Basil Sugar


“I tell you life is sweet, in spite of the misery. There’s so much more. Be grateful.” One of my favorite songs from Natalie Merchant poured through the speakers while I was working on this post. It was just too fitting not to find a way to fit it into this post. Life has been grueling with high demands and a breathtaking pace. And still in all the busyness, I found time to spend a few hours baking and cooking and feasting with friends and family over the holidays. Read More

St. Johnian Sea Salt




We Crucians have a saying, “There is more to the mortar than the pestle.” It usually means there is something else going on. Well, there is much in my mortar and it is just beautiful! It must be something incredibly special to send me flying to my keyboard to share a foodie thought. The picture above is what I consider the Holy Grail of salt. It is rare and you can’t buy it. It can only be “friended”–given from the heart. Read More

Contessa Banana Fritters


If I had to pinpoint a go to comfort food it would be this simple fritter. What makes it extra special is using the local bananas we grow on island. They are the banana-iest bananas I’ve ever tasted! Our farmer friends gave us the tiny variety we call Bacoba they grew in the rainforest on their organic farm–Ridge to Reef. I swore I could taste the rain and the earth and the care that went into growing them. Delicious!! It’s that moment when you take a bite and your eyes close, and you sigh, and a smile stretches lazily across your face, before you say, “Wow. These tastes incredible!” I know you don’t have access to those specific bananas, if you’re off the Rock, but try to substitute regular ones and this recipe still tastes wonderful! Full of cinnamon and other warm Caribbean spices to make you have that same warm smile reaction!

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Contessa Mango Margarita


Well, it is definitely mango season on the island! They are bursting and ripe with sweetness and an ahhhhmazing flavor that you just can’t find from Mangoes with a bar code on the side. If you want to understand the true power of a mango, you have to get one fresh-picked off the tree. And the Universe is kind enough to negotiate the summer heat with the appearance of mangoes on the island. This mango flavored margarita is the perfect blend of lime and mangoes balanced with the citrus flavors of Grand Marnier and a splash of beer. Huh?! Yes, trust me, beer…it makes a subtle difference!  Read More

Taste of St. Croix 2015

The Annual Taste of St. Croix was on April 16th at the Divi Carina Bay Resort on our little Rock–St. Croix. If I said I had a wonderful time sampling food and decorating cakes and meeting old and new foodie friends it would be beyond an understatement. There are times I would just like to share a few pictures and let them speak for themselves. I think I might do that on this post. Just a beautiful time! Read More

Crucian Donkey

Crucian Donkey

My friend Sayeeda Carter is one of the most amazing people I know. She invited me over to celebrate her daughter Zuma’s birthday the other day and offered me a drink called the Moscow Mule. I’d never heard of it, and asked her what it was. She said it was a combination of ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka. She had me at ginger beer, but since, I don’t usually drink I asked her to leave out the vodka. I fell in love with the flavor combination!! Lime and Ginger is right up there with Lime and Honey. Classic!! It sent my Crucian brain into overload and I HAD to figure out a way to reinvent it with a Crucian spin! Read More

Caribbean Life-HGTV



There are a thousand benefits to befriending the folks who make your food. The gift of foodie insight, great food, and being on HGTV? Well, the latter was beyond unexpected, but a memory I won’t soon forget. Thankful to my farmer friends at Artfarm, Christina Gasperi, for suggesting to the folks at “Caribbean Life” that they visit our home as an example of the kind of food sharing and community that exists on our little Rock! Read More

Delicious Living Magazine!!!


Happiness. It feels like someone stuck a handful of sunshine way down into your spirit and let  the warmth of it build and spread up to find a place on your face called your lips that curl and bend into a deep unchanging smile for hours! That’s just a little bit of how I felt when I saw the FIVE page spread that Delicious Living Magazine gave to Crucian Contessa! Read More

Beef Pate

Beef Pate

Pates (pronounced Pah Tays) were my fast food growing up.  After Hurricane Hugo blew away our high school cafeteria, lunch time was trimmed down and simplified. Some days it was just a Pate either beef or saltfish and an “Island Dairies” juice box either passion fruit, Iced Tea, or guava—Total Cost $2.00!! What I remember about those pates were the crispy crunchy dough with the raised welts and blisters fried into place where the hot oil met and melt the fat in the dough in a puff of steam. Sigh… it was food heaven! I have longed to find the perfect Pate ever since. I usually ran into pates that were too greasy, or too doughy, or too much butter/shortening. None were able to capture the balance of textures for me of those high school pates. Read More