Mary’s Maine Bars l #OXOGoodCookies

Cooler days have me craving warm beverages, the cozy flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg + spice and getting back into the kitchen. But you know any time I am in the kitchen it is time for a get together with friends. The perfect excuse to host a tea party and bake up a batch of Mary’s Maine Bars.

Tea Party Menu

::  ::  ::

Variety of Hot Teas

Smoked Salmon + Dill Tea Sandwiches

Cucumber + Butter Tea Sandwiches

Mary’s Maine Spice Bars



Yes, cooler weather alone is reason enough bake but when I learned about Cookies For Kids’ Cancer and the partnership between Dorie Greenspan + OXO I had to roll up my sleeves and dust off my apron. 

“Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by two OXO employees when their 2-year-old son was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2007. Larry and Gretchen Witt pledged to support the funding of research for safer, more effective treatments for children battling cancer. With the help of 250 volunteers, Gretchen baked and sold 96,000 cookies, raising more than $400,000 for research.”



Each year, OXO continues to support the organization by donating $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. This year OXO is also working with bloggers to showcase cookie recipes and will donate $100 per blog post in support of the cause. OXO is highlighting cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Dorie’s Cookies, which features over 200 recipes from classics to brownies to savory cookies. 


With the help of my OXO baking tools making Mary’s Main Bars was a breeze! I loved working with both the Glass 3 Qt Baking Dish with Lid and the Glass 2 Qt Baking Dish with Lid. Each is made from BPA-free borosilicate glass and can withstand extreme temperature changes. Generous handles and sloshproof lids make moving full dishes easier, and the clean, elegant design means you can take them from the oven directly to the family table. 

And the Brownie Spatula made cutting and serving the bars easy and the perfect size for my tea party.

However, what I did not expect is how much I really enjoyed using the Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer! No joke. Who would have thought a light on the front of a blender would be that useful!! “With a light to guide you, OXO On Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer includes intuitive digital controls to steadily increase or decrease speed. When you’re finished, the on-board beater clip, wrap-and-secure cord, and flat, stable base allow for compact, upright storage.”


For a step-by-step demo of the Mary’s Maine Bar recipe, you can watch my video tutorial below. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and never miss a recipe or design idea! {It’s free!}




[yumprint-recipe id=’35’] 
Disclaimer Statement :: This post is being sponsored by OXO in a partnership with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer {OXO will generously donate $100 in my name during the program to reach their goal of $100,000 commitment}. I did NOT receive any compensation for this post, I received OXO baking tools to help me create Mary’s Main Bars by working smarter not harder.


Books On My Bedside Table

Books on My Bedside Table - Martha Stewart Hors d'oeuvres - Simon majumdar fed white and blue -art nurture by court mccracken- life after christmas by dave conrey - w overlay

This month the books on my bedside table are a motley group for sure. A fresh-faced lifestyle icon, an american culinary journey, a creative journey and solutions from a creative badass. An unusual mix yes, but all with a message all their own – which one will you pick up first?

Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvres: The Creation and Presentation of Fabulous Finger Food by Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart comes to us from the land of the puffy sleeve and feathered hair, circa 1984 to be exact, to show us all how to present the fabulous finger food known as hors d’oeuvres. Truth time – this book has been on my radar for years and has only just this month made it to my nightstand thanks to a friend finding it and gifting it to me! I love turning the pages and wondering what the Martha in this sunny yellow dress might say to the modern Martha we now know. I will treasure this book as I continue on my own publishing journey.
Buy It Now On Amazon!

Fed, White, and Blue: Finding America with My Fork by Simon Majumdar Just last week I had the pleasure of being at a charity event for the Florida Hospital with Simon Majumdar and he seems nothing less than a true gentleman. I can’t wait to dive into this journey of his across the food history of America.
“Simon stops in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to learn about what the pilgrims ate (and that playing Wampanoag football with large men is to be avoided); a Shabbat dinner in Kansas; Wisconsin to make cheese (and get sprayed with hot whey); and LA to cook at a Filipino restaurant in the hope of making his in-laws proud. Simon attacks with gusto the food cultures that make up America—brewing beer, farming, working at a food bank, and even finding himself at a tailgate. Full of heart, humor, history, and of course, food, Fed, White, and Blue is a warm, funny, and inspiring portrait of becoming American.”
Buy It Now On Amazon!

Art Nurture: The Simple Guide to Cultivating your Creativity by Court McCracken One conversation with Court MacCracken and I was hooked! She has an amazing way of putting life in a new perspective and allowing you to see another side of the situation – frequently from the point of view of her mustang, but that is a story for another day. In her first book she tells us about a time when her creative energy had hit bottom, how she pulled herself up and the importance of cultivating your own creativity.
Buy It Now On Amazon!

Life After Christmas: Build a Business That Thrives Beyond Your Post-Seasonal Slump by Dave Conrey  Dave is a total Badass. Period. In Life After Christmas, his second book, he dives deep into the importance of creating a brand and business that can withstand the ebbs and flows of a seasonal selling space that often effects creative makers. 

“This is not about the hot new sites or the best tactics of the year. Instead, it’s about sticking to tried and true methods that work no matter what platform you are working on. Yes, there are unspoken rules to each, which should be heeded, but as long as you know those rules out, you will never miss the capability to share and promote your work with style, grace, consistency, and ultimate sales success.”
Buy It Now On Amazon!

On My Bedside Table

on my bedside table 2

This month the collection of books on my bedside table ranges from serious to seriously funny; a MUST read for all women, a must have for cooks at all levels and a year in the life of one of my all time favorite TV personalities. Here’s what I’m reading this month, leave a comment letting me know what’s on your list!

Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message by Tara Mohr. I first came across this book when I saw an interview with Kate Northrup {author of Money A Love Story} and after hearing Mohr’s talk passionately  about her dreams for all women to find their mission, their voice and truly play bigger I ran right out and bought this game changing book. In fact I just ordered another copy, as I gave mine away today to a woman I knew would value the message as much as I do. I have a feeling this will be happening many times in the next few years.

“Playing Big provides real, practical tools to help women quiet self-doubt, identify their callings, “unhook” from praise and criticism, unlearn counterproductive good girl habits, and begin taking bold action.”

Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set) by Julia Child. Simone Beck. Anyone remotely interested in learning the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, techniques used in cooking will find this an invaluable tool in their kitchen. Mine just happens to live on my nightstand. And that is no joke. I frequently quickly grab it before I get up and decide upon a recipe for the day.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savory delights of the classic cuisine.” Bon appétit!

Create the Style You Crave on a Budget You Can Afford: The Sweet Spot Guide to Home Decor by Desha Peacock. In this unique and hip home décor style guide, you will find the inspiration to explore your own sense of style, discover the essence of what makes your home feel good to you, and learn how to mix vintage, modern, and thrift store finds to create the eclectic look you crave on a budget you can afford.

No matter your budget or style, you’ll be inspired by stories of everyday women with busy lives and limited budgets who have infused personal values, meaning, and style into making their own “sweet spot” homes.” See more Desha in my interview with her here.

The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year by Andy Cohen. If you follow me on social media at all you know I am a huge BRAVO fan. Sure I watch the Housewives, Top Chef and a few other shows but my main adiction is to Whatch What Happens Live! If it is 11:00pm you know where to find me. Laughing out loud and smiling ear to ear as I watch Andy’s unmistakable boyish passion about the world of pop culture. His first book Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture kept me reading straight through till the end, barely putting it down. I look forward to having the same experience with this book.

On My Bedside Table


on my bedside table 1

Sometime in November I went on a book binge but per usual life, and the holiday’s, took over leaving me with little time to do any real reading – even when I did have time I found myself falling asleep from exhaustion. So now I am back in the groove with a reinforced direction of reading more on a monthly basis – less of the talking box and more using my brain to absorb all the amazing inspiration that is in the written word. This month we have a biography of sorts from one of my favorite foodies, a love relationship we all need to be in, a collection of design inspiration from all across the world and recipes to ensure we all get more veggies in our lives from a talented {and genuinely nice guy} photographer/chef friend of mine.   Here’s what I’m reading this month, leave a comment letting me know what’s on your list!

Money A Love Story by Kate Northrup :: Money, we all need and want it so why do many of us struggle with it? Too much, too little , just the right amount? It’s like a three bears fairy tale in real life. I dream of a loving relationship with my finances and this book provides real world tools to get you there. I am on my second reading of this book and I am sure not my last, it is that powerful {the first reading gave me the tools and mindset to pay of all debt by the end of the year}. Each reading requires me to look directly at my money  challenges and find ways to go beyond them. As they say “new level, new devil.”

My Life In France by Julia Child :: I have watched Julie & Julia at least 4 times so I thought it was about time to dive a little deeper into the life of a woman I grow to respect and admire more and more with each chapter. The writing, brought to life finally by her nephew, is so detailed you can smell the sole al a normande cooking on the stove, feel the warmth of the summer sun on the patio of the stone patio at their French cottage and experience Julia’s energy for life and her passion for cooking.

The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook by Justin Fox Burks :: I had the pleasure of meeting Justin recently at a the Food. Fight. Write. Conference in Las Vegas a few months ago and have been a super fan ever since. He and his wife co-author this cookbook together {a test to any relationship} and they could not be any cutier! The cookbook is filled with recipes and images of veggies prepared in ways to please even the meat and potato lovers in your life.

Kinfolk Magazine Issue 14 by various contributors :: The winter issue of Kinfolk does not disappoint. As usual it is filled with the most gorgeous images of landscapes, communities, homes and gatherings one could ever images. I dream of being placed directly into the pictures each issue. For a daily dose of Kinfolk dreamy-ness, also follow them on instagram.

Mapo Tofu Recipe from #SteamyKitchen Healthy Asian Favorites

Jaden Hair, first “came into my life” in 2009 at the social media conference Social Fresh . My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, was representing an online course and she had stopped his table to get more information on SEO and building an online presence. She obivously made an impression, after the event he gave me her name and said I should look her up. A few months later, after I had moved to Florida, I went to my first networking event and it just so happened to be the book launch for her first book, 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner. Last year I attended TECH Munch Tampa and who was one of the speakers? You guessed it, Jaden.

Fast forward to today, a few books and websites later, Jaden has obviously figured out SEO among many other things related to building a fantastic business around her love of cooking. When Isabel, of Sunday Supper, offer an opportunity to make one of the recipes out if the new Steamy Kitchen Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook, and the opportunity to give a book away to one if my followers, I jumped on it!

Jaden started Steamy Kitchen in 2007 and six years later, built herself an empire from her small blog that now employs her entire family. She currently has her own line of rice bran oil, branded woks, and a regular spot cooking on-air on Daytime.

Steamy Kitchen Healthy Asian Favorites CookbookWithout further delay….here is her new book: Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites


Join the Sunday Supper Team along with Jaden Hair this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time on twitter, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag. We are giving away 20 copies of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook. You don’t want to miss this week’s #SundaySupper Event!

Twenty of our #SundaySupper Contributors have received Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook and are excited to share recipes from this cookbook.




2 teaspoons cooking oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 pound ground turkey, lean beef, pork or mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 vegetable stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
14 ounces firm tofu, cubed
2 cups frozen peas and carrots
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 green onion, chopped
Hot chili sauce, such as sriracha

Heat a sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in the oil, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent. Add the meat and use your spatula to stir and break up.

When the meat begins to lose its pink color, add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and oyster sauce and bring to a simmer. Add tofu and peas ans carrots. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Stir this mixture into the pan nd let ooh for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the green onions and season with hot sauce, to taste. Serve immediately.


Disclosure Statement: I was provided with a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s healthy asian favorites for my review. All opinions are my own.

Reprinted with permission from Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites by Jaden Hair, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.



Here is how to enter to win. You must do both, #1 and #2, to have an eligible entry:

1. Tell me what your favorite Asian dish is in a comment below – AND – with your twitter handle in the comment. Comment must be posted by 8pm Eastern time today (Sunday, March 10, 2013).

2. Join in the conversation during the live #SundaySupper chat on twitter from 7 to 8pm Eastern Time today (Sunday, March 10, 2013). Your tweet(s) must contain the #SundaySupper hashtag.

The winner will be chosen randomly from the eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email. Note: Giveaway open for United States residents only. Contest ends on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8pm Eastern Time.

Join the Sunday Supper Team along with Jaden Hair this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time on twitter, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag.  We are giving away 20 copies of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook.  You don’t want to miss this week’s #SundaySupper Event!

Here is the list of #SundaySupper Contributors who will be giving away a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook and the recipes they will be sharing:

Tofu-Mushroom Miso Soup 

Crispy Rice Patties

  • Juanita’s Cocina
  • Basic and Delicious

Thai Larb Lettuce Chicken Cups

Miso Cod

Sake Steamed Mussels

Salmon Honey Teriyaki

Korean Beef Bites

Mapo Tofu

Mango Brulee

We are sharing more Steamy Kitchen inspired recipes. The following Sunday Supper Contributors are joining us with some of their favorite recipes from the Steamy Kitchen website:

  • Kung Pao Chicken by Cravings of a Lunatic
  • Prime Rib Roast with Miso au jus by The Urban Mrs.
  • Kickin’ Tequila Shrimp by Gourmet Drizzles
  • Korean Beef Rice Bowl by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
  • Pan Fried Shrimp and Pork Fried Potstickers by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
  • Shrimp Curry by Ninja Baking


Follow Steamy Kitchen: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Purchase Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook


Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard from Timber Press

Added to my book list!! LOVE the chickens! and Gardens!!

“Many gardeners fear chickens will peck away at their landscape, and chicken lovers often shy away from gardening for the same reason. But you can keep chickens and have a beautiful garden, too! Fresh eggs aren’t the only benefit — chickens can actually help your garden grow and thrive, even as your garden does the same for your chickens.

In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom covers everything a gardener needs to know, including chicken-keeping basics, simple garden plans to get you started, tips on attractive fencing options, the best plants and plants to avoid, and step-by-step instructions for getting your chicken garden up and running.

For anyone who wants a fabulous garden where colorful chickens happily roam, Free-Range Chicken Gardens is the guide that will bring the dream home to roost”

via Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard from Timber Press.