Thursday, April 10, 2014


                                                                    hello all,

The Cowbell is growing!!!! For a bit I will be taking a break from the blog. Please visit my new web site,
also stop by Cowbell's Facebook page & Instagram

Thanks for all the support I have felt in my first year of business! I couldn't grow without the love!

You can always find me at home base...........

                   THE OLD LUCKETTS STORE
                    every Friday, Saturday & Sunday
                             10am - 5pm 

                    42350 Lucketts Rd. Leesburg, VA.

new additions....................

                                                         District Flea
                          every Saturday
                            10am - 5pm

                945 Florida Avenue, NW  Washington DC 

                                  Charles Town Farmers Market
                         starting Saturday May 3
                              8am - noon

                100 South Samuel Street, Charles Town WV

The oven is sure as heck heating up!!!!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Preserving goodness



I am counting down the days till I will be attending the West Virginia Small Farm Conference, which will be held at the UWV in Morgantown. Once a year a class, Better Process Control School, is held for certification in canning. With this certification I will be qualified to sell my canned fruits, jams, sauces, pickles and vegetables. Very exciting for the Cowbell Kitchen.

My next BIG project is starting a community commercial kitchen. I am getting closer to signing the lease and building out the space!!!!

Keep your fingers crossed!
Found these pictures and I know why I am drawn to this skill. I do wish I could cook in a dress, heels and with my hair done! These ladies remind me of my Grandma Bertha, she always had a dress, hose, heels, hair coiffed and an apron the wrapped like 3 times around on at all times. Everything that came out of her kitchen rocked my world!
 Dreaming of shelves lined with beautiful products canned in adorable jars with clever labels, a girl can Dream!


                     haha, I love zombies! XOXO

Thursday, January 16, 2014

what's happening in 2014


  • Lucketts Groundhog Sale................January 31-February 1-2
                     cloudy? or sunny? specials
       fuel up for Lucketts gigantic amazing blow out sale!!!!
         homemade buttermilk biscuits & local sausage gravy 7.00
             hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows  3.00

         help celebrate Cowbell Kitchen's 1 year Anniversary!
 enter a special drawing for 2 free tickets to the July 19th Twinkle Bell Secret Dinning Fellowship


  • February 14, 15 & 16 
be mine specials treats
 fancy homemade butter cookie hearts & local chocolates  
   order ahead or pick up that day for your special honey 

  •  March Design House...........February 28 March 1-2
         be there or be square!

  • organic gardening tips.............April 5

2-3pm meet and chat with Gale Livingstone owner of Rainbow Hill Organic Farm. Experience organic kale smoothies and be inspired to plant your own backyard organic veggie oasis.

  • May Design House......................May 2-3-4
                     what's in the oven?
                         Rhubarb pie
         local and organic first of the season treats               
                   $24 whole/ $3.25 slice

  • CSA begins.................................May 9
     Rainbow Hill Organic Farm CSA membership begins and runs through September 28th. pickup at the trailer.

  • Spring Market.........................May 17-18
      don't miss this event!  eat some local grub!   
       support Cowbell! Watch for specials on Facebook

  • experience Black Dog Coffee.............June 14
    meet the maker! Black Dog Coffee will be at the trailer from     1-2:30PM. join in and learn more about our fabulous locally roasted coffee. taste and appreciate!

  • heirloom tomato craze.................month of July
             celebrate all month the glorious tomato 

  • Twinkle Bell Secret Fellowship........July 19
     save the date! watch for details on the blog and Facebook

  • August Design House..................August 1-2-3
         Ice Cream Social featuring South Mountain Creamery
     cups, cones, jimmies, sprinkles & sweet Cameron

  • Labor Day Weekend Sale.........August 30-31-Sept 1
   parking lot grill party featuring local Red Apron Butcher hot doggies with all the fixings!
  • September Design House............September 5-6-7
      an apple a day keeps the doctor away, all delicious things made with apples!..........October 3-4-5


  • I love pumpkin.......................month of October
      get your pumpkin groove on! come see and taste what Cowbell creates
  • November Holiday Open House........November 7-8-9
cookies, local hot cider, festive melts, hot soup, pies the list goes on. 3 days of shopping and eating. deck the halls, fa la la la la.......
  • order Thanksgiving pie..........November 1 thru 24 
     watch for pie flavors and order form. pick up will be on       November 26 from 3-6pm at the trailer.
  • December Design House..............December 5-6-7
           order your holiday cookie boxes and Buche de Noel for your festivities
Cowbell Kitchen will be closed for the month of January see you at the 2015 Groundhog Sale.

Friday, January 3, 2014

need summer now

Ok I know, it just snowed but I can not stop thinking about the summer ahead of us and summers past. I am a warm weather junkie and can never get enough of heat, humidity & bugs, bring it all on, except poison ivy! To help me through my pangs of withdrawal and longing I am going to focus on what is coming and making plans to get the most out of those beloved months.

I have some very exciting news! I will be providing my delivery services by teaming up with.....

I'm sure you all remember the amazing organic tomatoes I was serving up on the bacon, provolone tomato melts, well this is where they were grown and Miss Gail is coming at us with full force this season. She is offering 50 CSA's memberships and believe me they are going to go fast. It begins May 11th and continues till September 28th. You will be able to pick up your share at Cowbell Kitchen at, our happy place, Lucketts on Fridays. Below is the link to read about the farm, her passion and information regarding CSA's.  Check out all the beautiful organic produce she will be offering. Let's support Rainbow Hill Farm!!!!! 
Think about maybe splitting the cost with a friend or neighbor. We all need to make it happen!!!!
p.s. I am officially signed up to get my canning certification! The 2 day class is at the end of February. After that I will be working exclusively with Rainbow Hill canning, pickling, jamming products that will be sold at Cowbell Kitchen and farmers markets. Yes I am excited! This means I will be a legit pickle person!!! Imagine fresh organic veggies/fruit preserved for your taste buds in the depths of winter. All organic preserved with love & care, a dream come true.



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

pop fizz clink

let's have some fun. deepest thanks for all the love and support in my new adventure. wishing the happiest of happiest new year to all!!!!!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

tis the season

holiday party tip: need a roaring fire for your Christmas Eve celebration but missing a fireplace? No problem, Netflix has a video for your TV, how cool huh?

our top three holiday traditions:

#1. Christmas Eve dinner
  • 1 week out, menu planning (always Italian) and grocery list
  • a trip to Wegman's, farmers markets, farms, South Mountain Dairy, etc.
  • 1st year ever that I have the entire day to prepare our feast, I have dreamed of this!
  • Christmas music all day
  • set table, light candles & build fire
  • appetizers then on to dinner, sigh & yum
  • relax and change into our matching Christmas PJ's
  • coffee and dessert, relax
  • open gifts, relax
  • maybe time for late night snack? local eggnog & cookies

this year's menu:

Italian charcuterie and cheese board
arugula pecorino romano lemon vinaigrette cracked pepper
spaghetti braciole & meatballs
lemon ricotta cake
pour over Black Dog coffee

If you have never experienced braciole below is a recipe from Lidia Bastianich, Ken's favorite!

This is a typical Sunday Italian American meal. Serve the braciole as is, or fish them out of the sauce, arrange them on a platter and serve the sauce with rigatoni or gnocchi. Sausages and meatballs may also be added to the pot for an even more bountiful dinner.

Makes 6 servings

For The Braciole:
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups bread cubes (1/2-inch), cut from day-old bread with crusts removed
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped coarse
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
2 lbs. beef bottom round, cut into 12 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick (see Note)
12 slices Prosciutto di Parma (about 6 ounces)
1/4 lb. imported provolone cheese, cut into 1/4 x 1/4 inch sticks
Freshly ground pepper

For The Sauce:
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions (about 8 ounces), chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 (35 oz.) canned Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 bay leaves
Water as needed
Crushed red pepper flakes

Pour the milk into a medium bowl, add the bread cubes and let soak until the bread is very soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess milk from the bread cubes with your hands and return the bread to the bowl. Stir in the chopped eggs, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, raisins, pine nuts and garlic. Mix well and set aside.

With the toothed side of a heavy meat mallet, pound each slice of beef round to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Arrange one of the pounded meat slices in front of you with one of the short sides (if there is one) closest to you. Top with a slice of prosciutto and tap the prosciutto with the back side of a knife so it adheres to the beef.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the stuffing over the prosciutto, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Place a stick of provolone crosswise over the edge of the stuffing closest to you. Fold the border closest to you over the provolone, then fold the side borders in to overlap the edges of the stuffing. Roll into a compact roll. Secure the end flap with a toothpick. Proceed to finish all, then season the rolls with salt and pepper.

MAKE THE SAUCE: Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy casserole over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add as many of the braciole as will fit in a single layer and cook, turning the braciole as necessary, until golden on all sides, about 7 minutes. If necessary, repeat with any remaining braciole.

Meanwhile, empty the tomatoes into a bowl and squeeze them with your hands until coarsely

If necessary, return all the braciole to the casserole. Pour the wine into the casserole, bring to a boil and cook until most of the wine has evaporated. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add tomato paste and bay leaves and stir until the paste is dissolved. Adjust the heat to
simmering and cook, adding water as necessary to keep the braciole completely submerged, until the beef is tender, about 3 hours.

Remove the toothpicks before serving. The braciole can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, then reheated over low heat until heated through.

NOTE: The slices of beef should measure about 4 to 5 inches on each side before pounding. To obtain pieces of the right size, look for -- or ask your butcher to cut -- six 1/2-inch-thick slices from a whole bottom round, then cut those slices crosswise into two pieces.


Christmas morning I love to prepare panettone French toast along with fresh squeezed OJ, super yummy.

#2. cookies, top 10
  • my Grandma Bertha's roll out sugar cookies
  • peanut butter and jam cookies
  • Italian wedding cookies
  • chocolate chip
  • gingersnaps
  • oatmeal raisin
  • Italian anise
  • springerle
  • shortbread
  • coconut macaroons
I spend one day and bake all the dough's. Some I roll into logs and wrap then just slice and bake. The roll outs I just do all at once and store on the back porch. As a kid I would help my Mom bake dozens and dozens of cookies, it was the beginning of my baking love. We would start a couple of weeks before Christmas and store all the cookies wrapped up in dress boxes in the garage. After school that is where you would find me! I honed my cookie eating skills at a very early age! It's as if it was just yesterday that I was baking with my Mom, thanks Mom for the cookie tradition, big love.

Italian wedding cookies


  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla then gradually add the 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, measure, then sift again with the salt. Add gradually to the butter mixture. Add the pecans and mix well.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly using the bottom of a glass, then bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and roll in powdered sugar while still hot. Cool on wire racks and roll cookies again in powdered sugar before serving.
Once they are completely cooled, cookies may be stored in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

#3. decorating for Christmas!

  • 2 weeks before Christmas we switch our dishes to the Spode Christmas Tree china
  • fresh tree jammed packed with ornaments and lights
  • angel tree topper from a childhood birthday cake
  • my Pop's Christmas village, all the boxes are labeled with date & where he purchased them, so adorable and I love the feeling he is with me when I set it up!
  • crazy Santa, Annalee & Snowbabies collection

Following traditions help hold close all the wonderful moments that have taken place in the past.
During the holiday season traditions make us feel festive and reassured.

Wishing everyone a fantastic holiday. Hope your cookie jars are packed and your plates filled with delicious food!

Peace and love,