547 DAYS…

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Sometimes following your heart, your passion and your dreams is exhilarating and energizes you…you feel so pumped up-it’s as though you can tackle the world and nothing is gonna stop you. YOU ARE A FORCE!!! Then there are times, that you follow your passion and you feel, hesitant and worried and a million things go through your head-any of which is enough to make you buckle under the pressure and collapse. In either extreme…you continue…ONWARD. You don’t rest until you’ve reached the finish line. You embrace the fear of rejection, self doubt, worry and the reality that you might fail…and you keep going anyways, you push on, and in the end you look back when its all over and realize that somehow during that whole roller coaster process…you made it and became a force. The journey made you stronger and better.

Earlier this week I picked up boxes upon boxes from a warehouse. These were no ordinary boxes…these boxes contained the first copies of my new book: Provisions To Plate. I spent 18 months creating 272 pages that shared an untold story about our amazing food community. I photographed, wrote and designed the entire thing. I represented 20 people and their stories. It was a large undertaking…I knew it would be, but I was excited and passionate about this project and felt certain it was the path that I had been led to and I embraced the opportunity to take it on. It wasn’t easy to create this…but I did it! The road ahead to promote and sell it now lays before me and while that has its own list of worrisome issues, I’ll take them on 1 at a time and work through them (happily work through them, because I feel like I’m living the journey I was meant to be pursuing).

I am now, an author. I’m still slightly in awe of what this new chapter of my life means, I’m not entirely sure. But it is the next chapter because I didn’t give up or buckle under the pressure and trust me there was and continues to be A LOT of pressure. I am a author because I decided I wanted to make a food book that told the story of 6 farmers, 4 fishermen and 10 chefs. They shared with me their stories and recipes and allowed me to be part of their lives for 18 months.

I am now, an author. Because I followed my passion and kept pushing on, even when FEAR looked me straight in the eye…every step of the process. I stared back and said: “Not today, I will not back down…TODAY!” That was 547 days (to be exact) that I did not let fear hold me back.

As of June 2018…I am an AUTHOR. 

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For more information about Provisions To Plate visit: chsfoodwriter.com

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Enjoy the recipe below, it’s one of my favorites from the 35+ recipes in the book! Leila one of the two chefs who created this yummy dish, has become one of my dearest friends and a great inspiration in my life. She is bold and strong and an amazing woman following her own dreams. She and her fiancé started an amazing new catering company this year called: Embers and Ashes. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram!

Bon Appetite!!

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Grilled Clams

with Asparagus, Shishito Peppers, Basil & Lemons

 

Created by: Italo Marino & Leila Schardt

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 dozen clams from Clammer Dave 1 bunch asparagus
6 ounces shishito peppers
2 each lemons, cut in half

4 slices of sourdough bread, 1⁄2 inch slices 6 each garlic cloves (use 5 and thinly slice them, lightly smash one clove) 1/2 or 1 each jalapeño, sliced this 3 sprigs of basil, torn

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
3 T sesame seeds, toasted

Directions

Prepare your grill for medium heat. Place the asparagus, shishito peppers and lemons in a bowl. Coat them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the asparagus, peppers, lemons and clams on the grill.

Cook the clams until they fully open. Grill the vegetables and lemons until they are slightly charred and the asparagus and peppers are tender. Once everything is cooked, put thelemons off to the side and place the rest of theingredients in a bowl.

Drizzle each slice of bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, on both sides. Place the bread on the grill and cook until each side

has a beautiful grill mark. Once your bread is grilled, take your smashed garlic clove and rub it oneach side to give the bread a light garlic flavor.

Now that all of your products are cooked, take your clam mixture and add the sliced garlic, jalapeños,basil and season it with salt and pepper. Place everything into your desired serving bowl and finishby sprinkling on the sesame seeds. Place the lemons and grilled bread on the side of the bowl, grab your friends and dig in!

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