Thursday, September 4, 2014

What I did on my summer vacation

Sesame Seed Bagels
Sweet Potato Mini Galette

I hope you had a terrific summer. Whenever possible grabbed a little time to bake some old favorites and a few new ones. 

This was my summer of pie crust. After lots of experiments I settled on one that melts in your mouth, whether filled with plump pieces of fruit or savory veggies. And there's no lard or shortening in it. 

Flaky Apple Turnovers

There was also a flight of fresh blueberry mini tarts, filled with tangy homemade Key Lime curd, in a delicate shortbread crust. Definitely rated  A++. 

Blueberry Lime Tartlette

Thanks to all of my taste testers who continue to give me valuable feedback. You'll find some of these items on the menu when BONNI BAKES resumes for the season in October

I also spent a lot of time sorting & organizing too many boxes of belongings, sloughing my way toward a less cluttered life. It feels like I've gone through a ton of "stuff" and should be finished by now, but no such luck. Cardboard must be a sexy material because those boxes seem to multiply as soon as my back is turned. 

Approaching NYC from the air

Last week I returned home after a couple of weeks up North visiting family & friends. The weather was spectacular. I embraced the low humidity, daytime temps between 70-80 and sleeping with the windows open. It was Heaven! First stop was the "new" Brooklyn, definitely not the one I grew up in. After 15 years in Bradenton with snow-birds & early-birds, it seemed strange to be surrounded by hipsters in their 30s & 40s. Even the dogs sport colorful mohawks.

Molly's Jasmine is a trend-setter, although not a "Setter"

There are still a few aging Polish folks, sitting outside on folding chairs, who've lived in Greenpoint all their lives and looked as out of place as I did. A large ground floor window in my son's apt appears to be a mirror from the street side. Lots of people stop as they walk by to check out how they look. You can see some of their amusing selfies, as well as shots taken from the inside looking out, at Instagram #greenpointglass. Talk about people watching.

Looking up through the clear wet floor

We went to a unique theatre to see the Brazilian acrobatic troupe Fuerza Bruta's show "Wayra". In a three story high dark space the large audience stands, immersed in a light show moving to the pulsating beat of eight booming drummers on stage, while a series of amazing things take place. At one point a gigantic heavy gauge clear plastic floor is lowered to 7 feet above the ground, spraying water from the sides while four performers energetically slip slide across, barely inches over your head. Later, a female performer called me out to dance and I couldn't resist. See more at their website

I think The Devil made me do it

The kids & I checked out MoMA PS1, the satellite museum in Long Island City. Nice touch that it's free for local residents. The current show features a lot of politically confrontational work from the past few decades. One gallery combines both paintings & floor pillows by the same artist. It's a comfy way to view their work, but don't fall asleep Abby.

Becoming one with the artwork
We finished our tour on the rooftop of the transformed former public school, surrounded by organic raised beds of veggies & herbs, plus fabulous views of Manhattan. I was back in my element, laughing with my kids and feeling one with the City. 

I'm so lucky to be the Mom of these great kids
Over that long weekend I enjoyed fabulous NYC food, starting with a late Middle Eastern dinner under the stars. Most highlights came from the sea including home grilled salmon, Blue Water Grill's swordfish and a lobster brunch. 

Lobster Salad from Brooklyn's Lobster Joint

What concentration, she didn't move a muscle

Saturday afternoon my friend Judy & I wandered through Central Park to pleasantly get from the East Side to the West Side. We encountered a female "statue" who came to life when you threw money in her donation basket. The park was alive with exercise classes working out on the grass, couples rowing across the lake, families watching toy sailboats and hundreds listening to a free concert. What a perfect way to spend the day!  

The surrounding buildings were just drab
While driving through Manhattan we passed this incredible building, whose entire facade has been turned into a colorful canvas. So cool!

A wonderful thing about New York City is that around every corner you might encounter something, or someone, unexpected. Variety is part of its DNA and is embraced by natives, transplants and tourists alike. 

Vive la différence!

Bolt Bus fares start at $1

Monday morning I took Bolt Bus to Greenbelt, MD. It took four hours & cost $20. They keep costs down by not having a terminal building. Happy travelers, with reservation receipts on smart phones, line up at a designated spot on the street. These clean efficient buses offer free wi-fi, luggage bays and seasoned professional Greyhound drivers. 

We need a dependable inexpensive way to get to Tampa, especially the airport. Megabus, a similar service, has buses from Tampa to some cities in FL. We should lobby them to include Sarasota/Bradenton in their expansion plans.

Come out & join our team at this year's Breast Cancer Walk

This October we'll celebrate" Breast Cancer Awareness Month". I think it's aptly named because most breast cancer survivors I know were diagnosed in October, including me. I'm very grateful to be alive & celebrating 17 years as a survivor. The annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, takes place October 18th at 9am at the Polo Grounds. It's an opportunity to educate people & raise funds for research and local programs, like the one offering free mammograms to uninsured women. As usual, I'll be walking with my team "Oinking For A Cure" headed up by Sharon Carlson. 

First Place Winner @ Artsy Undies Show

Since I suck at asking people for money (fundraising), I've resorted to numerous methods in the past. My most memorable was "Artsy Undies...a show" at BONNI BAKES Bakery/Cafe, where dozens of supporters decorated bras & panties, which became the basis for a month-long gallery show.

Buy my cookies to help find a cure for Breast Cancer

This year I'm baking & selling individually packaged handmade & decorated 
You, your friends and co-workers can support this effort by ordering some. I'll take orders during September and they will be available for pick-up in October. Email me at or call (941) 746-6647. 100% of money collected from the sale of these cookies will be donated to the American Cancer Society on Oct 18th. Right now, 1 in 8 women will develop Breast Cancer in her lifetime. Let's change those odds! Thanks for your support.

Just as an aside, my cancer was detected as the result of a routine mammogram. Please encourage the lovely ladies in your life to make sure they have an annual check-up and see a doctor promptly if they find an unusual lump. Although most scares are benign, it's important to follow up.

The latest batch of MANGO CHUTNEY cools on the counter

I came home just in time to gather the last ripe mangoes from my tree. I'm making lots of jam right now including the usual suspects, plus some new ones like Mango Tequila Lime and Carrot Cake (great on top of bread & cream cheese). I think it's going to be a very tasty season.

Hugs from my kitchen,

Bonni & Twinkie (asst head taster)   

in the Village of the Arts
932 12th Street West
Bradenton, FL  34205

(941) 746-6647

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you will be back in town and baking.