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A Chef James, interview with Connie Bandstra, author of ‘Tasty Temptations’ Cookbook. Connie and her Husband Andy own Teacups & Tiaras Tearoom in a restored historic district in West Des Moines, Iowa.  September, 2006

Chef James: What made you decide to write a cookbook?

Connie Bandstra: Patrons began asking the very first week of our opening, how I made this, what did I add to that and you need to write a cookbook!!  In 2005 I was invited into a mentoring/coaching program by Rick Segel ( and his first comment was that I must write a cookbook -- no long putting it off!!!

Chef James: How did you choose what recipes from your Teacups & Tiaras tearoom to include in your book?

Connie Bandstra: Not all of the recipes are from Teacups & Tiaras.  There are over 130 recipes in the book and these are some of my favorites that I have savored and served to guests, family and friends for over 35 years.  I wanted to bring a quality to the book that anyone could be assured that the ingredients are readily available in your local grocery; simple instructions; and know that you would feel comfortable in serving any of these to the boss or your future mother-in-law.

Chef James: What was most enjoyable about the process of writing 'Tasty Temptations'?

Connie Bandstra: I enjoyed every step of creating this book!  It brought back memories of wonderful times shared with family and friends while dining on some of these recipes.  I've made many new friends through the process in taking this book from beginning to end.  It was like having a child and going through the birthing process.  The greatest moment was opening that first box and taking out the finished product!

Chef James: Americans seem to be eating out more than ever, yet cookbook sales are increasing. Is this growing interest in cooking an encouraging sign that we will gradually see more families eating healthy home cooked meals together again?

Connie Bandstra: Through constant education, I sincerely hope that we can turn America's eating habits from "dash dining" to  "getting to know you" around the dinner table.  I am an advocate of family Sunday dinners and celebrating a meal around the table.  Remember, hats off, shirts on, and no TV.   Also, when preparing a Sunday meal for the family, remember to put a pot of stew, chilli, sauce, or whatever on the stove for an additional meal during the week.  There is nothing wrong with take out.  Just put it in a nice dish, set the table, sit down and enjoy the reason you brought a family together.

Chef James: What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?

onnie Bandstra: I look forward to and will explore every opportunity that comes my way.  My next cookbook is in the mill.  I'd love to do a TV show on reviewing tearooms & B&B's around the country. Where's Gordon Elliott when I need him!


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