Dessert Edition! Plus #Scatico Blog!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hey all!  It’s been so much fun interacting with these kids this year.  Last year I didn’t know what to expect.  This year my expectations (set by my over-achieving self!) were high.  It’s been so much fun having a whole new crop of kids this year, plus enjoying my minor upgrades, like the awning over the cooking cabin and the hydroponic tower garden, which continues to be a hit.  (We recently made lettuce wraps to go with the sushi the kids are now expert at making.)  But I wanted to include some photos of our fabulous desserts for this post.  In total, we’ve made chocolate chip cookies, S’more brownie bites, chocolate chip banana bread, mini red velvet cupcakes, and a lot of smoothies.  (Do you think those count as dessert?  I would qualify them as a healthy treat.  Dessert doesn’t have to be bad for you!)

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

And while I apologize for my relative silence on the blogosphere, I urge you to check out Camp Scatico’s excellent blog about the activities at camp!  You will find updates about the infamous Scatico Color Wars, the CIT trip, Tribes and many other #Scatico traditions.  (Unfortunately, no pictures of desserts are featured.)

An annual favorite: the S'mores brownie bites!

An annual favorite: the S’mores brownie bites!

Warning: Don’t Read This While Hungry!


Back by special request, S’more Brownie Bites!!

First of all, my apologies for the long blog silence.  Herbnpeach has been remarkably busy this summer!  Usually city catering businesses slow down this time of year, but not for me. While keeping a handle on the New York end of things, I have challenged myself to make this year even better than last year for my #Scatico campers.  I am happy to report that, with the help of my amazing team, we are succeeding on all levels!

I have some really talented and dedicated cooks in my kitchen this year.  I can’t believe how much I love teaching kids how to do what I do.  I feel as though I get back so much from them!  Sometimes I literally get so much back from them, meaning in the form of food.  Let’s just say no one’s going hungry at Camp Scatico.  I hope you aren’t hungry right now, because the following dishes were just as delicious as they look…

Made with love.

Made with love.

In the first couple of classes, we took note of everyone’s allergies and talked about our favorite foods.  It turns out the campers have similar favorites: sushi, pickles, pizza, plus desserts.  (No surprise there.)  So we spent the next few weeks learning how to make our favorite foods.

The hydroponic garden tower has allowed me to really emphasize herbs this year.  We started with an herb tasting, but kicked it up a notch with fruit smoothies and some farm fresh snacks: kale chips and watermelon, feta with arugula salad.  The arugula was from our garden!

Keep an eye out for more photos, blog posts and details of our Camp Scatico adventures!!

Healthy snacks!

Healthy snacks!

Everyone loved making the sushi.

Everyone loved making the sushi.

What’s New in the Kitchen

Here are some highlights from the Cook Shack!

The cilantro/avocado/yogurt dip with yummy pita chips!

The cilantro/avocado/yogurt dip with yummy pita chips!

The campers get creative with the cheese crisps.

The campers get creative with the cheese crisps.

We’ve been reaping the benefits of the new hydroponic garden, using the mint for our smoothies and the cilantro in our avocado yogurt dip.  (With homemade pita chips, of course!)

Are oatmeal cookies better than cheese crisps?  That depends:  are you a sweet or a salty person?

Are oatmeal cookies better than cheese crisps? That depends: are you a sweet or a salty person?

What I did on my day off...

What I did on my day off…

Chef Robin strikes a pose with the cheese straws.

Chef Robin strikes a pose with the cheese straws.

The First Week of #CampScatico15!

Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

To say that this week has been a whirlwind is an understatement.

Finding myself in the Camp Scatico’s serene setting after things were so hectic in New York City, I feel a little disoriented.  Not from the change of pace (we are PLENTY busy out here in the woods!), but due to the drastic change of gears.

Instead of serving Manhattan food editors and top chefs, I am teaching the pickiest people of all:  children.  Last year my cooking classes were a hit.  (Pat self on back!)  Can I repeat the success this year?  So much pressure!

The summer has definitely started off with a bang.  The Cook Shack is totally ready thanks to my amazing team of helpers.  The first lesson dealt with kitchen rules, of course.  My favorite rule:  have fun!  But my second favorite rule is, “If something drops, let it fall.”  I find that one useful throughout life.

Our futuristic hydroponic tower garden.

Our futuristic hydroponic tower garden.

I also decided to take some time to talk about the five senses.  I thought about doing it last year, but this year Camp Scatico has provided me with this SUPER COOL hydroponic tower garden.   We can see, touch, smell and taste all that it produces while they listen to what I share with them.  The kids are loving it, and so am I!

Pictures of the opening night campfire soon to come!

Camp Scatico ’15, Here We Go!

Cooking Cabin with awning!

Cooking Cabin with awning!

It’s that time of year again!  The month that I head off to Camp Scatico, with the knowledge that my (relatively intact) sanity will start to dribble away.  But even though I know that it’s going to be a crazy summer, I am so excited I could just burst.  Camp Scatico brings out the good crazy in everybody.  It’s only 90 minutes from New York, but it feels like such a retreat.

This year brings its own unique set of challenges.  I am looking forward to seeing so many returning campers!  But this also means that I have to find new, camp-friendly recipes to trot out this year.  (“Can’t you throw in a few of the hits from last year?” my social media manager Molly suggested.  “Like making cheese.  They should do that every year!”)  Maybe she’s right, but regardless, I’ll have my hands full.

Fortunately, I have some new helpers this year.  Chef Robin joins me again in a larger capacity this time.  He washed dishes at Camp Scatico last year, and since I spend, like, a LOT of time in the kitchen, I got to know him.  I am so happy to have him on board.  I have a few fearless and intrepid counselors from last year.  Chef Robin headed to Camp Scatico early to clean and scrub and get everything looking nice.  However, I’m taking coziness to a whole new level this summer as I attempt to squeeze a full-size bed into my cabin’s tiny frame.  I will definitely post pictures!

A Very Special Celebration

'Ramune,' Japansese "marble sodas" for the kids' bar.  Adults enjoyed them too!  (How could we not?"

‘Ramune,’ Japansese “marble sodas” for the kids’ bar. Adults enjoyed them too! (How could we not?”

This past weekend Herbnpeach got to cater my first post-camp event with Camp Scatico campers.  The Newman family hired me to cater their daughter Miko’s bat mitzvah.  It was a very special celebration, as bat mitzvahs often are.  I am so grateful to the Newmans for bringing Chef Ally on board before they had a chance to get to know me!  (Dr. Jessica, you should consider moonlighting as an event planner!)

On another note, it was amazing to see the campers all spiffed up and out of green and white uniform.  Only two months has gone by and already they seem so grown up!  Oy vey, I sound like a Grandma.  Enough of that!

Everyone enjoyed mini-matzo ball shooters, pigs in blankets, and a mac-and-cheese station with mini -chicken parmesan and meatballs. Sushi rolls were made to order!

Everyone enjoyed mini-matzo ball shooters, pigs in blankets, and a mac-and-cheese station with mini -chicken parmesan and meatballs. Sushi rolls were made to order!

Another #Scatico staffer, Cory Schwartz, was hired to photograph the event.  I look forward to posting some of his professional shots, but for now I will just share mine…

A grand entrance at the Helen Mills Theatre for Miko and her guests!

A grand entrance at the Helen Mills Theatre for Miko and her guests!

The Chew

Needless to say we were SO THRILLED to participate with anything having to do with The Chew.  Unfortunately, we will not be featured on the show.  Sorry, our SM person got a little carried away…

Food stations throughout the store

At the Time Warner Center Williams Sonoma

Dessert, anyone?

Some of the chefs stopped by!

But here’s what we DID do.  We were hired by ABC Daytime to do four major events for clients and advertisers for the show.    This means we won’t be coming to a small screen near you, but we’re still happy to be chosen to work with the show in any way.  We got to hang with creative geniuses behind the show, rub elbows with some famous chefs, and meet the people who make it all happen.  The ABC and Williams Sonoma staff were terrific to work with.  We did four events in total.  Check out our pictures below!

Camp Scatico: The Final Week

The umbrellas are gone!

The umbrellas are gone!

The end of camp was amazing!!  I made sure to see every group twice before the end of the summer, and I even squeezed in “optionals,” whereby the campers get to choose which activities they want to do most.  Not to brag, but in my case the counselors had to draw names because cooking was so popular.  (Actually, I guess that’s bragging, but I don’t care.  I love Camp Scatico, and Camp Scatico loves me.  Proud!)

Here’s a rundown of the last week.

Saturday, 8.9

The boys got a hold of my iPhone and took a panoramic of the kitchen.

The boys got a hold of my iPhone and took a panoramic of the kitchen.

Last day of classes!  I had the boys that day, and some stayed for lunch.  We had a pizza feast with homemade lemonade and s’mores brownies.  My last group included my nephew Matt, and we made a bunch of foods that he and his friends had requested earlier in the summer. Everything from chicken parmesan to French toast and mini muffins in between! The final day of cooking!

Sunday, 8.10

Day off for me.  Took advantage of my last weekend out of the City by staying at a bed and breakfast with a special someone.  ;)

Monday, 8.11

Wrote end-of-camp letters, typed out some recipes.

Tuesday, 8.12

Begin clean-up and breakdown.  It was emotional and a decent amount of work, but I packed so that I could easily UNPACK because… drum roll, please… I want to make this happen again in the summer of 2015!  However, it was still very sad.  I cheered everyone up by taking my cooking team, Chef Chase and Chef Emma, out for Mexican!  They worked very hard and I couldn’t have asked for a better team this summer!

Wednesday, 8.13

Finished cleanup, which ended with an inspection. I managed to sneak out for a few Color War activities.  My friends and their kids competed in Green and Grey teams.

Thursday, 8.14

LAZY MORNING!  Everyone slept in; no activities scheduled until the afternoon.  I ran a part of an upper hill (older campers) co-ed day. My friend Mike (who ran the wood shop) and I hosted Scattergories– or in our case, Scatico-gories! :)


Friday, 8.15


Kerri, Melissa and I prepping candles to send our wishes across the lake.

I helped the younger girls pack their trunks and packed a bit of my own bunk. Friday night was end of camp festivities. Boys and girls are separate for this. There was a banquet, awards, end-of-summer slide shows, and then a closing camp fire, with wishes and candles on the lake. This all went on past midnight, and then we went to a late-night snack in the girls dining hall. It was a lovely close to an amazing summer!

Blueberry Crumb Bars!

Blueberry Crumb BarsAs requested by loyal Herbnpeach followers, here is the recipe for blueberry crumb bars.  Celebrate the summer by indulging!


Recipe makes 1 9×13-inch pan


1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2.In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the shortening and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3.In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4.Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

The Kitchen Name Revealed!!

This pizza is not Sal's, but it is the best pizza IN camp!

This pizza is not Sal’s, but it is the best pizza IN camp!

Drum roll, please….


So many good suggestions that we just couldn’t decide!  In the end we picked two: one for the inside of the cabin and one for the porch.

The actual cooking cabin is called The Cook Shack.  It was selected by an 11-year-old boy.  An 11-year-old girl chose the name of the porch, Scaticafe.  Don’t you love it?  It just so happens the two who gave the names were the same age. :)

I still need to reward them! I think they both want pizza from Sal’s, the best pizza near camp!