Sunday, September 30, 2012


This week starts the 2012-13 Season of Art in The Village of the Arts. The galleries, studios, restaurants & shops will be open and embracing the theme of A RIVER OF ART IN BLUE, in conjunction with the 3 month opening celebration of the new downtown RIVERFRONT. For my part, I'm constructing a faux river populated by lots of bluish (or could be Jewish) fish, boats & wildlife cookies

I'll have a bunch of classic BONNI BAKES goodies including Chocolate Orgasms, Breadstix & cookies bursting with Belgium Chocolate. I've been busy turning my incredible organic Keitt Mango into a variety of delicious & unique homemade jams. You can pick up the secret ingredients needed to duplicate my famous Curried Chicken Salad (Mango Chutney & Strawberry Mango Cardamom Jam) along with the free recipe.

If I can manage it, I plan to make some Blueberry Cheese Knishes too...but don't hold me to that. Either way, there'll aways be YUMMY STUFF so please stop by on Friday night from 6-9:30pm or Saturday from 11-4. I'll be set up under my BLUE TENT (of course) with twinklie blue lights in the driveway of 932 12th Street West.

It's quite a hectic week, starting with the opening Thursday night of the "THINK PINK" show at ArtCenter Manatee, from 5-7pm. When I heard they were mounting a show to support BREAST CANCER AWARENESS and all entries had to be PINK, I smiled. This month marks 15 years since I was first diagnosed with BREAST CANCER. I'm very lucky that my lump was discovered during a routine mammogram. Make sure you include one in your annual tests. I had no symptoms and that test saved my life!! But what could be more PINK than my transgender Flamingo Chair FLORINDA.

Here she is last year with Otis Whaley installed in her lap. You wouldn't recognize him today. He's now four years old and the big brother of little Imogene. You can see Florinda, or give her a forever home for $150, at "THINK PINK" during the month of October.

This season I'll be a participating vendor each week at Geraldson's Sunday Farmer's Market from 11-3, opening Oct 14th. The farm is in NW Bradenton on the right hand side across the road from Robinson Preserve. They offer a large variety of farm grown organic produce. You can also buy a share for the entire season of Nov-May. More information can be found at On Sundays you'll find some nifty vendors, unique products & a smattering of live animals. That's me with 22 lb Mr. Darcy below.

Because of all of the craziness this week, I'm not taking any special orders. Instead, stop by the Village ArtWalk Fri or Sat, or wait until next week when things will get back to normal (whatever that is) and I'll also be at the Sunday Market. You can always get in touch with me via the methods below.

Hugs from my TreeHouse kitchen,


(941) 746-6647
932 12th St West
Bradenton, FL  34205

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy New Year

This is a very important part of the year for Jews. Last week was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Like all Jewish holidays, food plays a critical part. The braided Challah loaf is sometimes baked in a round shape with raisins added . Cakes laced with honey & fruit are shared to symbolize a sweet upcoming year. After eight days of joy comes Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement. You fast for 24 hours while reviewing your behavior during the past year and pray for better. This 24 hour period traditionally ends with a huge meal to "break the fast" on Wednesday night. Then it's back to the diet.

Last week when I made Knishes, it transported me right back to my childhood and memories of the neighborhood deli. It was fun sharing stories with some of you who ordered them. I'm planning to make some dessert knishes in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

This week I'm baking loaves of braided Challah (with or without raisins). Aside from loving the golden richness of the bread, I adore turning thick slabs into the best French Toast. Here's some I had recently slathered with my Mango Daiquiri Jam.

The other item I'm making is classic Jewish Apple Cake. It's baked in a large pan, then cut to order. Back in the '50s each bakery slab weighed about 20 pounds...I'm aiming for something a little smaller. You can order it by the half pound.

Large chunks fresh apple, enrobed in cinnamon/sugar, is surrounded by tender old fashioned cake. It's not overly sweet, so you wouldn't feel guilty garnishing it with whipped cream. But it doesn't really need anything else in order to taste great.

Perfect at the end of a meal...any time with a cup of coffee or tea...packed in a lunchbox...shared with a friend...or munched while reading the paper at breakfast. This is the same Apple Cake that I sampled several weeks ago.

The Challah Loaf and Apple Cake are available by special order only and can be picked up on Friday or Saturday at my TreeHouse in the Village of the Arts. Challah is $4.50/loaf and Apple Cake is $10/lb (minimum 1/2 lb). Call (941) 746.6647  or email by Wed 9/26 at 5pm to place an order for this week's pick-up.

Next week, the first weekend in October, everything bumps up a few notches. We'll celebrate the  monthly Village ArtWalk, with this month's theme A RIVER OF ART IN BLUE. I'll have a hand-made blue river with COOKIE fish, folks, boats & animals. Then Geraldson's Sunday Farmer's Market opens for the season October 7th from 11-3pm.  More details & goodies next week. 

Hugs from my kitchen,

Bonni & Twinkie (guardian of the gate when she isn't napping)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This week it's all about KNISHES in the kitchen

When I grew up in New York City there were always unique foods sold on the street. Roasted chestnuts in their shells were doled out in little paper bags, guaranteed to burn your fingers as you tried to peel them. Hot dogs were perfectly grilled then placed in a bun with loads of brown mustard & sauerkraut, sure to spill & stain your shirt. Knishes came in two flavors: potato or kasha. There were always two schools of knish thought: baked or fried. I've always been in the baked camp and that's what I'll be offering to you.

Potato Knish

Kasha Knish

Potato Knishes are filled with a well seasoned mashed potato & caramelized onion filling. Kasha Knishes add a hefty portion of steamed buckwheat groats (kasha) to the former. This is the type of hearty hand-held food that kept my Russian ancestors alive through those brutal Winters. More recent fillings have included Spinach, Broccoli & Cheddar or Sauerkraut. For dessert there's also Blueberry or Cherry Cheese Knishes.

Blueberry Cheese Knish

If you'd like to order some Knishes (Potato, Kasha or Spinach) they're available this week only for $3 each. They're individually wrapped and freeze well. The dessert knishes will be available in a few weeks at the Village of the Arts October ArtWalk (Oct 5 & 6).

To order:
Call me at (941) 746-6647 or email
Pick-up is on Friday or Saturday at my TreeHouse home in the Village of the Arts. Cash or local check.

If this is Knish Week, what could next week bring?

Hugs from my TreeHouse kitchen,


Monday, September 10, 2012


I've been in a fierce race. It's that time of year when I have to utilize those gorgeous Keitt mangoes as fast as they ripen. This week's score is 23 mangoes from my tree vs 2 dozen jars of Bonni's Mango Butter.

Honestly, I think this tastes better than Apple Butter because it's a very pure taste, without added spices. Once the chopped mangoes cook down for about six hours, naturally concentrating their flavor, I add a little sugar and some fresh citrus juice. A couple of hours later the flavor is wonderful...not overly sweet but with a subtle tart balance. Mango Butter is something new for me and my taste-testers have all enjoyed it, especially mixed with Greek yogurt.

But there was still more mango left, so I made Mango Raisin Bread. It is a "quick bread", similar to Banana Bread.

But it wasn't very quick considering how much time it takes me to carefully separate the mango fresh from its skin. I'm seriously allergic to mangoes, something I discovered the hard way. I had picked mangoes from my organic tree for 10 years without issue, until that fateful day. It was hot and I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts. I carried several in my arms then splashed water on my face (without washing my hands). A week later I had a painful rash running from my side all the way up to the hairline on my face, plus swelling & itching. I thought I had Shingles, but it turned out to be an allergy to the clear sap that drips onto the skin of the mango when it's separated from the tree. That chemical compound is related to Poison Ivy. It's safest to leave a little of the colored flesh attached to the skin when you slice the fruit and always wash your hands with hot soapy water.

But the taste of Keitt mango was too good to give up, so now I carefully dress in my bio-hazard suit of hat, scarf, glasses, long sleeves, gloves, apron, pants and shoes. The unique flavor of the Mango Bread was worth it. Crunchy outside, moist inside with large chunks of golden mango, plump raisins and gentle spices in the background. It's delicious sliced as is, or divine toasted with a dollop of cream cheese or one of my yummy jams. Available as small loaves.

My plan is to send out a blog each Monday, detailing what I'll be baking later in the week. The Menu For The Week is posted along side this entry. If you see something that you'd like, you can order it by email or phone for pick-up later that week on Friday or Saturday. Once the Geraldson Farm Sunday Market reopens on Oct 7th, you'll be able to pick things up there as well. All jams & chutney are Vegan. If something is Gluten-Free I'll indicate that too.

As my schedule gets more organized I hope to offer bread and more of those special Jewish bakery items that I miss from my Brooklyn childhood.

You can reach me by calling (941) 746.6647 or emailing

Hugs from my kitchen in The Village of the Arts,