Good Books Come to Those Who Wait.



Every so often, I feel the desire to write about something other than baking – a small indulgence of a different kind, so to speak. Today, is just such a day. Today’s topic: books.

I have this theory – I believe that the right book finds its way to you at the right time. Whether it be a gift, something left on a table in the doctor’s office, something you happened to notice one day on your own shelf that you never gave a second glance to before….however it happens, it’s like a light goes off when you see it, and you just know this is the next book you must read. When this happens, I find I better get right to it and start reading because whatever is in this book is something that I really need. And it has not let me down yet.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, this happened again. This time, the book was intended for someone else, but due to extenuating circumstances, was not given to the person it was initially intended for, and wound up being given to me, instead. As soon as it was placed in my hand, I knew it had to be the very next book I read. For the next week or so, I kept carrying it around, thinking I was going to start it. Then, after a somewhat tough day, I finally opened it and began reading.

I finished it two days later – this afternoon, to be exact. I laughed. I cried (a lot). I related to it and the characters. But most of all, I learned something about myself when I had finished – something I needed to learn in order to get to the next chapter of my own story. And to the next book.

Everything happens for a reason. Everything is connected. What we do everyday not only changes our own lives, but changes the lives of every person we come into contact with – and sometimes those we don’t. We find the things we need, if we only open our eyes and look around us. Life is a gift – a wonderful, exciting, scary, emotional, roller-coaster of a gift. I’m sure the author of this book, or of all the other books that have changed me, did not ever think they would have such an effect on a random individual so far removed from them in time and space. Yet, that is precisely what happened. We all are part of each other.

our real-life bookshelves.

our real-life bookshelves.

Thank you, friend, for giving me this book. Thank you author, for writing this book. Thank you world, for my place in it. I can’t wait for the next book. ūüôā

Pick a Pizza, Win a Prize!

You can never have too much pizza. At least, I can’t.

I know it’s clich√©, but pizza really has been one of my favorite foods since I was like, born. Maybe because it’s just so versatile, that you really could never exhaust all of your potential pizza options in one lifetime. Maybe because it’s also as much fun to make as it is to eat. On the heels of our recent pizza-making team effort, my boyfriend and I decided to try our hands at another pizza variety. We used the same crust recipe and the same sauce recipe, but this time let the sauce cook for a few hours in the crock pot. ¬†We also switched up the toppings, like you do, and for this one, went with pepperoni and mushrooms, and used a mix of Havarti and mild cheddar cheese.

waiting to bake.
waiting to bake.

Oh yeah – and this time we also rolled out the dough much thinner, and made two thin-crust pizzas, instead of one giant extra thick and puffy one. Having not one, but two crusts made it into a little friendly pizza-making competition. We each rolled a dough, and topped it individually, and baked them, one at a time.

Pizza #1:

Pizza 1.

which is which?

Pizza #2:
and whose is whose?

and whose is whose?

So….can you guess which one is mine? Pizza #1 or Pizza #2? First person to comment on the post with the right answer gets a free Small Indulgences cookbook!¬† And no guessing if you already know – that means you, Steve. ūüėČ

Book Fest 2012.

Tomorrow will be my second year participating in the Collingswood Book Festival , and the 10th year of the festival itself! Held in the town of Collingswood, NJ, the festival runs along the main drag (aka Haddon Ave), and is comprised of local authors, vendors selling used books and book-related items, book signings, food, folks, and fun! It runs from 10 Р4, and I will of course be promoting and selling my cookbook.

a small indulgence in itself.

So stop by, say hi, buy a new book, hang out and read, wander around, eat, drink and be merry.¬†And who knows, maybe you’ll find the next book you were meant to read; or¬†more accurately, it will find you. ūüôā

‚ÄúIf you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.‚Ä̬†¬† ~Haruki¬†Murakami

The Wind Beneath My Wings.

I just wanted to give thanks to two fabulous organizations for their ongoing love and support ‚Äď the Association of Independent Authors and BookBaby. Without the help and services that these two groups have offered, I would not be the self-published cook book author you see today.

that’s totally me in a chef’s hat holding the book.

The Association of Independent Authors  is a membership organization representing, advancing, supporting and encouraging self-published (independent) authors. Their membership spans five continents, with directors based in the USA, Asia, Australia, and South Africa.

They truly go above and beyond to support and promote their members, and made me feel welcome from the second I joined, by reaching out with a personal email! To top it all off, they have featured me as the member of the month for August! I just wanted to personally thank them, and spread the word to other indie authors Рdefinitely visit their website and take advantage of all they have to offer!!.

Without BookBaby, there would be no book.¬†BookBaby offers both ebook and book printing¬†services, and I took advantage of both, and couldn’t be happier! Thanks to BookBaby, my book is available for sale as an ebook¬† worldwide through all the major online retailers¬†including Apple, Amazon,¬†and Barnes & Noble, and in print as well (order your copy here!).¬†Am I biased?¬†Maybe a little. But¬†the work they do is top-notch,¬†and the support they’ve offered has been extraordinary, including a recent feature on their blog – check it out¬†here!!

Of course there are so many other people/groups/companies/cats that have been more than amazing as far as offering their time, love, and support (you know who you are).¬† But let me just¬†express my¬†gratitude¬†one more time to ¬†the¬†AiA and BookBaby¬†– you guys rock. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Fo’ realz. ūüôā

Up from below.

Sometimes we fall in love with a person. And sometimes, we fall in love with a place.

I am in love again, with what is probably the farthest city in the continental U.S. from my current crib – that would be the lovely, lavish, and lush city of Seattle, WA.

“But Jeanine, you’re a sun¬†worshipper! How could you live in a place where it always rains?” I hear the voices saying. This is true, but it’s not as if there is no sun EVER. And the crazy thing is that I’ve been to Seattle twice now, for a total of two weeks – and in all of that time, it rained for approximately 1 hour. The first time, I assumed I¬†just got really lucky. But after the second trip of blue skies, sun, and humidity-free air, I’m starting to wonder if this whole “rainy city” thing is a myth to keep people from relocating. Besides, what kind of city would pride itself on its giant outdoor market, if it rained so much that no on could enjoy it? Come on, Seattle, I’m on to you.

O what a beautiful day.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my last post,¬†what brought me back to Seattle was the BlogHer Food¬†Conference, which was an amazing experience for me. I¬†left feeling so inspired –¬†I have so many new ideas now for the blog, for photography, for baking…all the things I love the most! (I guess I’ll just need to write a song about it, too). And I already started working on not one, but TWO new books. I’m so pumped,¬†right now, I feel like going out and running up the¬†Art Museum steps,¬†blasting the Rocky¬†theme song (which, by the way, a fish market fellow – upon being¬†informed that I¬†was from Philadelphia –¬†asked me if I liked¬†the Rocky theme song and listened to it a lot).

i will break you.

So, now it’s time to get down to work. I’ve got¬†new recipes to craft, new tales to post, and new days to embrace!

the wheels are in motion.

Thank you Seattle, for the joy and inspiration you’ve given me. Fearless living, here I come.

you can only go up from here.


The ancient art of reading.

Yesterday I spent the day hocking books at the Collingswood Book Festival, which is in its 9th year, and runs up and down the main street in Collingswood – Haddon Ave. Let me start off by saying that I had an absolutely fabulous time – it was well-organized, fun, and all the people involved were super friendly and helpful! So, a big thanks goes to them!!

But in addition to the festival itself, everything else about the day was ahh-mazing. I met some really cool fellow vendors, in particular the gentlemen at the booth next to me, Jim, who owns Fenham Publishing, and had some really cool horror/supernatural books for sale, written by his own grandfather (who was friends with Houdini Рhow cool is that??) I highly recommend checking out his site!

The crowd was by far, the best crowd at any festival I’ve ever attended as a vendor, as well. Granted, this was my first Book/Literary event. Up until now, I’ve attended primarily craft festivals, selling homemade bags, or knit hats, or shirts, or whatever I thought I wanted to do at the time. I sold baked goods as well at more recent ones, and found that to be more fulfilling, however it still had nothing on yesterday. I felt…at home. I love writing. I love books. I love reading. I majored in English Lit in college for a reason, and had no real idea what that reason was until yesterday. Whenever someone asked, “are you the author?” my heart literally fluttered. I am a writer. That’s who I am.¬†And I finally found a subject on which¬†I¬†can really wax¬†poetic – ¬†baking. I bake, therefore I write.


let's give 'em something to blog about.


So, thanks to all my friends who came out to say “Hi” and support me – you guys are the best!! And thanks to all the people I met yesterday who stopped by the booth! I loved chatting with all of you!! If you purchased the book, I hope you enjoy it! If you’d like to purchase it, you can do so right now by clicking on the image below:

get your copy here!

Or, if you’d prefer to download the ebook, you can do that too!

For the iPad, click here.

For the Kindle, click here. 

For the Nook, click here.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who had anything to do with any part of yesterday. It was such a wonderful, fabulous, fantastic, amazing and all-around happy day. I’m so grateful to be where I am right now. Thank you, clarity. Thank you, consequence. Thank you, thank you silence.

I love BookBaby!

If BookBaby was a person, I would hug it.

¬†I’ve mentioned this before – BookBaby is the¬†company that e-published my book. They did the layout and design (and did an absolutely fabulous job on both, I might add)¬†and made it available at all the major online eBook retailers, like Amazon, Apple’s iBookStore, and Barnes & Noble.¬†

Well, now they’ve gone and interviewed me for their blog. I love these guys!¬† I just want to give them a huge THANKS for all of their help in making my vision a reality. If you have a book or an idea for a book, I highly recommend you pay them a visit ( Do it.¬† You’ll be glad you did.

they did this!!!

And if you’d like to read my interview, you can do that too, just click here.

So, thank you, BookBaby, for helping make my dream come true. And thank you, readers, for your support and attention. And a special thank you to Uncle Laslo, for letting me be myself.

just shoot me.

So, yesterday, I took part in a photo shoot for my book (which you can buy¬†in print or as an ebook, here). Let me just say that I am no stranger when it comes to the camera. I absolutely love having my picture taken, I love looking at my picture after it’s been taken, and I’ve been this way since I was able to recognize¬†myself in pictures. I guess you could call it vanity – but I don’t think anyone would really consider me vain (ok, maybe a little), but I feel it’s more a byproduct of just being flat-out fabulous.

Merriam-Webster defines “fabulous” as¬†¬†“resembling or suggesting a fable; of an incredible, astonishing, or exaggerated nature.”¬† As children, we often view the entire world as fabulous – everything is so new to us that it’s all incredible and astonishing, and who knows what lurks around the corner or in the woods.¬†

Sadly, as some of us age, we lose that sense of wonder; that belief that the world can be and is already fabulous. I have chosen to never lose my sense of “fabulous.” And although I can’t prevent aging, and I certainly don’t feel I’m immature by any means, I make a conscious effort every single day to observe and relish in all that is fabulous, as a child would. I’ll always love¬†sugar and candy. I’ll always swing on the swings. I’ll always wear pink and ruffles. I believe dessert IS the best part of every meal.¬† I bake, sing, run, and dress up everyday because these are fabulous things, yet all so simple in nature. So quit shying away from your inner fabulous. You were all kids once – you’ve definitely got it in you.

I came across this quote today, which pretty much sums up my principle of living:

There are two types of people: those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am!’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.’

Well, here I am. And I’m fabulous.

book fest 2011.

I’ve been accepted as a vendor at a book festival – The Collingswood Book Festival, to be exact. This is huge for me. I get to sit at my booth and talk to people about writing and baking all day. That’s three of my favorite pastimes, all at one time!¬†

taking the book to the streets.

This festival of all festivals takes place on October 1st, in the quaint, yet vibrant town of Collingswood, NJ. It runs up and down the main street (known around these parts as Haddon Ave), and is made of up authors, book sellers, poetry readings, kid-friendly activities, and – last but certainly not least – book lovers like you!

and books love me.

So, if you’re looking for a good time, enjoy reading and books, or want to hang out with me (and who doesn’t), then stop¬† by the 2011 Collingswood Book Festival, October 1st, from 10 am to 4 pm.

I am not above promising cupcakes in exchange for attendance.

cupcakes will be similar to those pictured here.

get the book on the nook.

Yes friends, the book is now also available for the Nook! Thanks once again to the lovely and talented eBook distributor, BookBaby.

No longer will Nook owners feel left out of the fun Рyou can download your copy of Small Indulgences for the Nook directly from Barnes & Noble. Just click here.

And remember, if you have a Kindle, or an iPad,  the book is available in those formats as well:

For the iPad, click here. 

For the Kindle, click here.

And if you’re like me and you’re still kickin’ it old school with books on paper, you can order your copy in print – just click here.

All proceeds go towards my formal education in the pastry arts. Thanks for your support. ūüôā