Monday, November 9, 2009


Tapenade. It has been my breakfast, lunch and dinner. My daughter's after-school snack and my husband's late night appetizer. I am not home. I didn't even make the tapenade! I have been betwixt and between Betwixt and Betweened and Stuart Little. I never do two shows at one time. But I thought - as the playwright - how often do I need to be at rehearsals? Well, come dress rehearsal - a lot. Mainly for support. When 23 middle school students premiere a new play, the excitement is infectious, contagious and joyous. They want to chat with the playwright. And so after writing every morning, I spent my afternoons at a Black Box Theatre in Mahtomedi, MN and then ran to Lakeshore Players in White Bear Lake to audition, cast and start work on Stuart Little. It's kind of like dividing your time between Never-Never Land and Oz. En route, I smeared cream cheese on a slice of Italian bread and covered it all with some olive tapenade.

Heaven. My reward. My treat. Salty, tangy, briny olives mixing with the milky creaminess of the cream cheese (mascarpone would be good!).
Scarfing them down at home, in a car and at the theatre. Olives running down my chin. I felt decadent - living on a rich Mediterranean treat. No bags of potato chips for me!
I bought the tapenade. But if you'd like to try your hand at making your own, a simple recipe can be found here.
Amid cars overheating, lovely open-faced youthful eyes staring at me during auditions, glorious autumn days, belly rubs for the dog and planning my daughter's 21st birthday, we have had lots of cuddles and nuzzles with Pip. (aka Pippin, Sir Pipster, Pipperoni, Pyip).
The little fellow does indeed have something nasty. And one can learn a lot in two weeks. Because there is no traditional treatment, he is being treated holistically by "my-friend-the-research-veterinarian" and we have decided that we will take all the Pip time we can get. Even when he is knocking over hot candles, climbing the chandelier, chasing the dog's tail and sneezing into my coffee and wine.


Anonymous said...

I love tapenade and haven't had it in a while, it's a perfect snack!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I've been meaning to try making tapenade as I think my kids would enjoy it.

Hope your kitty's better soon and Happy B-day to your daughter!

Barbara GF said...

Oh, I think I could live on tapenade, Claudia.
And what a cute kitty!
Best of luck with the shows - break a leg, as they say.

Wanda..... said...

I have bought the olive tapenade that Costco carries, it's good but I'm sure you have made better yourself Claudia! Sorry to hear Pip's diagnosis is serious, my g/daughter Amanda(20) just recently lost her cat Abby(15) who grew up with her.

Angie's Recipes said...

Tapenade look so original and delicious!
Sir Pipster looks so sweet!

theUngourmet said...

I've never tried making my own tapenade but I do love it! I can eat way too much of the stuff!

I hope sweet kitty feels better very soon!

Hope your plays go well too! :D

Katy ~ said...

Oh my gosh, I am almost sobbing at the thought of that sweet little kitty being ill. I am such a SOFTIE for cats and an absolute WRECK when one of my gets ill. I hope your baby gets well soon.

Yumm... that little bite looks as if it delivers big flavor. I could probably eat enough to embarrass myself, grins.

Claudia said...

Sir Pipster eats and plays with gusto. You should see him fight his pills!

rosasdolcevita said...

The tapenade sounds soooo good! I'm getting hungry.... :-)

Hope the kitty gets well soon. He looks so adorable all cuddled up.

Imbocca al lupo! Good luck with the plays.

OysterCulture said...

Best of luck with the shows and all the other life moments. Stay sane, I bet watching the final production will be so rewarding.

I hope Pips gets better, I never had a cat growing up but experienced their fun and diverse personalities through my husband's family's cats. Unfortunately I also found out I'm allergic. They certainly make the world a better place.

Take care and much on a lovely bit of tapenade and toast for me.

Heather said...

mmmm. i love tapenade! your cat is so cute :)

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Looks fabulous Claudia!
hugs and ear rubs to that sweet kitty of yours!

figtree said...

2 plays at once..what an exciting time!! Bring on the tapenade..

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

You eat way better than I do when you're betwix and between! I love olive tepande and haven't tried with with cream have me drolling for this!

Keeping good thoughts for your cat.

Happy 21st birthday to your daughter!

Reeni said...

Pippin is adorable! So is your daughter! You are such a busy bee - this tapenade looks like the perfect treat! Sounds so delicious with cream cheese!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh gosh, I just read the prior post and I do hope your Pip will be beat the odds and get better. The tapenade looks great but your daughter is beautiful.

Bunny said...

You are absolutely amazing with everything you do and you still have time for us!

Nancy said...

Tapenade is a favorite of mine, as well - could enjoy it any time, anywhere.

Pip looks like a sweetheart; I hope he is on the mend soon!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Aw Pip is such an adorable cat! I do hope he ha more of his 9 lives available!

That tapenade sounds good ..I'd love it paired with a creamy goat cheese.

Your plays sound wonderful! My niece is a middle school teacher and every year is the one who works after school to audition, coach and practice the children for their big school production so I know how busy you must be doing so much with two schools!

Happy 21 birthday to your beautiful daughter!

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

I love making different tapenades!! I love its tastes!!

Lovely idea!

Heather S-G said...

Oh, he is so cute :) And just listening to your tapenade ecstasy is enough to have me craving some just the way you had it! Yummy. Have fun party planning!

My Little Space said...

You're a busy lady, Claudia. Those tapenade just perfect for your tight schedule snack. Btw, your cat looks healthy! & wishing your daughter Happy Birthday & hope she'll have a wonderful time! Cheers.

Kim said...

LOL - snacking on tapenade is way better than those boring potato chips :D What a great snack for a busy day. Pip is so adorable. I can see why you forgive her for sneezing into your coffee and wine. I wonder why cats sneeze so much? I'm so happy you liked the swiss chard recipe. I would be more than happy if you featured it. Thanks :D Good luck with the plays!!

Velva said...

You are a very busy woman and tapenade and a couple glasses of wine sounds like the perfect dinner or anytime snack :-) This looks good.

Keep us posted on your cat. Hope all will be well.