One Year Ago

One year ago I lost the most important person in the world, my grand mother. My grand mother was a parent to me, better than the father I never had. As some of you know, she passed from a series of strokes, after 7(1?) years of being more or less healthy. She grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn (thug much?!) and helped raise her two little brothers. She eventually married my grandpa and raised a two MORE kids, my mom and uncle. Throughout this time, she worked, got a GED, and eventually went to nursing school when my mom and uncle with in school themselves. She spent her WHOLE life caring for others, professionally as well as her family. She’s the reason I got accepted into the colleges I did, she’s the reason I was able to afford a $100,000 high school education. She is the reason I want to travel the world, and the reason I love food. Not a day has gone by when I don’t think about her. One of my teachers told me it takes more than a year to heal from this, and even after a year I don’t feel even a bit better. As I write this I taste nothing but salty tears, one of my least favorite tastes.

And with today, I share exciting news. TheCoutureCook is turning into more than just a food blog, or a place for me to rant about whatever it is I do, but a central location for a new business endeavor. As I fundraised for my trip to Honduras last summer, I will now be taking orders to help OTHERS fundraise as well. I will be competing (on behalf of my business) in a class competition as a part of the UMASS entrepreneurship endeavor soon as well. I hope to provide others with the tools to fundraise and make a difference in this world, as I did. I will also start fundraising for myself, first for the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage on December 4, than for another international service trip. (for more info, check here: Also, today gets a mini-makeover until my logo comes in. The site was a dark color, I guess as a means of mourning, but it’s time for the site to have some light at the end of the tunnel.

The last bit, is a Nutella Bread Pudding Recipe, as made for three of my favorite Senior Engineer Students over at UMASS, one being Sam, founder of Sneakers4Success (@Sneakrs4success on twitter), one of my best friends and mentors, who’s making INCREDIBLE strides to make this world a better one.

Nutella Bread Pudding

8 Nutella-filled sandwiches (16 slices), broken up, try using day-old bread

2 cups milk/cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 larges eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup (or 2, if you’re like us!) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter casserole dish

Place half of sandwich pieces into dish

combine milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and chocolate chips together, and pour over pieces

place remaining pieces over mixture, make sure they’re damp

Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until you can push down with a fork, and mixture springs back up

Serve with Milk!

Thank you all for the continued love and support, I wouldn’t be here without you!



ps. check out my new business cards!


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