Creamy, buttery squash soup, crunchy string beans, crispy roasted potatoes, and duck on a plate. This is the dinner Phoebe has with her French friend, Camille, in the first book of the Phoebe G. Green series. It was also the menu made by chef, Christine Seidl, and her young students. Christine runs The Magic Spoon, where she teaches kids in a very hands-on, approachable way, how to cook. She was inspired by the Phoebe G. Green books and decided to use them as a theme for a cooking class she held last week. What a nice combo!
Unfortunately I couldn't be there to taste the meal, but according to Christine, it was a hit. So if your kids are asking for cooking lessons in the Westchester, NY area, check out Christine's site here. Christine also makes wonderful, fragrant jams like Grape Lemongrass and Apple Lavender. I bought a whole bunch for holiday gifts just the other day and spent way too long at the sample table trying every single one. Phoebe and Camille would go crazy over them. Thanks Christine and I can't wait for my kids to take one of your classes!
Yesterday The Purple Crayon in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY co-hosted my Lunch Will Never Be the Same book party for Phoebe G. Green. It was amazing. My panelists, Matt Karp of Plates Restaurant, Sheri Silver of the blog, Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt, and Jackie Ourman of Bon Appétit Magazine and her blog, CAFE, were knowledgeable, inspiring, and engaging. My voice didn't crack when I read. The projector showing the book trailer didn't explode or anything. The guests seemed to enjoy the reading, the panel, and ate plenty of chickpea salad, butter lettuce salad with roast duck, goat cheese on crackers, and raspberry tarts. Even the kids. Plates of it. I saw them. So thank you to the wonderful Sarah and Adel Hinawi at The Purple Crayon, my lovely panelists, Galapagos Books for selling books, and especially to all those who came out to celebrate Phoebe G. Green and grab a little food inspiration to take home. It was a memorable event.
Also, I held a raffle for two free signed books and the kids had to write down their favorite school lunches to enter. Here are some of the fantastic entries I received. Who says kids only like pizza and chicken nuggets? Phoebe would be proud. Now I'm hungry for lunch!
"A muenster cheese and salami sandwich."
"Honey ham, goat cheese, and lettuce on sourdough bread, with pineapple and a blueberry tart."
"Wraps with any protein, pickles, and crunchy lettuce."
"A salad with carrots, chickpeas, and apples, and a small water."
"Bacon grilled cheese."
"A panini sandwich with an apple."
"Falafel and tzatziki."
"Macaroni and cheese with salted broccoli."
"Sourdough, dill cashew "cream cheese," sliced tomato, shitake, bacon, and arugula."
I'm holding a food-inspired book party for Phoebe G. Green on Sunday, October 26 from 3-5pm at The Purple Crayon and YOUR whole family is invited! I'm lucky enough to have it in this gorgeous, inspirational space. The Purple Crayon holds workshops, and hosts amazing live music, a co-working space, where I've written much of Phoebe G. Green, and special events (like this)!
There will be food mentioned in the Phoebe G. Green books (so that right there is pretty exciting), like chickpea salad, roast duck, a goat-cheese tasting, and mini raspberry tarts. There will be a raffle for kids to submit great lunch ideas and win two free signed copies of the books. There will also be a reading, signing, and book sale courtesy of Galapagos Books.
BUT...my favorite thing of all is that I get to host a panel talk guest-staring all these amazing people about kids' food and school lunch ideas (check out their super duper bios below). So come for me, come for the free delicious food, and come for the food brilliance that will be there! As Phoebe G. Green would say, pretty cool, huh?
Matthew Karp is an owner and Executive Chef of award winning Plates Restaurant, in Larchmont, NY, which he and his wife Wendy opened in 2004. In addition, he consults to restaurants, food service operations, the Cruise Industry and health and wellness companies on food, cooking and nutrition issues. He is also a founder of the Larchmont Farmer’s Market. Chef Karp holds a Masters in Culinary Arts from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Prior to owning his own restaurant, he was the Sous Chef for David Bouley at Bouley Restaurant in New York City for 6 years, and worked for Chef’s Daniel Boulud, David Burke and Eric Bromberg. Chef Karp lives in Larchmont with his wife Wendy and 3 daughters.
Jackie Ourman is a trained chef, freelance recipe developer, food blogger, culinary instructor and mom of 3 young boys. She currently works in the test kitchen at Bon Appétit Magazine. Jackie is passionate about creating recipes and sharing resources for living well with food allergies and celiac disease. In addition to contributing to various publications including; Food and Wine, She Knows Parenting and Westchester Family Magazine, you can find her posting regularly on her website, CAFE (Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean) by Jackie Ourman.
Sheri Silver is the creator of the blog Donuts, Dresses and Dirt (www.sherisilver.com) – which was voted a Top 25 Circle of Moms blog in 2013. Sheri writes about baking and cooking, gardening, parenting, and her adventures in and around NYC. Sheri is also a contributor to the lifestyle online magazine, VRAI and the websites Babble and Buttoned up. She is wife to Mike and mother to 3 great kids – Chelsea 23, Conor 18, and Noah 5.
On Sunday, I had my launch party for the Phoebe G. Green series. I held it at The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY, one of my favorite bookstores on the planet. Francine Lucidon, the owner, is so supportive to authors and a hand-selling guru to boot. She really embraces what an independent bookstore can be for the community. I had my first book party there for The Whole Story of Half a Girl which was a great experience, so I knew where to schedule my second. It was filled with many friendly faces and adorable young fans and hopefully future fans! There were perfect little carrot cupcakes and veggies for everyone to snack on. A day I won't forget. Thanks to all who came out and celebrated with me.
My next event is at The Purple Crayon in Hastings on Hudson, NY on October 26, at 3pm. If you missed this one, come and see me then! More to come on that...
I remember when you were just a fuzzy little idea in my head and your first steps as a picture book. But somehow you grew into a chapter book, and here you are now, a series on pub day! It feels like just yesterday you were that sweet little idea. I wish you a happy, flourishing, and long life. I've really enjoyed getting to know you and you continue to surprise me every day.
So a toast to Phoebe! Now I need some champagne and a lovely dressed salad with some sliced roast duck and a bit of goat cheese crumbled on top. Maybe a small raspberry tart afterwards. Phoebe would have the same, forgoing the champagne for a little sparkling cider. Cheers, Pheebs!
I'm happy to say that Booklist also gave Phoebe a thumbs up. So thrilled, so proud, and want to give a shout out to my supportive and fantastic agent, Sara Crowe, my tireless and astute editor, Eve Adler, and the fabulous illustrator, Joelle Dreidemy, who brought Phoebe to visual life. Thanks guys! Go Phoebe!
Review from Booklist:
Curious third-grader Phoebe G. Green is an incessant list maker and Sage’s BFF. On the first day of school, Phoebe befriends Camille, a new student from France. At lunch, Phoebe notices that Camille’s lunch—a tiny loaf of bread, bleu cheese, a salad with duck meat, and strawberries—is exotic compared to her soggy, mushy noodles. After several lunch comparisons, Phoebe invites her new friend to dinner to prove that they eat like the French, too. The preparation and dinner are adorably disastrous, but Mom comes to the rescue and soothes her daughter’s disappointment by explaining that differences between friends are meant to be shared. Meanwhile, Sage feels neglected and confronts Phoebe about Camille. Again Mom offers good advice and lets Phoebe know that it’s okay to have more than one friend. This is a splendid attempt to convey several lessons about growing pains to young readers, with age-appropriate humor via an outspoken, lovable, take-charge narrator. Dreidemy’s wiggly spot illustrations, meanwhile, supply plenty of nervous energy.
— Jeanne Fredriksen