Pepper is the Perfect Seasoning

Date posted: Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Jane Pepper knows how to put on a show. As the former Philadelphia Horticultural Society President, she was the mastermind behind the world-renowned Philadelphia Flower Show for 25 years. The show attracts an awe-inspiring 250,000 visitors annually from around the globe and serves as inspiration to novice and seasoned gardeners alike.


Therefore, when Jane heard about Farm to Families, its mission of connecting Philadelphians with access to and education about fresh food resonated strongly for her. Her Dine In, she decided, would be intimate and cosy, a welcome relief from the formal fundraisers that her close circle of friends, family and colleagues often attend.

Calling on the creative energy she is notorious for in everything she does, she went to work creating a different kind of show — on a much smaller scale of course — but full of atmosphere and beautifully orchestrated. Jane’s brother Simon, in town from the family’s native Edinburgh, Scotland, brought his sense of humor and lovely lilt to the evening. More than 25 friends, many of whom have been friends for decades, chatted in front of a roaring fire at Jane’s home in Media.

Caterer Miranda Kany of Samirand Catering was charged with creating a menu based on ingredients procured from local farms. Some of these included Weaver Valley Farm in Strasbourg, Maple Lawn Organics in Lancaster and Claudio King of Cheese in South Philly. A buffet dinner was served on a table filled with flowers and set with charming hand-drawn cards. Dishes overflowed with shepherds pie made of lamb, French lentils, dandelion salad, and sweet potato gnocchi. For dessert, in a nod to Scotland, fig pudding was one of the delicious items served and savored.

The night was full of energy and enthusiasm, and as one guest said, “we sure were lucky when we got Jane.” Thankfully, Jane’s show goes on.

Rebecca Morley: Catch Her If You Can

Date posted: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Rebecca Morley is a young woman with a lot on her plate. This dynamo with a bright smile and energy to spare is an on-the-go executive, newlywed, athlete and community advocate.  Add to this, a full roster of friends and colleagues she enjoys socializing with, and you see a woman who has mastered the recipe for success.

Rebecca Morley

Lucky husband, Dave was able to catch the lovely Rebecca Morley who is now stepping into the kitchen to the delight of friends and family.

Yet there was one recipe Rebecca hadn’t quite mastered  — that would be a real recipe — of any sort.  By her own admission, cooking was something she would rather leave to the talented restaurant chefs in her Washington Square neighborhood. Read More…

Katie Cavuto Boyle: Look What Popped Up…

Date posted: Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Katie Cavuto Boyle is a superstar.  For starters, she is the nutritionist to the Philadelphia Phillies, making sure the guys are well fed for the field.  As a finalist on the reality show The Next Food Star, she lit up the screen, and word on the street is that she is in talks for a new TV show. Katie also volunteers her time to teach hundreds of breast cancer patients each year about nutrition and healthy eating.  The list goes on.

Katie takes a well-deserved break to catch up with Jan Shaeffer

Though petite in stature, this pretty brunette with the mega-watt smile, knows how to do some heavy lifting.  So when she decided to host a Dine In, she wanted to really light it up.  She did just that –and then some. Read More…

Barbara Deptula & George Pipia: (Cherry) Pie in the Sky

Date posted: Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Here’s a friendly tip:  If Barbara Deptula ever invites you over for a piece of cherry pie, you might want to eat a little something before you go.  When you arrive at her Rittenhouse Square condo, the conversation will certainly sparkle, the laughs will be hearty, and the wine will be plentiful. The pie, though, may never show.

Barbara and George on the terrace at 10 Rittenhouse

Barbara still pokes fun at herself for purchasing store-bought pie to serve to friends without realizing that the picture on the package was not an actual pie, but instead an empty pie crust. Read More…

Pat and Helen Burns: The Fresh Grocer Brings It Home

Date posted: Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

It’s a lovely summer evening in suburban Philadelphia.  In a beautiful backyard, around tables set with sophisticated china and stemware, 40 guests, arms entwined, sway to the sounds of an entertainer in a Hawaiian shirt singing pitch-perfect as Neil Diamond one minute, Whitney Houston the next.  The first few bars of “Sweet Caroline” begin and the crowd joins in with heart and soul.

Pat and Helen Burns take a moment from their hosting duties to pose for a picture.

No, this isn’t your cousin’s wedding.  Believe it or not, this is a fundraiser, though clearly not your average fundraiser.  That is because the evening’s hosts are anything but average.  Pat and Helen Burns are extraordinary, and by the end of the evening, they will have raised a record-setting $11,000 for Farm to Families.   Read More…