June 2009

Well, summer ’09 has officially begun, and while I am giddy with the anticipation of warm, sunny days at the beach and at the barbeque, I can’t marvel at what an absolutely incredible spring it’s been. May was a whirlwind of activity! I met the gorgeous and adorable Maria Celeste Arraras at the launch of her new book (in English and Spanish!) of Make Your Life Prime Time: How to Have it All without Losing Your Soul, by Atria Books, and managed to chat with her about various life skills with humor and good cheer. The book is written in a light hearted voice, but packs a lot of solid common sense advise. There is something in that book for everyone, and the turnout at the Borders in Columbus Circle was a clear indication that the crowd was there to receive there gift!

Of course I was also out of my mind busy finishing up the shoot for the new cookbook that Chris Styler and I have been working very diligently on (also from Atria Books), as well as testing and retesting recipes, so that they are absolutely foolproof by the time I get them into your hands in the spring of 2010. My excitement grows with everyday that draws closer to the manuscript deadline and the pictures that we shot for the book are heartbreakingly beautiful.

Grilled Octopus Salad

Grilled Octopus Salad

Now that I have you pretty caught up, let’s look at what we can expect for the lovely month of June! I will be appearing at 1st Annual Paella Parade |judging paellas from all over the New York City (tough gig, I know!). Stop by, say “hello” and sample as many of the paellas as your little heart desires! Tickets are $25.00…a steal! However, if, for whatever reason, you can’t make it to the Seaport, then I might recommend my own paella recipe, so you can try it in your own kitchen for you family and friends! Laden with chorizo, chicken and delicate sweet seafood, my Paella is the perfect dish to serve at your next get-together…like Father’s Day!

Speaking of fathers…I have to give the Silver Fox a big shout out. It’s been my experience (in all these years of accumulating wisdom, lol!) that any man can be a father, but it takes a special type of individual to be a daddy. My Papi is without a doubt, at the top of the heap, always putting his family’s needs first and teaching us pride of heritage. To top things off, he was a firefighter with the FDNY for 31 years, and I am humbled every time I think that my dad ate smoke for all those years to put a roof over our heads and bread on the table. It takes a very special type of man, indeed…in fact, to quote him, “handsome, good-looking, debonair…God’s gift to femininity…”. Let’s serve an Orange, Avocado, Red Onion Salad with our paella, shall we? That is sure to make any Papi smile from ear to ear!

Daisy and the Silver Fox, Captain Ray Martinez

Daisy and the Silver Fox, Captain Ray Martinez

There will be further cause for celebration in June, as well. Angela, my youngest, graduates junior high school, and as any parent can tell you, this is a HUGE milestone, because time accelerates from this point on. Gone are her tomboy days of Razor scooters, refusing to wear dresses, and scabby knees…hello lip gloss, school dances, and prom dresses! I know that I have gone through this before, but this time it seems particularly poignant because, well, she’s my only girl, and she’s my baby. I can’t believe that she went from that little “bean” that I brought home 14 years ago to this beautiful, graceful gazelle with a razor sharp wit (thanks to her brothers!), and a smile that will stop you in your tracks! I think we’ll pull a dessert for Angela to round out our June menu. How does Tierrita Dulce sound to you, in honor of little girls and mud pies?

Angela and Daisy

Angela and Daisy

So that about wraps us up for June. Of course I’m leaving out Prom plans, manuscript deadlines, and other mundane things like that, because I don’t want to bore you to tears. June will be the inspiration for many delicious meals at Casa Daisy, and hopefully at your home too! It’s time to dust off your grill, raid the produce aisle, and get your barbecue on! If you’re anything like me, you’ll want a table full of people to serve all that wonderful food to, so break out the invites, and let’s start the summer celebrations!

Happy Papi’s Day!

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