April 7

Churchville USA – Welcomes Laura!

Vicotory Beets

From: krissy@churchcooks.com

To: lauratoestein@scoobysbait.com

Hi Laura,

Thank you for stopping in Church Cooks for lunch Eric gave me your information and yes I would love to talk with you about joining our team. Eric and I have been looking for a Sous Chef since we have opened. Please send me your resume so Eric and I can discuss and be prepared to make a quick decision when we meet with you.

Lastly and most importantly WELCOME to town I hope you love Churchville as much as I do. As a transplant myself, I and never in a million years thought I would call a small town in the middle of nowhere home!

Does Friday at 2PM work to meet with Eric and I? We have offices up stairs if you go in the side door next to Church Cooks Boutique you will find us.


From: lauratoestein@scoobysbait.com

To: krissy@churchcooks.com

Thanks Krissy 2PM will work perfect for me and attached is my resume. I will bring a sauce for you to taste along with a cake I have been testing. I would also like to play a role in the pastry’s if this is an option and oh yes assuming you hire me. J

Rob and I picked up some of your award winning cookies and met your sister Jane when we first came to town and OMG you have to tell me how in the world you make those. Rob loves cookies which if you look at him you can see I make way to many for him. We may have to put a one cookie per week limit on him.

See you on Friday and I attached a photo of a beet salad I thought you would like to see the presentation.

Yours Laura

From: krissy@churchchooks.com

To: lauratoestein@scoobysbait.com

Thanks Laura for the photo I am really into beets now and have been pushing Eric to get them on the Menu. I should also let you know between us girls Eric thinks of himself as a bit of a ladies man and has a huge ego but deep down he is a big teddy bear. Wanted to let you know so you are prepared for him on Friday he is a fabulous chef and leader.

Must run now Mark and I are heading into the city for the private opening of Ifood will be interesting to say the least. Did you meet Mark Brothers yet? He owns the flower and landscape company in town?


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April 4

Kraft Cheese Product Review

From: sallyrayjones@gmail.com

To: St. Martin’s Women’s Club Email Group

Subject: Reviews and next meeting

I wanted to send this review out to everyone in case one of you did not get it yet as it mentions our club and I have to agree 100% with the below. I am not sure what Eric does to make those burgers so good but WOW. As we spoke in our meeting I would like to propose to Eric that we do an outdoor burger stand down by the lake over the 4th of July and see how it goes. If it goes well we could discuss going to the Taste of the City which our club would run but we would co market with Krissy and the city. I have been told by Laura who asked Suzie in city finance and they do have some tourism money available to buy the truck.

We have a new couple moving into town this weekend so a welcome package needs to be prepared and Sarah you invite Laura to our next meeting. Rob and Laura Toestein are moving here from the city and Rob is opening up a bait shop in town where Scooby’s used to be. I googled Rob and he is a professional fisherman and Laura is a chef.

Reminder our next meeting is Thursday at 7PM at the Church we need to do inventory and will discuss the burger truck again at that time. Sarah can I give you one more to do? Can you talk with Suzie and see if she can help us apply for the tourism funding?

Below is the review which was published online Taste of The City.

kratfThis is one excellent burger. For starters, it’s proof positive that everything truly is better with fresh local product. The beef and pork are ground together in roughly a four-to-one ratio, infusing each bite with a richness not normally associated with lean ground beef. The well-seasoned patty is thick and jagged-edged, and it gets a dark, flavorful char on a flat-top grill. From there, chef Eric Mowsman sticks to a fairly simple and surprisingly disciplined regimen. The golden, in house baked buns are anyone’s idea of a perfect hamburger bun. They’re toasted and swiped with a homemade mayo. Size-wise, patty and bun are a perfect match. The bottom half is neatly covered in a layer of crunchy, teasingly tangy icebox pickles, which follow a beloved local St. Marta’s Church Groups cook book recipe. The top of the patty is crowned with two burger classics: Crisp bacon, cut to pancetta-like skinniness, and two melting-down-the-sides slices of American cheese. You read that correctly. No four-year aged Cheddar, no oozy brie, no funky Roquefort, no artisanal Gouda, just a plain-old supermarket dairy case staple, the kind that Kraft sells in individual wrappers. It’s an offbeat choice for such a food-forward operation, but it really works; anyone raised in a Betty Crocker household will instantly associate this mild processed product with burgers but if Bon Appetite says it is than I guess it is.

Category: Church Cooks, Sarah Ray Jones | Comments Off on Kraft Cheese Product Review
February 16

Soft Opening Menu is Set and Sold Out

Soft Opening Menu

Meanwhile in Churchville, USA Krissy took a much need break from writing and is back in town and ready for the soft opening of Church Cooks and her sister Jane has all the inventory in and busy styling the Artisan Gourmet Boutique.

The women of St. Marta’s Parish have worked side by side with Eric Mowsmen creating the items the will be featured from the Church Cooks Books past and present. The entire town is invited to the soft opening which it is scheduled Monday the 24th to Wednesday the 26th and is completely sold out.

The women’s club sent out invitations to about 50 out of town guests that either have vacation property in Churchville or have supported the club over the years 42 of the 50 guests invited have RSVP’d. Thursday will be the press party and close friends of Krissy and Mark Brothers including several of his former teams mates and friends.

The town is abuzz with all the famous people coming into town and it is rumored you cannot get a place to stay within 50 miles of the city limits. The city council has already approached Krissy about adding a Boutique Hotel to the 2 floors above the restaurant.



Deviled Eggs on Horseback $3
Popovers with a Quick Roast and Lilac Honey Butter $4
“Cheese and Crackers” $4
Croquettes $3
Salmon with Dill $5
Charcuterie $4 / $8
Rudy’s American Meatballs $5
Perfect Beet Salad with Lime $4
Not Too Spicy Chorizo $5


2 $50 For Half / $95 For Whole
Shaved Beets
Broken Scallops
Buckwheat Pasta w/sausage
Prosciutto-Stuffed Chicken with Mushroom sauce
Glazed Pork Chops ala Al
Mini Rack of Lamb


Honey & Orange Cake $8
Chocolate Finale Brownies $10
Grape Fruit Cake with Candied Peel $8
Featured from St. Marta’s Women’s Club Church Cooks Book

Category: Chicken, Church Cooks | Comments Off on Soft Opening Menu is Set and Sold Out
December 14

Big Noodle Soup And Local Flaire

Big Noodle Soup


December 12th

From: sallrayjones@gmail.com

To: St. Martin’s Women’s Club Email Group

Subject:  Eric and Local Flaire

Thanks everyone for attending the meeting last night and what a treat to have Eric the new Chef at Church Cooks stop by with samples of his Big Noodle Soup.   Our little town truly needs a upscale restaurant and chef like him.

As we discussed with him, he would like us to select 4 – 6 recipes from our books so he can feature them on and off throughout the week.   His plan to bring local flare and charity into the restaurant is a big win for our causes, club, and parish.

We agreed we will use the winning recipe for each year which gives us 2 main dishes and 1 cookie.    Each of us will pick 3 other recipes that we feel will high light the town and our books the best and we will discuss our choices at the next meeting.

I would like to give Eric about 10 to pick from and let him make the final choice.   Our town has so many visitors from all around the world  he has the experience to know what to feature with that market better than we do.   These features will help us sell our books.  I see into the future how we could have something online also.

Remember items/idea’s to sell in the Gourmet Boutique are due in by the end of the year if you want them included in the Grand Opening.    Krissy and her team need to get the items ordered and get everything displayed.    (She told me she is going to offer her sister Jane the job of managing the Boutique).

See everyone tomorrow for the Christmas Cookie Bake Sale lets hope we sell out.

Next meeting is schedule for  next Friday at 4PM it will be a short one as I know we are all busy getting the last minute things done before Christmas.

See you all than and stay warm and safe.

Sally Ray

Big Noodle Soup 


  • 11/2 lbs hamburger (cooked and drained)
  • 16 ozs fresh canned tomatoes (whole, crushed by your hands)
  • 1 large onion
  • 16 oz mild bloody mary mix or V8
  • 2 tbs butter (plus more for softening onions)
  • 8 oz BIG noodles (such as rigatoni)


  • Bring pot of water salted to boil for noodles
  • Brown the hamburger until just pink drain and set up
  • In the same pan soften the onion with 2 tbs of butter
  • As the you are preparing the above in a soup pot add the tomatoes and Bloody Mary or VS juice
  • Add 2 tbs butter to the tomato base 
  • Begin to bring juice/tomato to boil and turn down to simmer
  • Add noodles to by now boiling water and cook until al dente
  • Add hamburger, onions, and noodles to base
  • Season with Salt and Pepper
  • Simmer for 10 minutes longer and serve topped with Cheese and Fresh Cilantro or Parsley
  • Sour cream on the side add’s a nice touch go crazy and season the sour cream just like Eric did!

This is a simple comfort soup that is easy to make.   You can change to spicy Bloody Mary mix to add more flavor and depth.

Be sure to visit Krissy Carpenters web site www.eatcreatedesign.com.


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October 31

Chocolate Cake and Boutique Talk

The Very Best Chocolate CakeOctober 14th

To: sarahcooks@gmail.com

From: sallyrayjones@gmail.com

Hi Sarah

Thanks for recapping the notes from the club meeting.   I did speak to Krissy yesterday and she is coming to the next club meeting which as you know is scheduled right after pot luck dinner.

Speaking of  Pot Luck Friday I still need a dessert are you willing to try a new Chocolate Cake Recipe?   I found this in my Grandma’s old church book.   I would make it but I am making the main meal and between that and helping Joe make the teams year end party awards I need some help?  If you cannot do it I was thinking about asking Krissy to make her award winning chocolate chip cookies?

Thanks and let me know

Sally Ray

October 14th

To: sallyrayjones@gmail.com

from: sarahcooks@gmail.com

Of course I can make the cake for Friday…. You know cake is my specialty thank you for asking.   Just send me over the recipe and I will make it in the AM on Friday.  How many people do we have reservations for?

I have been asking Krissy to come to a meeting for how long?  Do you think she does not like me?   I will ask her on Friday before the meeting I know at times I can be a bit loud.

By the way did you see Krissy’s car at Mark’s again last night?  I notice it’s not there in the AM so maybe they are just friends.  What a cute couple they make.   I heard from Earl that Mark does not date (men or women).   Such a shame a handsome man like Mark.    I wonder if he will be helping Krissy with the huge project she is taking on…. A restaurant and a boutique?

As you know I was talking about doing that same thing in town opening a local gourmet boutique.     I just be Laura told Krissy about my plans and that spurred her idea to do this.     I have to be honest I am a little taken back by her doing exactly what I was thinking about  doing in addition to a restaurant. 7G58BUZEUDN7

Anyway send me over the recipe I am sure I will add my special touch to it.

See you Friday.


Oct 14th

To: sarahcooks@gmail.com

From: sallyrayjone@gmail.com

I am running out the door so I have to make this quick … Here is the recipe and really Sarah just be happy for the town, club, and Krissy.    Why don’t you send Krissy a note with your idea’s you never know maybe she will hire you?

Oh and about the cake can you do a blueberry drizzle and bring some whipped cream?

Very Best Chocolate Cake

3 cups flour                         1 cup oil (I used olive oil for baking)

2 cups sugar                          1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder          2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup cocoa                      2 cups cold water

2 tsp vinegar                          2 eggs

Put all ingredients together in one bowl.  Mix well.  Pour into greased and floured 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cake springs back and does not wiggle in the middle.   Perfect for cupcakes or layer cake also.

Must Run

Sally Ray





Category: Cakes and Cookies, Church Cooks, Krissy Carpenter | Comments Off on Chocolate Cake and Boutique Talk
October 27

Falling in Love with Tomatoes

In the Meantime in Churchville Krissy and Mark have been spending almost every evening together cooking and drinking wine.  Last weekend they taught each other to can tomatoes.    The simple act of making something for the future hit Krissy hard and she sent this note to her sister Jane.

“The heat coming off the tomatoes about drove me crazy.   His strong hands working to gently peel the tomatoes and his strong arms lifting the pots I wanted so badly for him to take me in his arms and hold me forever.  I know Sis I am the one that told him I am only interested in being friends.  That I don’t stay in one spot for long.  But I feel it more and more each day this is my home I am staying in Churchville and I am in love.  But now what do I do I want him to love me back?”

Krissy’s Famous Spaghetti  Sauce with Home Canned Tomatoes (she calls it Naked Tomato Sauce)

2 quart jars of canned tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2 large clove garlic, thinly sliced

Pinch of red pepper flakes
Small handful basil leaves, most left whole, a few slivered for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
12 ounces (3/4 pound) dried spaghetti
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or maybe two if nobody is looking

Add  the canned tomatoes and salt to a large saucepan (you’ll be adding the pasta to this later, so err on the big side) and turn the heat to medium-high. There are several ways to break the tomatoes down (with your hands, chopping, an immersion blender that I don’t think Italian Grandmothers would approve of but don’t worry, they’re not in the kitchen with you anyway) but Krissy used a potato masher, as it gives you the maximum control over how chunky, smooth you want your sauce.

Once the sauce has begun to boil, turn your heat down to medium-low and gently simmer your tomatoes for 35 to 45 minutes, mashing them more  if needed.

While the tomato sauce cooks, combine garlic, a few whole basil leaves, a pinch of red pepper flakes and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat them slowly, over the lowest heat so that they take a long time to come to a simmer. Once it does, immediately remove it from the heat and strain the oil into a small dish. You’ll need it shortly.

When the tomato sauce has been simmering for about 25 minutes, bring your tomato-blanching pot of water back to a boil with a healthy helping of salt. Once boiling rapidly, cook your spaghetti until it is al dente, i.e. it could use another minute of cooking time. Reserve a half-cup of pasta cooking water and drain the rest.

Once your sauce is cooked to the consistency you like, stir in the reserved olive oil and adjust seasonings to taste. Add drained spaghetti and half the reserved pasta water to the simmering tomato sauce and cook them together for another minute or two. Add remaining pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce. Stir in the butter, if using, and serve immediately with slivered basil for garnish.   This sauce is so simple and good it needs no grated cheese.

Serve with Warm Baguette.

Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen. 



Category: Church Cooks, Krissy Carpenter, Mark Brothers | Comments Off on Falling in Love with Tomatoes