Life Is Good!

I had the pleasure of joining my son John, his wife Mallory, and their daughters Jane and Lucy on their family vacation last week. I was able to experience and savor special moments that everyday life does not always allow. I loved watching the girls! Lucy is so creative, inventing characters and stories while playing on the beach. Jane was such an angel, adjusting well to the differences each day brought. And sweet, attentive Lucy always made sure "Sissy" was included. Honestly, the biggest joy for me was to experience the daily interaction of this family & how proud I am of these parents. Life is good!

Thinking of You

Today my mother Betty Stewart Wingfield would have been 98 years old. Her Wesleyan College Senior Portrait is one of my favorites. She used to always tell us we were so pretty and she just didn't know how she had such beautiful children. I thought she looked like a Beauty Queen.

I have written about my Mama numerous times over the years, and I constantly tell of her strength and determination—two of the greatest gifts bestowed upon me. How this young widow provided for five children, I'll just never truly know.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror and see features that are hers—specifically my blue eyes and grey hair—I am so grateful for the many lessons from Mama Betty! The family has grown and there's a little bit of Wingfield in all of us: five children, twelve grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. Mama would be proud.

Happy Birthday Mama!

Family Blessings

Saturday our grandson Charles “McClendon” Stewart was christened at St. Mary’s on the Hill Catholic Church in Augusta. His parents are my son Daniel and his wife Catherine. The gown McClendon wore was 107 years old—worn for the first time by his great grandfather Laurence Joseph “Pat” Ward, Catherine’s paternal grandfather. Weighing 9.8 oz. at birth, McClendon was fortunate to be in the dress at 2 months old. (He currently weighs almost 15 pounds). Isn’t he beautiful!
Each grandchild (seven in all) is truly a blessing, and it’s always a celebration for us to gather for moments like these. Watching each child grow and change is almost overwhelming. From christenings to graduations, and all of life's precious moments in between; to have this opportunity to watch our family grow is a gift from God.
Family Secrets

Today Lucy turned two. Her Mom & Dad thought this vintage-inspired kitchen set would be the perfect gift. I think she agrees.

Meanwhile, I'm tasting and perfecting cake recipes for the cookbook in my test kitchen. I'm keeping those recipes under wraps until the cookbook is completed; well, I may have to share a few of the secrets with Lucy! #Lucy #birthdaygirl #family #GrannyV #VeryVera #cakerecipes #secretrecipes #familytraditions

The Memorial Day Dessert: Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake

1 watermelon about 7­9 inches in diameter
1 container (8 oz) fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 ounce nonfat light lemon yogurt
Fresh fruit to decorate cake (kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, e.g.)

Remove the cap from each end of the watermelon (about 1/2 - 2 inches.) Stand the watermelon upright on one of the flat sides. Using a long slender knife, cut along the inside of the watermelon just before the rind. Slowly work your way around the circumference ensuring the blade reaches the bottom on each cut. Flip the watermelon over and repeat. Next, cut the rind vertically to release the watermelon cylinder. Transfer watermelon cylinder to a serving plate and set aside. Pat dry with paper towels so that the whipped topping will adhere. Fold together whipped topping and yogurt. Place watermelon on flat serving plate. Frost top and sides with whipped topping mixture. Decorate as desired with fresh fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The cake can be stored several hours or overnight. Cut in wedges, serve, & enjoy!

Harnessing Creativity & Imagination with Cooking

"Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It's about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity."
- Guy Fieri

I love this quote by Guy Fieri and could not have said it better myself. These are my same thoughts about the VeryVera Summer Cooking Camp for Kids. Yes, campers learn to bake, cook, plate, set a table-etiquette and life skills-but they learn so, so much more.

Space is limited, so register your child / grandchild today for VeryVera Cooking Camp. Ages 6-14: week-long Summer sessions. *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 SOLD OUT
Beginners (ages 8-10) June 15-19 SOLD OUT
Intermediate June 22-26 8 SPOTS LEFT

July Cooking Camps
Advanced Beginners (ages 11-14) July 6-10 5 SPOTS LEFT
Beginners (ages 8-10) July 13-17 SOLD OUT
Advanced July 20-24 9 SPOTS LEFT

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

Wednesday Recipe: Mandarin Tossed Salad

Mandarin Tossed 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

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!


That's Spumoni!

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

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

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

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