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And a recipe for Caramelized Brie Bites

“Can you die of a broken heart?”, I asked my father on a snowy winter's day, while he shoveled our driveway.

“Cause Dad, I think I’m dying.”

My father recalls this story by saying, “Your tears were so big, they were falling and making round holes in the snow.”

I was ten and Tony, an actor on my Grandmother's soap opera, The Guiding Light, was the object of my affection.

“I love him so much it hurts, Dad. I just want to meet him, hug him and go horseback riding with him.”

The horseback riding episode had particularly peaked my interest that week.

This would be the first of MANY times I would fall in love, thus earning me the nickname from my parents, “Our Love Child”.

“Was I always this bad?”, I asked my mother recently.

“Mary, on your first day of school, you took a boy home with you on the bus! I had to call his mother and say, I’m sorry, but my daughter took your son home with her from school today.”

“Mary, you have ALWAYS been someone who loves being in love”.

On this Valentine’s Day Eve, I’m thinking a lot about love. But, not so much love for any one person, as Valentine’s day tries so hard to make you feel you have to. Instead, I'm thinking about LOVE in general and how lucky we are to be able to fall in love many many times a day.

I decided to write down how many times I fell in love today… goes.

I Love...

  • Waking up at 5:30am when the city still feels asleep, looking out my window and seeing one cab driving up the West Side Highway.
  • I love when my dog Stanley paws my side of the bed in the morning requesting entry under the covers for a snuggle.
  • I beyond LOVE being a mom and everything about my daughter Gala. I love that I never gave up trying to bring her into this world. I love when she opens her eyes for the first time every morning. Yes, I hover over her and wait. I plan to do this until she's 21.
  • I love my first cup of coffee.
  • I love my doorman Fernando and that that he yells, “Good Morning Giuliani!” as he high fives me every morning on my way out the door.
  • I love New York City, so stinking much.
  • I love my eight block walk to work and that I get to enter an office filled with creative, compassionate, talented people that genuinely love what they do.
  • I love walking into one of our parties and floating around in a sea of creative energy and excitement that surrounds our waitstaff and chefs, all pursuing their "Big Apple" dreams. Being around passionate people with big dreams is just so so yummy.
  • I love that no two days are ever the same. Particularly fantastic for someone with ADD.
  • I love Juan, the gentleman that delivers my bacon, egg and cheese sandwich to my desk and that first gooey bite.
  • I love pigs in a blanket and that I get to see bunches of them several times a week. 
  • I equally love melted cheese, so much that I'm sharing a special Caramelized Baked Brie Bites recipe with you for Valentine's Day ;)
  • I love that my DVR is packed to the brim with shows right now. Who's watching This Is Us!???? How much do you LOVE Toby????
  • I love that my nephews asked me to pick them up from school today.
  • I love the idea of getting older, retiring and moving into the below mode of transport someday with my Ryan.
My Dream Mobile Home
  • I love trying a new restaurant and reading a new menu from start to finish.
  • I love the mozzarella sticks at Emmet’s on McDougal Street.
  • I love that I can still call my Mom and Dad every morning and say hello.
  • I love you for reading this Blog (all four of you ;) chances are I have a crush on at least three of you ;)
  • I hope you fall in love many, many times today and everyday and I wish you all GREAT LOVE!

Happy Valentines Day!

Love, Mary

PS. Since I never got the chance to properly apologize, I'M SO SORRY, Chris Casey (the boy I took home on the bus with me in the first grade) for kidnapping you. Hope you haven't suffered from any long term effects.

Caramelized Brie Bites


1 cup brown sugar unpacked

¼ cup (½ stick) butter

½ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

17-ounce package puff pastry, thawed out according to directions

8-ounce piece of Brie, chilled or semi frozen, cut into 1-inch


2 large whole eggs, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water

12 ounces heavy cream


  1. In a saucepan add the brown sugar, cream, butter, and salt on medium-low heat. Cook together while stirring gently until it thickens, about 7 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and continue to cook for additional  couple of minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temp until ready to use.
  2. Lay out a sheet of pastry and using a ruler cut 2x2-inch squares. Place a cube of Brie in the front part in the center of the pastry squares. Using a pastry brush, paint all the edges of the dough with egg wash. Fold the front part of the dough with the cheese over the remaining pastry to enclose the cheese inside. The seam side should be underneath. Using a fork end press the ends of the dough to seal them together. Place each bite on a paper lines sheet tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Brush the tops of the pastry with remaining egg wash and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and before serving. Spoon a dot of caramel on top of each one.
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