Cooking By Connie – Constance L. Hope
Constance L. Hope, known to many as Connie or some even as ‘Crazy Connie’.
I was born and raised in a small borough in New Jersey called Metuchen. Or sometimes called the ‘the Brainy Borough”. I graduated from Metuchen High School in 1965 and am in the middle of trying to organize our 50th class reunion for 2015. Wow! Time has really flown by. And what a great time it has been.
As a child, I was always on a chair next to my mother cooking, baking or sometimes just making a mess. I loved to be by her side and help with any kind of cooking. I learned to create my own tomato soup creation from just a can of Campbell’s and my imagination. I would add a little of this spice and that sauce and make my own concoction. My father was the tester. Bless his heart….. some of the things, I dare say, were not that good. But as I grew, I learned more about herbs and spices and how to create different taste treats. I have cooked and catered dinner parties for myself and others. I have been involved with ‘Mother of Twins’ cookbook and other cookbooks along the way.
Life has really been great for me. Oh, I have had a few ups and downs, but I have my health, my sense of humor and my smile, so it’s not all that bad.
After high school, I went to Union Junior College. ‘Uicy Juicy’ as we called it, located in Cranford, New Jersey. After two years, I transferred to Trenton State College and went to school nights while I worked during the days.
I moved to Doylestown, Pennsylvania and married my high school sweetheart. So much for high school sweethearts! I re- married several years later and lived in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania where I had three wonderful children. John, my oldest son, has done a lot of the art work for this book. Then I had twins, Jacob and Jennifer. Jacob has always said to me “Mom, you should write a cookbook because you make the best soups and side dishes ever.” So I did write one. And Jennifer, who is a lawyer, has helped me with some of the legal items about the book. They all grew up standing on chairs in my kitchen, helping me make cookies, soup or homemade jellies and jams. Each with an apron on and flour or fruit all over them as well as the floor.
Though the years, I have traveled a great deal and collected, tried, changed and created recipes from friends and acquaintances all over the world. Most recently, Hewitt, my partner of 15 years, and proof reader for this book (Thanks!) and I moved to Ft Myers, Florida where the weather is warm, the fruit is abundant and the time was available for me to write and put together this cookbook. It has been 20 years in the writing, but it has been well worth the long creation time.
Cooking is something that you need to get into to really enjoy. I have always loved it and I have tried to instill this love in my children. I am now trying to instill that love in each of you. By reading and creating some of my favorite recipes I hope you will make them your own. Good luck on your tasting journey. of you. By reading and creating some of my favorite recipes I hope you will make them your own. Good luck on your tasting journey.
Cooking by Connie By Connie Hope
July is a crazy month. It is really starting to get hot here in Florida. The rain has come and it is humid. Did I say it was humid? We all know there is July 4th, Independence Day. It is also known for eggplant and lettuce month, mango and melon month. It has a ‘Get out of the Dog House Day’ of July 15th, ‘Bald is in Day’ of July 13th, and one of my personal favorites is National Scrabble Week, but July is also National Blueberry Month. The wonderful tasting little round blue berry. It is sweet, juicy and even good for you. According to many studies blueberries are the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. They neutralize free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body. They aid in reducing Belly Fat—eat lots of them. They promote urinary tract health. (Get this one) They have been proven to preserve your vision. They are good for brain health and heart disease. They are good fiber and roughage. They are thought to aid in the fight against cancer. And they are an excellent sour of manganese. So instead or maybe along with eating your spinach, eat your blueberries. Give this one a try. One of my favorite meats is Pork Tenderloin so why not put a blueberry sauce with it.
Basil Tea 2 cups
3 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Add chopped leaves to a teapot and add 2 cups boiling water.
Let steep 5 to 10 minutes
You can either strain into a cup to filter the basil leaves or pour them into the cup and eat/drink them with the tea.
Add sugar to taste.
Pour over ice if you want it cold.
Here’s another Basil idea….Basil Lemonade
1 cup water
Also 3 cups cold water
1 cup sugar (or use sugar substitute, but check measurements)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed firmly
2 cups ice
Frozen lemonade, small can or packet powdered lemonade
¼ cup lemon juice
In a small saucepan over medium heat , bring 1 cup water and sugar to a boil.
Lower heat and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes
Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Add fresh basil leaves, cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
If you would like to add a tea bag for added flavor, please do.
Fill a pitcher with 2 cups of ice.
Strain the sugar/basil syrup into the pitcher.
Discard the basil.
Stir in 3 cups cold water and packet or small can of lemonade.
Makes about 6-7 cups of Basil Lemonade Ice Tea.
Check out by cookbook, In Addition…to the Entrée on Amazon.com and my website at