Last Spring, after many hours of brain storming and asking everyone I know for input, I finally came up with a name for my business; The Dinner Belle. I love the double entendre, the logo options, the french aspect, everything. Perfect. In a late night panic about 2 weeks later I say to my husband, Scott,” I need to secure a domain name.” He heads to the computer and does a search. Hmm, Thedinnerbelle.com,net,org and everything else is taken by someone in Virginia. What can I be? Hmm, more brainstorming.

“I’m exhausted” Scott announces and heads to bed. I’m on my own. I sign up for Thedinnerbellepc.com and head upstairs too.

Next morning:

Scott – ” What did you come up with?”

me – “Thedinnerbellepc.com”

Scott ” personal computer?”

me – glare

Scott “what?”

me –  “We didn’t spend 20K on culinary school for me to be a personal computer”

Scott” Well, that’s what it makes me think of.”

me- ” shit.”

He heads off to work and I sign up hastily for Thedinnerbellechef.com. or so I think…

Fast forward 3 months and I’m sitting in the basement of my friend Melissa’s house and she’s trying to teach me some things about how to work WordPress. She’s going on about widgets, twitter, feedburner. Wow. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 10 years. I can tell you everything you need to know about the 0-10 set but I am so far behind on networking strategies, it’s scary.

First problem we discover is that I am on wordpress.com not .org which apparently are two different things and .org is much better and gives you more options. ” So I have to switch?” “It’s easy.”She assures me. “Do you have a domain name?”

“I do!” I say. I quickly do a search and find nothing. Hmm. Let me look in my email for the confirmation. I search. Ahh, there it is. Thedinerbelle.com. What? DINER? Holy shit, I spelled it wrong!

” Melissa, I’ve got to go figure this out.” I say dejected and leave with my tail between my legs.

At home, back on GoDaddy. I buy Thedinnerbellechef.com and throw in .me to boot. $50 more dollars. 4 domain names and $100 later. I’m on the wrong wordpress and still don’t have my website up. Ugh.

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I get the whole “buy local” thing. Trust me, I follow it. You can often find me on a Saturday morning at the Boulder farmer’s market, coffee in hand, purchasing my share of local organic farmer fair. I understand the carbon footprint and reduced nutritional value of commercial farm products and I try hard to follow the current trend of supporting your local producers. BUT, have I mentioned that Costco has 2 lbs of organic blueberries for $4.99? Holy Cow! I don’t know how far these babies are trucked to my local Costco but they are a deal, I tell you! And yummy. So get to your local Costco and pick yourself up some cheap, organic berries. With the money you save, invest in some European style butter, like Plugra, and make the following recipe for Blueberry Pie. Your family will thank you for a delicious dessert and you don’t even have to tell them about your little sneaky purchase.

Summer Blueberry Pie

Summer Blueberry Pie

Crust

Heat oven to 350.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

18 T butter  cut into pieces( try the european style butters. they are great and make the pie sooooo flakey)

1/4 tsp salt

6-8 T. cold water

Place flour,salt and butter in a food processor. Pulse  a handful of times until butter is the size of small peas.  Add water and pulse a few more times. Turn out onto a board and  divide into 2/3 and 1/3. Form into two disks and wrap each in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

Take out the larger disk and roll into a 12 inch circle. Take your time to roll this out by slowly applying back and forth pressure with the roller and turning the dough 1/4 turn every few rolls. This will take a few minutes before it seems like you are making any progress, but the dough will begin to roll out and it will be beautiful! Fit dough into a 9 inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Prick the bottom with a fork to make several holes, line with foil and weight down with dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil/beans and bake for 10 minute more. This will allow your crust to not get all soggy when you bake it with the filling.

Filling

4 cups blueberries

3/4 cup plus 3 T. sugar

3 1/2 T cornstarch

4 T butter melted

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

juice from 1 lemon

1/8 tsp salt

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. sprinkle over blueberries and toss gently. Stir vanilla and lemon juice into butter. fold butter mixture into berries. Pour into prepared crust.

Take out the small disk of dough and roll into a 9 inch circle. Cut into strips. Alternate strips into a lattice pattern on the top of the berries and seal dough to the edge of the crust. Brush with an egg wash of 1 beaten egg with a little milk. Sprinkle top with Sugar in the Raw. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes until the crust is brown and filling is bubbly. This pairs great with ginger ice cream.

Well, here goes. I’ve been trying to launch this blog all day, thinking about it since I started planning for culinary school last year. So here I am splitting my focus between watching “True Blood” and writing. A challenge since my writing leaves a lot to be desired.

This blog will be about my adventures in starting a small business at the age of 40. Career #2. Becoming a personal chef is a dream come true for me. A perfect relationship between delicious, healthy meals and impeccable customer service(the later being something I feel VERY strongly about and am sick of not getting at the Gap!) I will share my successes and inevitable failures, new culinary trends, my favorite new recipes and restaurant finds. I will hopefully keep my weight under control along the way.

So join me, come back and read often. I look forward to the journey ahead.

Bon Appetit!