Sometimes people, just like recipes perhaps, are ingrained in our lives forever. And, for me, Ms. Guerrin Gardner is just one of those people.

I can very easily say that Guerrin is my longest-running friend, having met when we were just two-years of age. I am so thrilled, and so thankful to have her here as our guest this week on the Heirloom Recipe Series, to share her story & her heirloom recipe with us.

You’d think you’d know everything about someone you’ve known so long, and someone who’s family was truly a part of my own. But, in reading her beautiful story below, for the very first time I realized that her middle name came from her Grandmother. How I didn’t know this until now remains a mystery, but further justifies for me how important storytelling & preservation of such heirloom things truly are.

From the very moment I met her, Guerrin aspired to be all the things she has today become. I couldn’t be more proud to call her my friend and I certainly do hope you enjoy reading her lovely story below!

Heirloom Recipe Series with Guerrin Gardner:

My entire life, I have day dreamed and imagined what my Grandmother Lila was like. Growing up in the south, I would hear stories of her legacy – a beautiful , charismatic New York model who married my Grandfather and headed down to Quincy, Florida – where she had four children and charmed everyone she met through her vivacious personality and whip-sharp sense of humor. Sadly, she passed away when my father was just ten years old – and I inherited her name as my middle name. I’ve always felt a connection to Lila: Now that I’ve been in New York for quite some time, I too am a Southern/Yankee (a Southkee?) hybrid who has no problem sassing a fresh fellow passenger on the subway, yet still feels the urge to write a hand-written apology note after said sassing. I sometimes cut through the Waldorf Astoria lobby and try to envision my Grandparent’s wedding all those years ago and just find it so completely fascinating how everything has come full circle, and I now reside where she grew up.

Lila’s chic furniture and exquisite serving pieces fill my family home in Florida, several of her cashmere sweaters and costume jewelry pieces have made their way into my few prized possessions, and her handwritten recipes live on in the home of her only daughter (My Aunt), Jane. For someone whom I never had the pleasure of meeting in real life, seeing her actual handwriting on these pieces of paper – and the occasional splatter or stain – is just another puzzle piece in my never-ending desire to know every part of this enchanting woman. These recipes are physical reminders that Lila wasn’t just the glamorous person I have tried to visualize, but she was most importantly a cherished wife and divine mother.

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– Cream Cheese Cookies –

½ pound butter (2 sticks)

½ cup of sugar

2 cups of flour

1 tsp. of baking powder

Dash of vanilla extract

¼ pound of cream cheese (2 packages)

2 eggs

Cream ½ pound of butter and add gradually ½ cup of sugar, ¼ lb cream cheese (2 pkg) and beaten egg yolk. Sift 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp. baking powder – add to the mixture and also a drop of vanilla. Shape dough into rolls and wrap in waxed paper and chill. Either roll out the dough or slice thin. Brush the dough with slightly beaten egg white and let dry. Top with XXXX. Bake on greased baking sheet in oven until light brown.

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Guerrin Gardner is a New York based actress and writer, originally from Tallahassee/Quincy, Florida. A staffer at Real Simple Magazine, she also contributes to Apartment Therapy and has written several comedic theatrical productions with her creative partner, Mat Sanders. More can be seen at www.toomuchery.com. Guerrin has known Ashley since before they could tie their shoes or had permission to operate an Easy Bake oven. Be sure to follow her on Twitter too, @guerrin.

Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

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