You know how I didn't know anything about retail when I opened PPB 2 years ago? Well I've figured something OUT! Just today!! 

The reason why we keep selling out of tickets for our cooking demos and their cookbooks is because I LOVE to cook. So much so, that I'm taking the PPB cooking show on the road October 5th.

You know me by now. I am invigorated by chilly weather. So after a full morning yesterday, I decided to embrace the rain and gloom, put ON my robe and just stay home and cook. My house became more quiet (and clean) the day we dropped the girls to college ten days ago (sob), and I've been paying lots and lots of attention to my Tom (junior in high school). Mostly by cooking for him, but also asking tons of keen questions about how his school year is going. He seems to really enjoy it (the homemade food). 

So hiding in my house in my robe in the middle of the afternoon, I set about making the chicken nuggets from Alana Chernila's Homemade Pantry (just cube the chicken, dip in mayo + lemon juice then coat with bread crumbs + salt/pepper). Oops - dangity - I didn't have any bread crumbs and I was in my dang robe! Welcome to SandyLand. So after a few swear terms (house quiet, me alone), I forewent the grocery store and Cuisinarted some stale Cheez-Its and oyster crackers I found behind the Cheerios. 

Nuggs (breaded without bread) in the oven, I decided to stir up my most-ever-requested recipe, chocolate chip brownie double-deckers from Abigail Johnson Dodge's The Weekend Baker. I love this recipe because all you need is a pot and a wooden spoon - no electronic mixer and all that detestable noise! I wanted to hear my rain pitter. Patter, pitter, happy rain. Tra la, hum hum, thinking about my new blog ... DANGITY!!!! I used the wrong (too big) measuring cup for the dry ingredients. Alas, I knew the dough looked wrong so - DANGITY!! Wait, no problem!! I shall melt more butter and add the brown sugar, thus belatedly doubling the chocolate chip part of the recipe — and TA DA!!!! Recipe saved PLUS a recipe of chocolate chip dough extra-like. (Sob, if my girls were here, they and their friends would totally be eating it....) Anyway - here's a picture of Tom, home from practice, with a nugget-mountain on his plate, but with his stomach's eye on the chocolate chip brownie double-deckers. Bitter and sweet, this.

Long story short ... "too LATE" as my husband always reminds me ... I can't stop myself when it comes to how I feel about home cooking. Every time I pull out the drawer where I keep my cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla and apple pie spice, I smile and linger and sniff. 

Yesterday, it hit me — the REASON my PPB cooking demo for Homemade Pantry sold out 3x is because enthusiasm and true kitchen love is contagious. And the REASON we sold out tickets in just days for the first November demo of Ina Garten's new cookbook Cooking for Jeffrey - then added another on November 10th and sold out of that — is that we at PPB love to cook. (By the way, Tucker and I will be cooking from "Jeffrey" October 25th, the day the new Barefoot Contessa launches.)

Now we take our kitchen-love west: our PPB demos last spring and summer - of The Cocktail Party by Mary Giuliani, and Grilled Cheese Kitchen by Heidi Gibson - you guessed it - sold out. We've been asked to offer the program at The Little Traveler, just a tad west a'here - in Geneva. This next Wednesday the 5th! Have you been to Geneva in the autumn? It's a Norman Rockwell painting. 

Please come visit us at The Little Traveler on October 5th. And, if you're still with me - yes, I've been approached to open a PPB - yep, in gorgeous Geneva, and so I've been noodling hard and happy about it. In terms of things I've learned in 2 years - go with what you love, and you can't lose. — Sandy