcome some health challenges. She made me aware of how challenging it can be to do this alone, without support and without general societal understanding and comprehension of this approach to eating.

 In 2011, my own family was confronted with a major health crisis in which I had to overhaul every facet of our diet, and the regiment of the implementation of the GAPS and Nourishing Traditions dietary principles became a cornerstone of our life. Happily, the crisis has subsided and the whole family feel and look healthier. I came in contact with many other people who started to make the connection between their gut health and their overall well being ( or illness) and who experienced amazing positive changes in their health status through adopting this dietary approach.

As a result of both my background and experience, I have decided to focus more of my business efforts in helping families and individuals reclaim their health through application of the principles of the "Nourishing Traditions" and or full or partial GAPS diet depending on the circumstances. The support I offer could be simply helping a family become organized in their kitchen to implement the diet, or could be more hands on though preparing the staples of the diet ( bone broths, fermented staples, condiments)  and or designing and cooking weekly, bi weekly or monthly menus that are compliant to the diet, yet innovative and seasonal.

I  plan to work in consultation with local physicians, specialists or naturopath's that are resident in the Ann Arbor area that would recommend a " GAPS" approach to a specific health concern and I am  especially interested in working with families with young children.

Contact Rita @ 734 395 2514 for further details.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Private dinner with cooking class....

Would you like to enjoy a wonderful meal in a lovely charming home or in your home and learn some cooking skills at the same time? Read some of the reviews of some of my recent clients on their experience and why they liked this so much....

"My boyfriend gave me in an in-home cooking lesson with Rita for Christmas, and it was a fantastic experience! I am a beginner in the cooking arena, and she took the time to demonstrate basic cooking skills with explanations that were easy to replicate. My boyfriend is a more experienced cook, and she was also able to show him new skills that he has found to be very useful. Rita is an excellent teacher and was very patient!

She planned a wonderful menu which accommodated my dietary restrictions, and considered some of our favorite foods, showing us new ways to incorporate them into dishes. She also provided some of the appliances that I did not have in my kitchen, which was a great help! We recently re-made the meal from the lesson, and it turned out really well! Although we didn't need to, I know Rita would have been eager to answer any questions we may have had.

Rita also shared stories of her travel, family, and how she got started in the culinary field. Getting to know her was such a pleasure! I highly recommend this experience, it was such a great gift! " Krysta, Plymouth, Jan 2012