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White House History ‘A Book Affair To Remember’




Annual Holiday Book Fair: A Book Fair To Remember

The White House Historical Association Book Fair was an affair to remember. This was a special pre Christmas event that featured many prominent Washington based authors and historians. History buffs got the chance to meet the authors and enjoy a charming musical performance. The piano was Steinway’s 100,000th. It was presented by Steinway and Sons to President Roosevelt January 1903. The piano was decorated with the coats of arms of the thirteen original states had a beautiful painting etched under the lid. This is a must see!

Several authors were at the event signing books. Artist John Hutton showed us how to draw. He also signed copies of his book, ” How To Draw The Presidents.” Roland Mesnier, who was a White House chef  for over 30 years signed copies of his book, “White House Desserts” and the “White House In Gingerbread.” Osbourne Mackie was there showcasing famous artifacts and signing his book, “The Stephen Decatur House.” Author Peter Waddell, a New Zealand native gave wonderful advices on success and longevity. Waddell signed copies of his book, “An Artist Visits The White House Past” and gave wonderful anecdotes about his experiences, which lead to his success in America.

If you are a Jackie kennedy fan then you may see her featured in the White House quarterly. The book ” Mid-Century Fashion and First Ladies: From Ready -to-Wear to Haute Couture” showcased fashions of first ladies of the mid-century.

You may see a short clip of the event December 6th by clicking on the link above. If you would like to purchase a book, then visit the White House Historical Associations Website to purchase the books mentioned in this article.








MetroCooking DC 2019 Day 2

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Vendors at MetroCooking Day 2

There was a lot to see at this years MetroCooking show, day 2.  The schedule of events for  included: Grand Tastings, Beer, Wine & Spirits Garden, Cooking Classes, Specialty Workshops, Taste Talks, Celebrity Chefs, VIP Events and Book Signing.

In my opinion Wolfgang Puck was the highlight of day 2. Other attendees were Justin Severino who featured pork bits salami, black tea soaked prunes, and saffron-lavender Dijon picked cauliflower with Curry and golden raisins. Keven Tien featured Chanko Nabe. Wolfgang Puck feature duck and wild mushroom risotto. Daniela Moreira featured choclolate babka. Vikram Sunderam featured Pao Bhaji.

The vendors featured in this montage are: Mondespicecom,, and If you would like to see the events of day 2, then see link MetroCooking DC Day 2.



MetroCooking DC 2019 Day 1


Vendors Showcase

There was a lot to see at this years MetroCooking show.  The schedule of events included a BBQ Bash, Beer Wine & Spirits Garden, Cooking Classes, Specialty Workshops, Taste Talks, Celebrity Chefs and Book Signings.

Martha Stewart was the highlight of day 1. Other attendees were Erik Bruner-Yang, who presented shrimp fritters. Kwame Onwuachi prepared suya spiced ribeye with chili honey. Martha Stewart promoted her new book ” Cookie Perfection.” Amy Brandwein prepared Swiss chard chizze with parmesan cream. Victor Albisu prepared caldo de pollo con mole and Haldar Karoum prepared a surprise dish. It was fantastic!

Many people showed up to taste, buy, sale or just to people watch. Although, there was a huge crowd,  the atmosphere was fun and welcoming. There was plenty of delicious food, so if you weren’t tasting, then you were learning how to cook. The vendors featured in this montage are:,,, and  A win win for all!

To view more of the event, see the  MetroCooking DC 2019 link.


Interview With Wolfgang Puck

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Interview With Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck entered the meet and greet with kind of an easy going charm. He exuded presence and wisdom as he spoke to us that day. He made sure we all felt comfortable. Wolfgang Puck spoke about his early days in Austria, his rise in the culinary industry; and the early days of Spago.  And now Cut in DC.

He answered questions about his longevity and gave practical tips for new chefs just beginning their careers. Success can be had but it won’t happen overnight. One must learn the foundations of cooking(French) in the beginning as it will be hard to go backwards once you move forward. 

In his new book, “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy”, he wrote about healthy food alternatives in cooking to Stewardship of our planet.  The full interview may be viewed by clicking on Meet Wolfgang Puck.


Susan Kusel Recipe Historian

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In Conversation With Susan Kusel

Susan Kusel gave an exciting review of Jewish cookbooks; classic to contemporary authors. Her breathe of knowledge was as measurable as the books she handpicked for the lecture, huge. She charmingly rummaged through her huge assortment of cookbooks spotlighting Jewish cuisine in its many dialects. Her assortment included, Jewish holiday baking cookbooks, and even an encyclopedia of Jewish food.

She spoke about the etymology of Jewish cookbooks and its authors. Family history and recipes passed down from mothers to daughters highlighted the conversation. The audience engaged Susan in conversations  about family traditions and how these tradition have evolved. Books covered everything from chicken soup, to matzah ball soup. The topic of crabmeat recipes brought about humorous laughter. Is it kosher? Vegan recipes are an enigma, but a topic in need of writing about. Yes, there are Gluten free Jewish recipes!

Her knowledge about the cookbook industry, as well as Jewish cookbooks piqued my curiosity! She travels to New York on occasion to browse books in mainstream book stores and Jewish book stores. What a wonderful trip that will be! She spoke about Joe Nathan’s cookbook, and how beautifully it is made.  It inspires one to cook!  

Practical tips for new authors writing their first books were helpful and gave a real-world view. One tip is to research your target market, those you which to inspire. Another tip, what genre of book will you write? Will you hire an agent? Which publisher should produce your book?

The “Thought” event was held at Temple Rodef Shalom, which has an extensive cookbook library. Susan enjoys helping people find the cookbook, which brings about curiosity. See the link “Susan Kusel, “In Conversation About Historical Jewish Cookbooks” to view the entire lecture.


Former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier Gives Tips On Success


Roland Mesnier’s New Book “White House Deserts”

Roland Messier was the executive chef at the White House for over 25 years. His new book, ” White House Desserts, A Pastry Chef’s Secrets,” chronicles his experiences with 5 Presidents!

I spoke with Messnier about his book and his is very proud of it’s craftsmanship. His book is well written and beautifully made.  Mesnier was outspoken about his opinions about articles written in the Washington’s Post food section. This is a must read!

Rolland Mesnier gave practical advice for new authors and chef’s entering  the culinary field. He said to beware of fly by night mentors who make promises that they can’t keep. He has very traditional views about pursuing mentorship and learning proper techniques. To become a great chef doesn’t happen overnight according to Mesnier. To   become a great chef takes years of training under the tutelage of a master chef. There are no shortcuts accordingly to Mesnier.

You may see the full interview by clicking on Rolland Mesnier talks about his new book, “White House Deserts.”





Martha Stewart Speaks About Stewardship

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The Innovator Is A Ninja

Martha has been a lifestyles ICON since the early 80’s. Has it been that long? The crowd was very excited, as Martha took questions from the audience. The questions included everything from baking tips to environmental stewardship! Martha is an advocate for the humane treatment of animals.  On her New Bedford farm, she raises her own chickens under humane conditions.

The Innovator IS A Ninja,” Quote by Angel Rich. The day I met Martha Stewart for the first time, I was Sheila on the beat! Determined to get my questions answered. I was told that it would best to get my questions answered during the media press conference. My thoughts were, “What if later never came?” Sometimes you just got to take a risk! The worst that could happen is that I wouldn’t get my questions answered.

Martha Stewart was distracted when I met her. She was concerned about the background setup. I saw my chance; and I had only a couple minutes before I had to exit the question and answer section. As I began to ask my questions, the photographer interrupted us by asking us to pose. Martha was contemplating my questions, but was interrupted by the pose. I did not get my questions answered that day, but I gained valuable experience as a communicator. Next time I meet Martha Stewart, I will be better prepared.

My experience with Martha Stewart can be viewed at Sheilaisms Instagram. 


Martha Stewart Offers”Cookie Perfection”

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The Perfect Cookie AT MetroCooking DC!

Martha  Stewart came to Washington DC to promote her new book,” Cookie Perfection.” The crowd at the DC Metro Cooking  Show was a mixture of excited fans, the curious and media hounds. “Cookie Perfection” is her 95th book! It is beautifully written and has a line up of innovative confections within.  Martha introduced several mouth watering cookies. But, what stood out the most were the ” The Kitchen Sink Cookies” they were eye catching. Huge! It will take 1 day for a Kitchen Sink Cookie to be devoured. Martha should know. On her four hour drive from New Bedford, New York to Washington, DC she ate half the cookie as she jokingly stated. You may find the recipe down below.

Martha has been a lifestyles ICON since the early 80’s. Has it been that long? The crowd was very enthusiastic and Martha took many questions from the audience. The questions included baking tips to environmental stewardship! Martha is an advocate for the humane treatment of animals.  On her New Bedford farm she raises her own chickens in humane conditions.

She is in the process of writing another book about organization tips. Martha is an advocate of being organized, as it gives more time to pursue other activities. But, for now you may view Martha talk about her new book ” Cookie Perfection” here.

Kitchen – Sink Cookies Recipe


2 sticks unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat the oven to 350 F. With an electric mixer on medium beat butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy, a bout 2 minutes. On low beat the eggs one at a time until combined. Beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well combined. Add oats, coconut, apricots, chocolate cherries, and pecans, and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.

Scoop dough into balls (1/4 cup each). Transfer to parchment paper line baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart. Use the palm of your hand to flatten into 4 – inch rounds. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown, about 16 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. (Cookies can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)