Torta Ricotta – Ricotta Cake

It is Christmas week and for many, this signals a time to cook and bake. I love to cook, but don’t spend as much time cooking as I used to.

I found this recipe for Ricotta Cake on Facebook some time ago. I am contemplating giving it a whirl after I finish making my two different batches of fudge — White Chocolate Cherry and Dark Dark Chocolate Coconut.

This looks so yummy…

If you are looking for an easy dessert to finish off an Italian dinner, this recipe below looks easy and could be just the perfect finish.  Continue reading

On Writing: Why Prewriting Matters

deskIn the past, my writing style typically leaves out the all important first stage of writing—pre-writing.  When I write, I tend to write and then rewrite but rarely ever do I engage in pre-writing.

Needless to say, when I started taking creative writing classes at UMass Amherst UWW, I learned that I was cutting out an integral part of the writing process. Jumping right into the writing phase works if you know what you are going to write about, but when you’re stuck pre-writing frees up space and opens up the creative channels.

Reading Chapter 1 of Connie Griffin’s text, To Tell The Truth in my Magazine Writing class gave me a keener understanding of how to use pre-writing as a strategy to break free from writer’s block. The creative process needs the freedom to be expressive, and pre-writing can be seen as a fun exercise in letting go, while also trusting one’s subconscious in a “nonjudgmental and forgiving” way. (p. 5)

The Getting Started (p. 6 – 7) section in Chapter 1, helped me to understand that pre-writing is comparable to a dancer warming up with exercise and practice, or a painter sketching in a rough outline on his canvas in preparation for creating his painting using the tools of his craft. When seen in that light, I suddenly found how pre-writing should and could fit into my process. Continue reading

On the River: Reflections and Motion

As a visual spatial person, I see most everything within the boundaries of a frame. That said, I feel that photography comes naturally to me. Many, many years ago I painted, oils, but I love the fact that with my camera I can instantly create art and channel what I see into something tangible to share with others.

Here in the photos below, I was fascinated by the patterns created by the colors and shapes, mixed with reflection of the building and the motion of both the Mallard ducks and the waters of the Merrimack River at the historic Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, Massachusetts.

Pamela’s Asparagus, Feta Cheese and Ham Quiche

I made my first quiche the other day. I don’t cook as often as I used to and I for some reason have never made a quiche. But I had an urge for a Asparagus, Ham and Cheese Quiche, so I decided to give it a try. Luckily the market had some lovely slender young asparagus to choose from and I decided to go with feta cheese rather than a cheddar, which is always a favorite. I had some left over baked ham in my freezer that I knew would be perfect with the feta cheese and asparagus.

When I do cook, I enjoy coming up with my own recipes or tweaking recipes I find online or in cookbooks to my own creative bent. I have to say I was pleased with the results for my first try at a quiche:

asparagus and ham quiche 1

Continue reading

My Writing Life: Little Red Pays a Visit

I was hoping my move to the river a few weeks ago would provide me for good inspiration for my writing. It has taken me sometime to settle in to my new place and that has been a distraction from school, and of course my writing. The inspiration is starting to kick in, I am happy to say.

Writing has been my life and I’ve never fulfilled writing what I really wanted to write about so I am working on that now while I am working on BA at UMass Amherst University Without Walls where I am majoring in Creative Writing and Communication in the Digital Age.

I had a visitor to my front porch this morning. A little red squirrel who eventually started tearing into an old cushion on beat up wicker chair with a basket of fake forsythia in it. I grabbed the cameras. And then I grabbed my big 8.5″ x 11″ journal and started writing. I”ll take it… one page at a time.

Little Red Pays a Visit: Continue reading