s
Notes
Wednesday Recipe: Mandarin Tossed Salad

Mandarin Tossed Salad

Salad
1/2 head shredded lettuce
1 can mandarin oranges or sectioned navel oranges (in season)
1/4 cup almonds (slivered)
1 cup chopped celery
2 green onions with tops, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
Dressing

1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Put almonds and sugar in a small heavy pan over low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved almonds are caramelized. Cool. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Top salad with dressing. Enjoy!

For more VeryVera recipes, visit http://veryvera.com/pages/the-veryvera-show

You Have to Start Somewhere!

You have to start somewhere . . . I started cooking & baking with my mother and grandmother when I was young. It was truly a family affair. I'm now carrying on the tradition with my VeryVera family - with all of my talented & enthusiastic campers! The VeryVera 2015 Summer Cooking Camp for Kids is booking quickly and I know you do not want to miss it! Register today on www.VeryVera.com

Pre-Beginners (June 8-12th): ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT
Beginner (June15-19th): ONLY 6 SPOTS LEFT
Intermediate (June 22-26th): ONLY 10 SPOTS LEFT
Advanced Beginner (July 6-10th): ONLY 7 SPOTS LEFT
Beginner (July 13-17th): ONLY 7 SPOTS LEFT
Advanced (July 20-24th): ONLY 10 SPOTS LEFT

Thanks & I look forward to seeing y'all this Summer!

Happy Easter!

One of my favorite family photographs is this one from Easter 1958 with all of us in birth order - Bitsy, Trip, me, Harry, and Lou. Many of you recognize those names from the pound cakes that bore their names which were so popular in our VeryVera Cake line. I always loved the fact that I was sandwiched in the middle - I got center stage in every photo and of course I needed it in this picture since by dress stood out three feet!

As we all celebrate the Easter Holiday today, I hope you will think about the old fashioned values that are part of your family history. Sometimes it’s so hard to recreate what you now can’t imagine that your Mom and Grandmother were able to get accomplished. The age span of my siblings and I when this photo was taken was 15 years, so you can well imagine that my mother had her hands full. Thank goodness Bitsy was a very mature 16-year-old girl and Lou was a good baby. I will plead the fifth on where I stackedup in the behavior category, but I’m sure my brothers and sisters would love to weigh in on that one!

Happy Easter Everyone!

Vera

That's Spumoni!

Put a little Spring in your step with some Spumoni! This delicious, rich, & colorful frozen dessert is surprisingly easy to make.

Ingredients:
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) strawberry ice cream, softened
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) pistachio or toasted almond ice cream, softened
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) chocolate ice cream, softened

Directions:
Line a 7- by 9-inch loaf pan (9-cup capacity) completely with two or three pieces of plastic wrap, leaving several inches of plastic overhanging on all sides.

Spread strawberry ice cream in an even layer in the bottom of lined pan; freeze for 30 minutes. Spread pistachio ice cream in an even layer over strawberry; freeze for 30 minutes. Spread chocolate ice cream in an even layer over pistachio; cover with overhanging plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 8 hours, or up to 1 week.

Unwrap terrine and invert pan over a serving plate. Hold on to plastic wrap and lift off pan. Remove plastic wrap. Return to freezer for up to 2 hours, or serve at once. To serve, cut terrine into 1-inch-thick slices (dip knife in hot water and wipe dry between each slice). Plate, drizzle with chocolate, garnish with a sliced strawberry, serve, and enjoy! Salute! 

For more VeryVera recipes (as seen on the VeryVera Show), visit http://www.nbc26.tv/category/261059/entertainment-very-vera-show-recipes

OK. Who's ready for Sum, Sum, Summertime?

Oh, summer . . it brings warm & sunny weather, vacation, and of course everyone's favorite, VeryVera Cooking Camp! Summer 2015 marks our 12th year of Cooking Camp and the second year at our newest location, The Cottage.

Our Summer Camp classes will be limited to 18 students, divided into groups of 6. The Beginners, Advanced Beginners, and Intermediate Classes run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; Pre-Beginners Class runs from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Each week is described on our website. Please sign up using the DEPOSIT product and pay the BALANCE DUE the week before camp. (Or pay for both at once, if you'd like!)

June Cooking Camps
Pre-Beginners (ages 6 & 7) June 8-12
Beginners (ages 8-10) June 15-19
Intermediate June 22-26
Advanced Beginners (ages 11-14) July 6-10

July Cooking Camps
Beginners (ages 8-10) July 13-17
Advanced July 20-24

For details, to register, or to purchase a gift card, visit www.veryvera.com.

Times Have Changed

It's amazing how something very insignificant from your childhood can be found years later and make an incredible impact. I recently came across this wallet-size album in a box of old pictures while conducting research for my cookbook. My grandmother Vera always kept this photo album in her purse, and I always loved to look through it.

On this day I am reminded of my grandmother's stylish purses, her manicured hands, her pride in her grandchildren, and the manner in which she approached each day. I now keep my pictures on my phone. I don't think finding my iPhone will make a difference 50 years from now. Oh how times have changed . . . 

Granddog Finley

Grand Dog

This is Finley, one of my grand dogs. Not growing up with a dog has allowed me the opportunity now to understand how someone can truly fall in love with their pet. Getting a picture like this on a Sunday afternoon from my daughter in law Catherine brightened my day. How could you resist being in love with this baby doll??

Burrr!

When the winter weather temperatures dip, the Diet Coke I drink EVERY afternoon at 3:00 changes to Hot Tea. I was digging through my Tea Caddy in search of something different to drink today--I have my regular AWAKE by Tazo that I drink in the morning and my long-standing EARL GREY SUPREME by Harney & Sons that I drink in the late afternoon--but today called for something different. I was actually prepared to choose Constant Comment by Bigelow when suddenly this larger envelope of Tea was at the bottom of my Caddy. My dear friend Christina gave me a variety of specialty teas for my birthday last year, and it was such a treat trying them all. Somehow this one got left out and WOW….what a perfect day for a surprise. I can now highly recommend Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney & Sons, which reminds me of Fireball Candy! If you’re a Tea Lover….share this with your friends.

Holiday Memories

As I enjoy my family at Christmas this year, I love to think back to my childhood & the many traditions my mother & grandmother instilled in all of us. We lived in Raleigh & my grandparents lived in Atlanta. Grandmother (my namesake) was quite the homemaker and seamstress. We generally received the Christmas pajamas shortly after thanksgiving--it was such fun to be dressed all alike. The youngest of the pound cake namesakes--Vera, Harry, & Lou--were anxiously awaiting Santa Claus while Trip & Bitsy assisted Mama with last minute details. We listened to Bing Crosby's White Christmas & made cookies for Santa.

I hope each of you is enjoying the memories & traditions of your family.

Merry Christmas!
Vera

The Throwdown

Back in 2010, I was fortunate enough to be challenged to a Throwdown with Bobby Flay on The Food Network. Honestly, I truly had no idea he was coming! They threw out the bait and I fell for it! At the time, the Cooking Channel was launching, and I was asked to participate in a new show called Top That Cake. Did I know how to make the best carrot cake ever? Of course . . . and off I went.

I arrived to the filming and was shocked when I saw Bobby Flay standing before me. I tried to be compose my excitement--to not botch my chance on national television. My VeryVery Carrot Cake was the favorite, and I won the throwdown challenge. The rest, as they say, is history.

As you know, we closed our retail operation in July of 2013 and every time a rerun of this show airs, people flock to our website and our phones ring off the hook. Yesterday I had a clue when calls started coming in from all over the country that a rerun of that show must have aired. 755 visitors to our website yesterday clearly indicate that there is still energy surrounding our brand and the cake that actually launched my own TV career.

What's next on my list? A cookbook. Keep up with us and our progress on The VeryVera Cookbook. We are hard at work testing recipes and compliing the stories, memories, and andedotes that made VeryVera cakes and gourmet-to-go a tradition.

If you haven't seen the episode, check it out: 

 

 

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