Topside Grill Customer Appreciation Night

Customer Appreciation Night!


Dear Joe,

Topside Grill will be closing for the season this Saturday (January 4th). It has been another wonderful season and we would like to personally say thank you to everyone that has been a part of our success. We had a fantastic 2013 and have a lot of great things lined up for 2014 already! Please come celebrate with us on Saturday if you can.



We will be having a complimentary buffet starting at 8:00 pm serving some of our favorite dishes and appetizers for you to enjoy!


Can’t Make it?

Sorry if you will not be able to join us on Saturday, but we wish you all a happy and safe 2014! We will be reopening Tuesday April 1st for another year.

“Little House” Cookies

Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies -6 ©Ki Smith 2013 .Don’t these cookies remind you of the Virginia Lee Burton children’s story The Little House?

Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies ©Ki Smith 2013

My friend Briar made this gorgeous gift of fabulously delicious baked treats for my family. The bursting-full-of-yumminess box contained gingerbread cookies, Willowdale signature cookies, pumpkin bread, and apple cake (her Italian grandmother’s recipe), which Briar enhanced to include cranberries.

Imagine, as the prorpietor of Willowdale (she employs over 100 local people), Briar still makes time to bake and hand decorate cookies and treats for her friends and family. Very fortunately for we, her friends, she bakes throughout the year, not just at Christmastime!Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies  -4©Ki Smith 2013 .

Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies -2 ©Ki Smith 2013 .

Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies -3 ©Ki Smith 2013 .Briar has perfected her gingerbread cookie recipe. The “Little House” cookies not only look amazing, they are actually super delicious as well (which isn’t always the case with gingerbread house dough).


Several years ago, I took Briar to the Cape Ann Museum to show her the wonderful Virginia Lee Burton exhibit. I love Briar’s gingerbread house cookies and they remind me greatly of Burton’s extraordinarily beautiful children’s book The Little House. What do you think?

I imagine that if a local baker wanted to make the connection between Virginia Lee Burton, Gloucester, and Little House cookies, it would fill a terrific niche and they would have a ready made market!

IMG_3175What The Little House would look like on a snowy day just like today!

sun The Llittle HouseVirginia Lee Burton daisy sun detail.

The Little House images are courtesy of a google image search.

Breaking Sad Gigantic Rubber Duck News

I have been getting inundated by this news and I thought it might be better to not post but we all must know. Barry Pollock first shared with me this sad news yesterday while we waited for the countdown to polar swim. When Barry told me the news I thought it was old news because a less horrible duck leak had happened a month ago.

But he was correct, A Gigantic Yellow Duck Exploded in Taiwan harbor just a few days ago. Do not watch this video with small children or if you are at work. Oh, the humanity.

Exploding Duck <<<horrible video


Mixed Berry and Peach Cobbler


mixed berry & peach cobbler (4)

Snow Storms and cooking go hand and hand in my world!. While my family is all cozied up by the fireplace watching funny videos, I am only a room away in my own little world cooking up a storm in the kitchen concocting dishes from left over grocery supplies from the holidays! First outta the oven is Mixed Berry & Peach Cobbler…A Yummy  treat on a cold winters day like this! I just love when a magically delicious recipe is developed from using a little of this and a little of that….and oops I don’t have that but I do have this!!! 

Mixed Berry & Peach Cobbler


2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 cups fresh strawberries;quartered

2 cups sliced skinless peaches; cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup flour

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons softened salted butter (used to butter ramekin cups)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (see note below)

Note~ I prefer to use vanilla infused sugar, recipe on page 126 of “Gifts Of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia, Harvest” to order copies clink link below

Crumble Topping Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter cut into bite-size pieces

1 packet instant apple cinnamon oatmeal


1 butter six Ramekins cups; arrange on parchment lined cookie sheet

mixed berry & peach cobbler (15)

2 place blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and lemon zest in large mixing bowl; mix well

mixed berry & peach cobbler (19)

3 add sugar, cornstarch and flour; mix well

mixed berry & peach cobbler (13)

mixed berry & peach cobbler (11)

4 spoon approximately one cup berry mixture into each prepared ramekin

mixed berry & peach cobbler (6)

5 combine first 6 ingredients of crumble topping in medium size mixing bowl; using pastry cutter, cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly; add instant oatmeal; mix well

mixed berry & peach cobbler (8)

mixed berry & peach cobbler (7)

mixed berry & peach cobbler (9)

6 top each with crumbled mixture; bake in preheated 350° oven 40-50 minutes; or until crumble is golden and fruit mixture is bubbly

mixed berry & peach cobbler (2)

mixed berry & peach cobbler (5)mixed berry & peach cobbler (3)
7 cool 10 minutes; top with the vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream

berry cobbles last photo

Rubber Duck Clapping in the Snow

Rubber Duck went for a swim yesterday on January 1. Today she was so excited about the snow so she went out to the rocks and started clapping.

It’s only 2 minutes and 25 seconds long. Pause it and let it load, crank the speakers, then let Rubber Duck rip.

Tickets on sale today for Henri Smith feat. Charles Neville March 7&9 and Cape Ann Big Band May 3

Sold out Larcom Theatre crowd cheers Henri Smith & Charles Neville April 2013 – photo Thom Falzarano

FOBs find out first!
If you haven’t been down the road to Beverly’s fully restored, historic Larcom Theatre, this would be a good time to get tickets to see two top local bands in one of the best listening venues north of Boston.

With superb acoustics, world-class stage lighting, comfortable seats, and excellent sight lines, this gorgeous theatre is a perfect place to experience the area’s best live music — and it’s only about 20 minutes away with plenty of free parking. (Here’s some info on previous shows.)

Cape Ann Big Band’s Larcom Theatre Debut is Saturday May 3, 2014.  17 top players led by Gloucester’s Carlos Menezes (one of the area’s most talented young musicians) this big band will feature guest vocalists for a special spring concert.  GET TICKETS HERE.

Back for two shows on the heels of their April 2013 sell-out, Grammy-winner Charles Neville joins Gloucester’s Henri Smith and his band New Orleans Friends and Flavours on Friday, March 7 at 8pm and again on Sunday, March 9 for a 3pm matinee.  Take advantage of this early announcement and get your tickets now:  Friday night tickets here, and Sunday Matinee tickets here.

Congratulations Marina Evans for being nominated NEMA Female Performer of the Year

The New England Music Awards announced their nominees yesterday and Cape Ann’s own Marina Evans is among them.  Congratulations Marina.  You make us all proud!

Now it’s up to YOU to help her out.  Vote here!  You only have until Jan 31.

This year’s nominees include other excellent choices in other categories too, some of whom, like Kingsley Flood, you’ve seen right here in Gloucester.

Thank You To The Friends Of Seacoast

January 2014

Thank you to the Friends of Seacoast

The Friends of Seacoast have provided our facility with a year worth of wonderful events in 2013 including:
The monthly dinner theater with entertainment and foods from local restaurants.
Visits by Barn Babies with Baby Farm Animals.
There have been monthly community outings thanks to the Friends of Seacoast.
Destinations included trips to the local restaurants, the Gloucester House, Cruise Port, The Azorean and Latitude 43.
The residents enjoyed a springtime afternoon tea at the Wenham Tea House.
We rented the “ The Hurricane” Whale Watch Boat for a summertime harbor cruise.
The Fall lunch and foliage trip was beautiful event at Turner Hill in Ipswich.
The residents loved their special Winter trip to see the Cape Ann Symphony Holiday Show.
We have hired exceptional entertainment with the funds provided by Friends of Seacoast including weekly concerts.
The famous Singing State Trooper Sgt. Dan Clark performed at the Veteran’s Day celebration and Dave Burns sang at the Christmas day concert.
The Friends of Seacoast provided each resident with a gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas.
Thanks to the Friends we have a new and great sound system which has enhanced the residents ability to hear well and participate successfully in their activities.

We are looking forward to many upcoming events with the support of the Friends of Seacoast in 2014.

Thank you Friends of Seacoast for your commitment, kindness, generosity and support.

Alison Cox,
Activity Director
Thomas M. Lattof

Casa de Luis is officially selling tickets for January 16th tequila tasting

Calling all friends and tequila lovers: Casa de Luis is officially selling tickets for our January 16th tequila tasting from 7pm-9pm! One $30 ticket gets you 5 samples of Don Julio tequila, one of each type, a sample of our Don Julio exclusive margarita, and a selection of tapas from the Traditional Dishes section of our menu- over a $160 value! For our out of town friends- be safe. A cab to/from Gloucester or Beverly is only $3 split 4 ways. Come into La Casa De Luis for a drink and grab a ticket- see you there!