Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's hard to believe another year has gone by.....there were many changes and exciting things in my world that kept me from keeping up with my blog. I am commited to writing more posts in the coming year and get caught up. Spoiler alert: a foodie trip to San Francisco is coming in January and I am super excited to get that post up!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gather Journal

I love the blog sf girl by bay and she never ceases to post the most interesting things about design, food, travel and fashion- I love how she scouts out the obscure and brings it all together with beautiful photos by photographers far and wide.

This post she did about gather journal made me want to run out and get a copy's definitely going to become part of my library. I am always inspired by food photography and new recipes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Musings

I am in love with Kinfolk- the magazine, the videos, the blog. You name it. These are some talented folks and the best thing they do is remind us to celebrate the simple life- cherish the moments with food, family and friends. Ahhh, yes some of us just dream of that while others make it a way of life.

Enjoy this beautiful video they made in celebration of summer and this happy day of freedom!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fashion and Food

Photograph by Hirsheimer & Hamilton / Style shot by The Sartorialist
Get the recipe: Wild Salmon Crudo

 I adore this blog called Miss Moss- she scours the globe for the coolest in fashion, art, food, design and much more.

Her matching up of food photos (along with the recipes) and fashions that mimic the food is so genius and fun!

You can find these "Food and Fashion Mash-ups" at Bon Appetit's blog or better yet, follow Miss Moss and you will be in for a treat!

 food photo by Jason Lowe / street style by The Sartorialist
Recipe: Watercress Soup

food photo by Ditte Isager/street style by Le 21eme Arrondissement

*all photos via Miss Moss

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Banana Oat Pancakes

Lately, I must admit I have been a huge fan of crepes- they are light and delicate and lend themselves to infinite possibilities when it comes to fillings.

However, there is something about pancakes that is comforting and nourishing and dare I say, even nostalgic. One of my earliest childhood food memories is of my Mom actually allowing us to have pancakes for dinner! It was indeed a highlight that all of us enjoyed. My Dad is still a great pancake maker and nobody can beat his pancakes especially when we have a huge crowd! Sadly, Dad's recipe is not GF so, I have devised one here that will get the test at the next family breakfast gathering.

Below is my gluten-free spin on this age old breakfast classic. Please feel free to tweak to your own interpretation as far as the spices and toppings go- I used both cinnamon and nutmeg but you might like to add vanilla or use blueberry compote as a topping. There is yogurt in the batter, but you might want to add a dollop on top. Whatever you do, I think you will really enjoy these!

Banana Oat Pancakes


1 1/4 cups oats ( I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free)
1/2 buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar, honey or agave
1 cup yogurt ( I used goat milk yogurt)
1 cup milk ( almond, coconut, etc can be substituted)
2 eggs lightly beaten
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
sliced banana and a handful of toasted walnuts for topping
Maple or Agave syrup for finishing


1. Place the rolled oats in a food processor and pulse until you get a shaggy flour. Mix oat flour with the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine and stir until incorporated.
2. Let batter sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This helps to get them to rise high and light.
3. Cook on a griddle until browned on both sides.
4. Serve with topped with bananas and walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup or agave syrup.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Make your own Nutella

If any two ingredients were a match made in heaven it's chocolate and hazelnuts! Spread on some really great bread or rolled up in a crepe = sublime.

I love this stuff but in my quest to eat as few preservatives, over-refined nasty oils and ingredients that I can't pronounce, I have stayed away from the commercial brand of Nutella.

Here is what the label on Nutella says:

          • Over 50 Hazelnuts per 13 oz. Jar
           Contains No Artificial Colors
           Contains No Artificial Preservatives
ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Food manufacturers today think it' perfectly okay to put soy in everything (which BTW is not as great as it has been made out to be- I will riff on that subject on another post), and wow- it has no artificial colors or preservatives, but artificial flavor is okay?? C'mon! Only 50 hazelnuts? ....and notice that sugar and palm oil are the first ingredients. 

If you are a food label fanatic like me, you know that ingredients are listed in order of the most to the least- so if you want a mouthful of sugar and palm oil get this stuff and be done. You also need to be mindful of what type of palm oil is being used- here they don't specify but there's palm fruit oil (taken from the fruit) and palm kernel oil (taken from the seed which is super high in saturated fat- 80% to be exact as opposed to 50% in the palm fruit oil). Consuming this type of oil can lead to heart disease and a host of other health issues so always read your labels and try to find better oils like olive and canola. Not to mention the environmental impact that farming palm oil has created.

I stumbled upon this blog where I learned to make it from scratch and I agree- it's so easy and worth it. All I can say is yum! Get the full recipe here and enjoy!

photos via

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Food Forward

I just found out about this new series on PBS that will be airing next month called: Food Forward.

Take a look at the trailer- I know I will be tuning in! This gives me goose bumps and makes me want to move somewhere right now where I can grow my own food!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Food Cravings

The last few weeks have been a bit on the crazy side- between working trade shows, studying, and a recent trip to NYC, my blogging has been sadly, well, neglected.

To top that off, I have not been inspired to write-guess I have a case of writer's block on top of everything else.

But this past week an inspiration revealed itself and it came in the form of a craving. I have been noticing my food cravings more and more, thanks in large part to the coursework I am doing at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (aka- IIN).

First it was spinach and any kind of green really- and I still crave greens almost everyday so that is still great. But this past week, I suddenly had a craving for grapefruit. That ruby-colored sweet juicy citrusy fruit. What really amazed me about it though, is this craving directly coincides with the fact that grapefruit is in season right now! The best time to eat it is January through March.

So, I am wondering....did my body know this? How did it know this? Is it a matter of coincidence? I didn't crave them last year like I am right now. I think it could be part of the awareness I feel with what my body itself seems to know and I am just learning how to tap into that. I can't wait to see what I will crave next!

I know that a lot of us crave "bad" foods too- and I am no exception believe me! Salty snacks and  chocolate have always been my weakness. I do get cravings for these from time to time, but as of late, I am able to ask myself, "Do you really want that or are you just thirsty?" It seems that we often crave foods that are not so good for us when all the body really needs is hydration. I also learned a term recently called H.A.L.T.- which is hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. I now ask: am I any of those things? This is where and when cravings for the wrong foods have the potential to kick in and we go down a road of binging and over-eating when all we need is to access what we are feeling in that moment.

But let's get back to the lovely, delicious and nutritious grapefruit! My favorite way to eat it is the old-fashioned way my Mom taught me (and her Mom before her). Just slice in half and cut the sections with a special grapefruit knife, use a spoon to eat it, and squeeze out and drink all the juice at the end.

 The best grapefuit knife in the world, above

 detail of the double blade

 Pink and red grapefruit are  packed with Vitamin C and have high amounts of vitamin A, potassium (325mg), folate (25 micrograms), calcium (40mg), and iron (1mg) and contain high amounts of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is know for lowering the risk of prostate cancer. Grapefruit stimulates appetite and possesses the unique ability to burn away fat. Grapefruit is a rich source of pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that helps to lower blood cholesterol.

My second favorite way to enjoy grapefruit is in a salad- some recipes actually use the juice in the vinaigrette so it really brings a fresh and light flavor to the greens and the rest of the salad.

Years ago I discovered The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison and instantly fell in love- I probably made everything in that book over the years! Even dined at the restaurant in San Francisco and what a treat that was. I still make her Butter Lettuce and Spinach with Citrus and Avocado Salad and that is what I will share with you here. The combination of the soft butter lettuce, the dark spinach and the brightness of the ruby jewels of grapefruit, make a winning combination. The avocado is the creamy icing on the cake that brings it all home. Hope you will enjoy. I highly recommend using the Szechuan peppercorns if you can get them- they add a flowery fragrance-toast them first and grind with a little salt- omit the the fruit vinegar and use all sherry vinegar instead. Here is the recipe with a few of my adaptations.


serves 4-6

  • 1 head butter lettuce, limestone, or Bibb lettuce
  • 1 small bunch young spinach leaves (or one bag of baby spinach leaves)
  • 2 ruby grapefruit 
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons raspberry or other fruit vinegar 
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons virgin olive oil or a mixture of virgin and light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mint, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chives, finely sliced 
  • Black pepper or Szechuan peppercorns

Separate the leaves of the lettuce and remove the spinach stems. Discard any leaves that are bruised or yellow, wash the greens–the spinach in two changes of water– and dry them in a spinner. (skip this step if you are using the bagged spinach) If the spinach leaves are small, leave them whole. If they are large, layer several leaves together, roll them up, and slice them into wide or narrow ribbons. Place them loosely in a kitchen towel and refrigerate until needed.

Use a very sharp knife to peel the grapefruit. Slice a piece off the top and the bottom of each, then work down the sides, removing the white pith as well as the peel. Holding the grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juice, cut each section loose from its membrane and turn it into the bowl. (Later you can drink the juice.)

Peel the avocados, slice them in half, and remove the seeds. Lay the halves cut side down and slice them crosswise at an angle.

Combine the vinegars, shallot, and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the oil or mixture of oils. Taste, and adjust the balance of vinegar and oil if necessary. Stir in the mint and chives.

Pour the juice off the grapefruit sections, combine them with the avocado slices, and dress them carefully with some of the vinaigrette. Toss the greens with the rest of the vinaigrette and lay them on salad plates. Set the grapefruit and avocado slices in and among the leaves. Add a grinding of black pepper (or roasted Szechuan pepper) and serve.

What are some of your favorite grapefruit recipes? Please share them in the comments section!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wonderful Spinach

 I am on a spinach kick these days-coming up with as many ways I can think of to make sure I get a daily dose.

Not only does spinach pack a punch of vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection. It has more calcium in it than iron (which was surprising!).

Nutritionists believe that raw spinach is a much more beneficial way to absorb these essential nutrients, but lightly cooking or steaming it is not the end of the world!

I can't recall where or how I found this recipe for Wilted Spinach Salad with Hazelnuts, but it makes a lovely winter salad and very easy to prepare as well as addicting! I think it may be from an old Gourmet magazine......

Wilted Spinach and Hazelnut Salad

2 handful of baby spinach, washed (per person)
1/4  cup hazelnuts
1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or chopped fine (you decide)
2 tablespoons olive oil
drizzle of good balsamic
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the hazelnuts and toast in a skillet with the olive oil. Add the garlic being careful not to burn.

Pour over spinach in a salad bowl, toss with the balsamic and season with salt and pepper.

EXTRA CREDIT: add a few spoonfuls of soft goat cheese for some real magic!