Maat Publishing Hosts Authors’ Event at Arlington Center for the Arts

ACA_logoMaat Publishing’s last author event for 2015 took place at the Arlington Center for the Arts in Arlington, MA. This was an especially memorable event as Steve was one of the original founders of the center 30 years ago and it meant a lot to us to see the Center was still going strong and supporting the arts. Additionally the event was special for Maat Publishing, as we began to publish other authors’ works. At this event, it was exciting to be able to showcase our first author, Navya LaShay and her book, The Wisdom Keepers.

Authors from Massachusetts and New Hampshire took part in the event — several were members of the ACA. Each author was invited to talk about their writing and their books. Many thanks to authors Michele Barker, Steve Carter, Coralie Hughes, Rachel Hyde, Peggy Kornegger, Navya LaShay, Katie Li, and Lauren Muscarella for reading from their books and sharing their writing gifts with attendees. And a great big thank you to the Arlington Center for the Arts for having us back at the Center to share the art of writing.

Rachel Forrest Reviews No Fret Cooking

RachelForrestFood writer Rachel Forrest reviewed No Fret Cooking recently.

Sure, you can cook a meal for your sweetheart or family (or both) without music playing, but is chopping nearly as fun in utter silence, without some rhythm and funk? Sauteeing is better with samba and stirring simmers with soul music accompaniment….

Read the review here.

Still Summer but Almost Fall

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Summer warmth in the air mingled with splashes of color as the leaves are just beginning to change; a sure sign that Fall will soon be here. My mind wanders as I imagine the warm scents of a fruit crisp bubbling in the oven. Deciding it doesn’t need to be a cool day to make a crisp, I look to see what fixings I can gather from an almost empty fridge, where I discover lots of gluten-free organic oats, sliced almonds, dates, butter, and several very ripe red pears. Excellent, I have all I need to make a yummy Fall dish even though Mother Nature still says it is summer! It is perfectly fine with me if this warmth continues up to Thanksgiving. I am doubly grateful for this warm beautiful day and the fixings for a crisp! Delicious it was, indeed, so I’m sharing the recipe below. But first an FYI: the crisp is gluten-free, sugar-free and now considered acceptable for those on a Paleo diet due to new research that proves our ancient ancestors did indeed use ground up oats.

Pear-Oat-Almond Crisp

Ingredients

7 pears, chopped (I used red skin pears)

3 dates, chopped

3 TBS butter, soft

¼ cup almonds, sliced thin

¾ cup oat flour, freshly ground

1 tsp cinnamon

ginger to taste

Directions

Lightly coat baking dish with butter. In medium bowl, mix pears with spices and dates then put into baking dish. Mix flour, almonds, spices together then add butter and blend until crumbly. Mixture will be a little sticky. Spread evenly over fruit. Bake in 350 degree oven about 45 minutes or until done.

How-To Festival at Portsmouth Public Library

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On Saturday, August 1st, at Portsmouth Public Library in Portsmouth, NH, I participated in the second annual HOW-TO Festival. There were 25 different presentations or events that took place over a period of 5 hours. My presentation was from 2:00 – 3:00 on How-To Make Healthy Cooking Choices. The attendees at my presentation were interested in health and learning some more tips about healthy eating and some interesting conversations were had. Near the end of the presentation I walked them through the process to make their own organic vanilla and they got an opportunity to smell real aged vanilla. Everyone was super excited to go home to make some for themselves and for friends. Before my presentation I got to walk a labyrinth, learn about seals, and do a bit of weaving. I totally enjoyed participating in this event and was super impressed by how the event flowed so easily and how helpful all the library staff were. Many thanks to Portsmouth Library and the staff; it was evident that a lot of work went into making this a fun day which was enjoyed by people of all ages!

The Green Elvis

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Wondering what to make for breakfast, I noticed 3 bananas ready and waiting to be used, so I thought: okay, a smoothie it is. In no fret fashion, I looked in the fridge to see what else I could use. Out came some walnuts, small dandelion leaf, and a few pieces of romaine lettuce remaining from a recent trip to the farmers market. I put everything into the blender and added some water but then decided a bit of peanut butter would be a fun add in. I whirled everything up and served my husband a glass. For those who don’t know my husband Steve Carter, he is a musician and music is always playing in his head. On tasting the drink he said, “This is really good!” He asked what was in it, and after I told him all the ingredients, he said, “We should call it The Green Elvis!” So that’s how this drink got its name and whether you share it with a musician or not it’s sure to be a healthy, delicious treat!

Toadstool Books and Cafe

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The No Fret Cooking duo was delighted to be featured at the Toadstool Bookshop and Cafe in Milford, NH, in June. For me it is always a special treat to have someone else prepare food from the No Fret Cookbook. On this evening, Shannon, the Cafe Chef made several dishes for attendees to sample. As we set up in the cafe, we were welcomed by a lovely group of women who regularly meet at the cafe to knit; they decided to stay for our presentation. This was a first to present to a group of knitters, which made for a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. As I set up we talked about knitting and it felt like we were all friends by the time the presentation began. A few of the attendees had already bought the cookbook before we arrived, had looked through it and knew what they wanted to make. They were delighted to be able to sample so many dishes while listening to Steve’s music. Shannon had prepared spinach balls, banookies, chakra juice, and mini zucchini provolone quiches. We heard comments ranging from “yum”, to “oh my gosh my mouth is experiencing a myriad of flavors.” Everyone was smiling as they eagerly went back for seconds. One woman said the samples were so satisfying and filling that she didn’t need any dinner as she was quite content. For us, the event was like spending an evening with friends enjoying each other, good food and good music! We thoroughly enjoyed our Toadstool experience and know you will too so check out their schedule for upcoming interesting presenters and learning experiences.

Barrington Public Library

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On May 20th we were invited by the Friends of the Library at the Barrington, NH, Library to do a healthy eating and music presentation with samples. What I love best about small towns is there is usually a wonderful community spirit and an openness to learn about new things and this evening was just that. We were pleasantly surprised to see the room filled with local foodies of all ages with the youngest being only 8 but even at that young age was interested in food and cooking. After a slide show presentation, I answered questions, and a wonderful discussion followed about health, cooking styles, experiences, and favorite places to buy healthy ingredients that couldn’t be grown at home. After attendees were invited to sample fresh made macadamia milk and several snacks I brought while listening to Steve play live music from the No Fret Cooking CD’s. For us, it is always a treat to see people joyfully eating, talking, listening and sharing a no fret experience!

Plum Island Coffee Roasters

Plum_Island_Coffee_RoastersOn May 14th, No Fret Cooking was the featured presenter at Merrimac Open Mic   at Coffee Roasters in Newburyport, MA. This venue is at a beautiful setting on the water where local poets, authors, storytellers, musicians and more gather to share their talents with the locals from surrounding towns. As I had never been to an open mic before, I wasn’t sure what to do so I began by reading the introduction to my cookbook to give people an idea of why I wrote it and what was in it. It was a wonderful and responsive audience as they wanted to learn about some of the recipes and delighted in hearing the quirky titles for some of their favorite comfort foods. As it was an open mic, I decided to read a poem I wrote that will be in my next book. Steve played acoustically some songs from his CD’s and talked about the music. After he read some poems from his newly released poetry book, Intermodulations.
If in the Newburyport area on a Thursday evening between 6:30pm – 9:00pm, be sure to check out this mic for an evening with lots of creative people.

With a little help

moms_first_pizzaAfter trying to make bread with yeast and experiencing not the best results, I decided using yeast wasn’t for me so never considered making pizza. But on a recent visit to see our daughter, I learned that her friend was going to give me a pizza making lesson. After all my years of staying away from working with yeast, I was amazed at how easy making a pizza can be without any fretting! From the picture, you can see it looked pretty perfect. As we all wanted to try different toppings the pizza was divided into thirds and used various ingredients including a little sauce, some cheese. caramelized onions, mushrooms, spinach, artichokes, olives and even some pineapple. Now that I have the basics down, I’m excited to try the dough with different flours, so stay tuned for a healthier recipe in the future!

Love in a Glass!

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What do honeydew, mango and pineapple have in common? They are colorful, delicious, and make a healthy drink when juiced!

For 10 days I waited for a honeydew to ripen. When packing to visit our daughter, I noticed it was still not ripe so I tossed it in a bag and said, “You are coming with us!”

A few days later we were gathering fruit to make a drink when I noticed the honeydew again and decided to juice it with the other fruits. As suspected, each fruit created its own layer just like a black and tan, but in beautiful pale hues of green, yellow, and orange. The glasses were full but a bit of mango remained. Our daughter decided to drizzle it on top not planning on anything special, when the beautiful heart appeared.