Tag Archives: Julie LaFontaine


open-door-autumn-breakfast-22-copyright-kim-smithSarah Grow and Julie LaFontaine


State Senator Bruce Tarr, Amy-Beth Healey, and Mayor Romeo Theken

open-door-autumn-breakfast-25-copyright-kim-smithAmy-Beth, Michelle, Lara, Bea, and Meg


Thursday morning the Open Door Autumn Breakfast event kicked off the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive season. Cruiseport was packed with supporters, accolades and speeches given, and the free breakfast, delicious. David Sudbay, the Open Door’s President of the Board of Directors, gave the welcome speech. Julie LaFontaine, the organization’s Executive Director, spoke with the community about connecting, engaging, and advocating.

The Helen Muise Community Service Awards were presented to Donte Cone, Nancy Days, Lauren Johnson, Giselle Rein, and Susan Otis. The Unsung Heroes Award was given to Applied Materials Food Drive Team. Backyard Growers and Cape Ann Savings Bank were recognized as Outstanding Community Partners.

Amy-Beth Healey, the guest speaker, gave a poignant and heartrending speech, giving high praise and thanks for the steady assistance provided by the Open Door during her family’s time of need. One in six people in Gloucester requires food assistance. Amy-Beth’s life story spoke to the fact that so many amongst us are living pay check to pay check. Her story could easily become your story.

If you’d like to help feed the hungry on Cape Ann, you can:

Items most needed for the Thanksgiving Food Drive: Canned tuna, canned veggies and fruit, breakfast cereals, pasta, grains, 100 percent juice and juice boxes, peanut butter, and spaghetti sauce. Collecting food donations are Stop and Shop in Gloucester, Market Basket in Gloucester and Rowley, and Shaw’s in Ipswich and Eastern Avenue, Gloucester.

In case you missed the post earlier today, Julie and Mayor Sefatia announce the winner of the Market Basket shopping spree.


Love our community! Photos tonight at 6pm 🙂

Madame Mayor Visits The Open Door

Hi Joey,
The Open Door was lucky enough to be one of eight nonprofit organizations receiving a grant from the BJ’s Charitable Foundation this quarter in the form of a $7,500 grant.
Madame Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken recently visited the food pantry where she helped Kevin Brisson, our food pantry shift leader, stock the vegetable cooler with fresh produce before the last big storm. I sent along a few pictures to show how we are putting this resource to work for the community!
“BJ’s Charitable Foundation is proud to provide assistance to eight local nonprofit organizations that are committed to improving the lives of those in each of their communities,” said Jessica Newman, executive director for the BJ’s Charitable Foundation, in a statement. “These donations will assist thousands of individuals and families in the areas of hunger prevention, education, healthcare and self-sufficiency.”

A quote from me? “This is wicked awesome! Thank you, BJ’s for investing in our community.”

A reminder to readers and anyone out there who needs help, we are here to help. Don’t be shy!


Julie LaFontaine
Executive Director
The Open Door

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Evening Business Mixer At Second Glance Photos

Video with Julie LaFontaine Tomorrow

If you haven’t been to Second Glance you will be just as astounded as I was with the cheap cheap cheap stuff there and the money spent all goes toward feeding the hungry. 

Like if you have a rental apartment to furnish this would be my first stop, no brainer.

What to do with your Thanksgiving Leftovers

The holidays are upon us and who has money to throw away?  Not me!  So here are a few ideas how to save money by recycling some of your leftover holiday foods into fun meals for your family. This episode was conceived  after speaking with Julie LaFontaine the Executive Director of the Open Door Food Pantry (pictured above, with Lily).  We were talking about what I could do to help spread the message of the Open Door and we came up with this show.

I went to the grocery store and bought the items that will be included in the Thanksgiving meals that are being donated to the Open Door.  I went home, cooked a traditional turkey dinner including turkey, potatoes, squash, carrots, stuffing, gravy, onions and cranberry sauce.  Also in the basket is a 5 pound bag of apples so I had all of that to work with.   And this is what I came up with.

These are the recipes for Inspired Cooking that is airing on Cape Ann TV tonight at 8:30 and again Friday at 4:30 and Sunday morning at 11:30.

Because you will be using your leftovers (and I don’t know how much you have) and I used mine, the quantities are not exact.  Taste what you are putting together, add dash of something here and a little more of something there and you will come up with a fun cost effective meal for your family.

Use these recipes as guidelines to making something terrific!

Squash Custard Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust.
5-6 cups leftover squash and carrots–whatever you do not have, make up the difference with a can of pumpkin puree–if veggies are a little chunky, that’s ok as long you are ok with texture in your pie.
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon melted butter
½-¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fit crust into deep dish pie plate and crimp edges.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream butter, sugar and extract.  Stir in vegetables and season with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pour filling in to pie crust and bake pie for 45-55 minutes until filling is set and the blade of a knife, inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

Allow to cool before slicing.

Oatmeal topped Apple Crisp–serve with ice cream if you have it!

¼ cup flour
¾ cup brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch salt
5-7 cups peeled apples (whatever you have), peeled, cored and sliced
4 tablespoon melted butter, divided
2 cups old fashioned oats (if you have quick oats, use them!)

Spray an 8” x 8” dish with nonstick spray or coat with butter.  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and salt and toss mixture with apples.  Pour apples in to prepared pan.

Whisk together oats, melted butter, remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples.  Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes until oatmeal is crisp and apples are soft.  Enjoy

Turkey Dinner in a Stuffing Muffin

Cooked Turkey, cut into small cubes
Leftover gravy
Leftover stuffing
Leftover cranberry sauce
Leftover mashed potatoes

Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Mix turkey and stuffing in a small bowl.  Press  stuffing into bottom and up sides of cups  to make a crust.  Spoon 2 tablespoons  of the turkey and gravy mixture into the stuffing crust.  Place a small slice or tablespoon of cranberry sauce on top of the turkey  mixture.

Place about ¼ cup mashed potatoes in the palm of your hand and form into a patty.  Place the patty on top of the filled stuffing cup.

Repeat using up the remaining leftovers.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until edges are lightly browned.  Remove pan from oven and  allow cups to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Remove from pans and serve with additional gravy if desired.

Pulled Turkey Sliders with CranApple Slaw and Crispy Oven Fries

For the sandwiches you will need:

Leftover or fresh small rolls
Turkey, pulled into small pieces
Barbecue sauce

Mix turkey with bbq sauce.  Heat either slowly on the stovetop or covered in the oven at 350 degrees until hot.  Toast the rolls and slather with additional barbeque sauce if desired.  Place warm turkey on the bun and top with the slaw

For the slaw:

Leftover cranberry sauce
1 bag cole slaw mix
Apple chunks
Celery seeds, poppy seeds or other spices, if desired
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix equal amounts cranberry sauce and mayonnaise.  Add seasonings if desired and pour over apple chunks and slaw mix in a large bowl. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.

For the oven fries:
Uncooked potatoes, cut into steak fry size
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss cup potatoes with a few tablespoons olive oil to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Also great with a little garlic powder sprinkled on.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until crisp on one side. Flip fries over and cook for an additional 10 minutes until cooked through.  Enjoy!

And last but not least, Lily in her fabulous hat and chef’s coat.  Let me tell you, this kid can cook!  She came in 4th in an apple pie contest at Brooksby Farm on Sunday–there was no youth category–she competed against the adults!  I am so proud of her!