Thursday, July 23, 2015


One of my favorite restaurants has an amazing chicken salad I crave from time to time. This is my
homemade dairy, soy, and egg-free attempt to satisfy a craving and use up a turkey I had tucked away in the freezer around Thanksgiving.


1 c. water
1/2 c. hemp seeds
1/4 c. olive or caper juice [optional]
3 T. dijon mustard
2 T. raw honey
1 lemon, juiced [about 2 T. lemon juice]
1 - 2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 - 1 c. loosely packed fresh dill leaves, stems removed, to taste
1/4 c. loosely packed fresh chives, finely chopped
breasts of one turkey or two chickens [organic, pasture raised, local if possible], roasted* or cooked and shredded

In a high-speed blender, combine water, hemp seeds, olive or caper juice, dijon mustard, honey, lemon, garlic, salt, paprika, onion powder, turmeric powder, smoked paprika, pepper, and oil. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt or pepper as needed. Set aside.

1/2 - 1 c. thinly sliced radishes
1/2 - 1 c. thinly sliced celery

Fill a medium bowl 3/4 of the way full with water and ice. Set aside. Bring water to boil in a medium stainless steel pot. Add radishes and celery and blanch for 1 minute in boiling water. Remove vegetables and place in ice water. Let cool for a couple minutes and then strain.

In a large glass bowl, combine cooked and shredded turkey or chicken and blanched vegetables. Slowly add prepared dressing a 1/2 cup or so at a time until the meat and vegetables are thoroughly covered. Serve warm as sandwich, on a bed of greens, or on a bed of kale rubbed with a little olive oil to soften or refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with raw sauerkraut, olives or capers, toasted nuts or seeds, avocado, pickles, etc.


1 lemon, washed and cut into wedges
1 large handful each of fresh dill and chives
1 - 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 - 2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. freshly ground peppercorns

Thaw turkey in refrigerator. This may take a few days so plan ahead. Prior to baking, remove bag of giblets from inside of turkey. Place the bird in a large glass baking dish and rub whole turkey with a little olive oil, paprika [sweet and smoked], sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Stuff inside cavity of the bird with the lemon wedges and fresh herbs

Fill baking dish with 2 - 4 cups of water or enough to have about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the dish..

Cover entire dish with tinfoil and roast at 325 degrees F for 2 - 3 hours or until the inner temperature [thermometer in thigh] reaches 165 - 170 degrees. Uncover for last 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to cool enough to slice.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


When I saw this original recipe my taste buds demanded that I make it. What emerged from the oven absolutely lived up to the reaction elicited by my mouth. I hope you enjoy as much as we have!

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens "Baked Asiago Hummus" Recipe

2 T. coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp. coconut sugar
1 c. cooked garbanzo beans
1 c. cooked butter beans
2 - 3 T. warm water
2 T. raw sesame oil, more if needed
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. red Himalayan sea salt
6 T. grated local, organic goat cheese [optional, omit for dairy allergies]

In a medium cast iron or stainless steel skillet, warm oil over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion and coconut sugar and stir to combine. When the onions start to sizzle, reduce heat to low and cook until just browned and soft. This could take up to 30 minutes so start well before you need the hummus but I really encourage you to not rush this!

Meanwhile, beans, water, oils, garlic, rosemary and salt in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend on high until very creamy. You may need to add more raw sesame seed oil to get it really creamy. Pour the hummus in a glass bread baking dish or small baking dish of choice.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Top the hummus with the caramelized onions and grated goat cheese.

Place the hummus in preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes or until cheese has melted and hummus is heated through. Remove and serve warm with vegetables, baked root veggie chips, or crackers of choice.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Over the next week or so my family will be celebrating two rather big days: the first being in honor of this country we call home and the second, a birthday for my first born baby, now entering into the BIG 5th year. Similar to loving the act of celebrating the birth of a person, I cherish that we pause as a country one day a year to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy, most without much thought on a regular basis. In light of many of the devastating events that have occurred within these borders over the last month or so, I think it is vital to remember we live in a land founded on the dream of a better future. It is more important, now more than ever, to continue to heal the brokenness hidden within the cracks of the land and souls of the people.

And I think it's essential that on this day, this fourth of July, we take a moment to say:

Hey, we live in a country where we are able to make choices, and mistakes, and differences and this is awesome. We live in a country where we vote and have discussions and debate and give our opinions and this is an incredible gift and responsibility. We live in a country of wealth and land and beauty and have the ability to give freely and help and pray and sit in wonder. We can choose our faith and schools and doctors. We can follow our dreams and have opportunity even when it all falls apart. We can travel and be welcomed home. We have big problems and small but we also have amazing minds and courageous voices who are working tirelessly to encourage us all to do better - to care more about others and the world around us. We experience pain and heartache and beauty and joy, sometimes all in a matter of minutes, and we have the people around us to walk with us through it all.

I'd say this is worth celebrating. For one day I encourage us to hang up the political chatter and lay down our nasty online grenades. To surround ourselves with the people we love and drink champagne and eat dessert and big green salads and enjoy the fruits of our land. To find a body of water to swim in for hours and remember to say thank you because clean water isn't something to take for granted. I urge us to stay up late and watch the sunset or admire the fireworks. I challenge us to be present and pause and, rather than thinking of all the ways we and this country fall short - all of the destruction and damage and heartache we've caused - to instead remember the ways we've given and changed and healed and shown the world we are kind and compassionate and work for all to experience the freedom we do today.

And then I hope we enter into July 5 with a new sense of unity and humbleness and the drive to leave exclusion and segregation in history, exactly where it belongs. Be brave and share a message of love. Take courage and look at the darkness within the confines of your own soul. Let's face our own demons in an effort to bring a little more peace to this world. And may we pause and give thanks - celebrating summer and freedom, grace and redemption.

Happy Independence Day, friends.

A few years ago I was introduced to a coconut milk version of panna cotta and fell for it immediately. I love the creamy texture, the light dessert taste, the summer of it all. So in thinking of a special treat for this upcoming country-wide holiday, I immediately went to this. It's simple, light, and a lovely way to end a meal.


If your curious about tigernuts [and why their not actually nuts!], head over here

For the Panacotta:

1 c. tigernuts [I've used Gemini as well as Tiger Nuts]
2 1/2 c. room temperature water
OR substitute 4 cups of any milk of choice [thicker milks work best like coconut milk]

1/4 - 1/2 c. pure [local if possible] maple syrup, adjust to fit your taste
1 vanilla bean, scraped [check out this video for instructions] or if you come across a dry bean, toss the whole thing into the blender
1 - 2 pinches of sea salt
a large pinch of cardamom powder
3 tablespoons pure gelatin

Place silicone muffin cups on a small cookies sheet or serving platter. You can also us small glass bowls or jars as well.

Note: If the idea of making your own nut milk sends you into a mild panic, check out this video first. It will hopefully dispel all your fears and insecurities!

Place whole tigernuts in a blender and cover with water until the liquid reaches the three cup mark [this is approximately 2 1/2 cups of water]. Blend on high for a minute or until the liquid is white in color and very smooth. Place a nut milk bag in a glass bowl or four cup measuring cup in the sink. Carefully pour the nut milk into the bag. Gently lift up the bag and twist at the top to make sure none of the liquid squirts out. Once the top is secure, squeeze the bag slowly [all the while hold the top of the bag tightly closed] until all of the liquid has been pressed from the pulp. Set pulp aside and rinse out the blender.

In a small saucepan very slowly warm the milk to just higher than room temperature [warm to touch]. It is really important to watch as heating it too much will cause it to gel.

Return the warmed milk to the blender container and add syrup, vanilla bean seeds, salt, and cardamom to the milk. Blend on medium. Turn blender speed to low and slowly pour in the gelatin powder. Blend on low for an additional thirty seconds or so.

Pour this liquid immediately into the silicone muffin cups or greased glass bowls. Place in the refrigerator for about two hours - overnight. To speed up the process you can put the panna cotta in the freezer for about thirty minutes or until it is firm but be sure to remove before it freezes.

For the Coulis:

I'm taking a bit of a liberty [in honor of the holiday of course!] calling this coulis, as most traditional coulis' are strained. I prefer it a bit chunky so I skip that particular step but you could run the cooked berries through a blender and then strain the pulp if you choose.

4 c. of berries of choice, fresh or frozen [I used equal parts strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and sour cherries]
juice of 1/2 a lemon or about 1 T. of fresh juice
pinch of sea salt
1/4 - 1/2 c. pure maple syrup or raw honey, local if possible [adjust to taste]

In a medium size stainless steel pot, warm berries over medium-low heat. Cover and allow to soften into a jelly like consistency, stirring frequently. Once the berries have become very soft, gently smash any whole berries with a fork or immersion blender. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


The other day I was driving with my girls, rocking out to "I'm a Little Tea Pot" and was blindsided by a thought.

For the last few years I've been known to refer to being a mother as "my job". In so many ways this role I play seems to look the part. I wear many different hats, cater to all sorts of needs, plan ahead and predict mayhem before all hell breaks loose. As a mom, I work tirelessly to give my children a life of joy and safety, learning and adventure.

But that day in the car, as I sang along far from on key, I realized what I do everyday is not a job and believing it is has cheapened the part I play in the lives of my daughters. What I've come to find is labeling motherhood as a job fills an insecurity I've been unwilling to face. If I can dress this insecurity up in a suit and tie at least what I do every day will feel a little more legit, a little less like a waste of time and a college degree. If I give myself a title, a legit answer to "what do you do?", for a few minutes I can play a part in the "real" world, thinking they won't recognize me amidst their hustle of emails and phone calls and meetings and deals.

Instead on the days I stay in pajamas until evening or "dress up" in athletic wear, I find a touch of shame attached. If this is my job, I should dress for success, right? On the days I sit beside the water watching my girls splash away an afternoon, these lovely moments come with a touch of guilt. If this is my job, then I need to be achieving something, right? When my husband asks each evening "what did you do today" and all I have in response is color, or go to the library, or aimlessly walk the streets of downtown, I find myself scrambling for more task-like accomplishments to tag on because, of course I'm working and need to have done something "important". You know, like laundry. When leftovers are what's for dinner because I'm exhausted from the beach and Farmer's Market and picking berries, a little of the contentment of summer is replaced with disappointment. I run a restaurant, remember? If motherhood is my job I need to succeed, accomplish, work, push, aim, and have each and every minute accounted for. 

But it's not a job and I'm not getting paid and believing I am is stealing the joy of this amazing blip in time. Because these years with my young children are that, a beautiful blink, and I'm tired of working and guilting and shaming them away.

What I do every day is this dynamic mix of every emotion and skill and being that I have. Sometimes it brings me to my knees in exhaustion and frustration and devastation and the desire to scream "I WANT OUT!". However, most days I look into the eyes of my sleeply little girls as they crawl into bed for a few morning snuggles and tickles and giggles and I think "I can't believe I get to do this. I can't believe I get to be their mom." And then the demands for breakfast come and I'm snapped back into "FOR THE LOVE! LET ME WAKE UP!". In these moments this place of motherhood I've found myself in becomes so much bigger than a job.

Being a mom provides a space to be myself without holding back, in fact it requires it. It allows me to go outside and swing for hours. It gives me quiet space in the middle of the day to recharge and breath deeply before meals. I get to go on adventures and watch my babies grow into beautiful, caring, hilarious little girls. I am humbled by the width of my emotions and get the opportunity to practice saying sorry. I get to show my kids a world full of wonder and magic and miracles and at the same time show them how to be kind and compassionate. I get to kiss them goodnight at sunset and hug them [morning breath and all] as the sun rises. I get to watch them explore and fall down and get up and see the look of pride and courage on their faces. Being a mom refines me and remakes me and shows me all of the areas within myself still governed by my very stubborn ego. It challenges me to be a closer reflection of the true me and pushes me to examine the pain and hurt in my own life in an effort to not parent out of those dark places. Being a mom gives to me as much, if not more, than I give to it.

So fellow moms, let's stop the charade that being a mom is mimicking heading out in the morning for a day of work. For those of you who work a day job and then come home to a family, thinking mom-ing is a job can only lead to resentment and frustration. If you stay home, believing you'll work a 24/7 job 365 days a year for the rest of your life can only lead to resentment and frustration.

Instead, let's try sitting in this beautiful moment filled with uncertainty, tension, challenge, difficulty, joy, laughter and tears. Let's fully embrace the role we play, not being ashamed if we don't have the bank account to show for it. Let's stop the insanity of pushing ourselves to be perfect thinking somehow we'll be fired if we take a wrong turn or receive a promotion is we have all our ducks in a row. Let's remove the shame and guilt and "what-ifs" and replace them with presence and gratitude and creativity. Let's get out of bed with the thought that a miracle has occurred - it's a new day and we get to do it again. Let's rise in the confidence that we are enough without labels and titles and paychecks and accolades. And let's embrace being a mom.