Peach and Raspberry Turnovers

Peach and Raspberry Turnovers | TENDING the TABLE

We just got back from three weeks of traveling and while our time in Vermont made us more determined than ever to move back after Anders graduates, I’m also happy to be home. We’ve got a couple other small trips planned in the coming months, but for the most part we’ll be home tackling some long overdue house projects and hanging by the lake to escape the heat.

Both fans are running non-stop, the dogs have been sleeping on the tile floor in the entryway, and all my potted herbs are brown and wilted. But, my fridge is full of all the summer fruits and berries so I can’t complain. We’ve been eating blueberries by the handful, making jam, snacking on sweet cherries, and baking galettes and turnovers.

Peach and Raspberry Turnovers | TENDING the TABLEPeach and Raspberry Turnovers | TENDING the TABLEPeach and Raspberry Turnovers | TENDING the TABLE

As much as I love getting my hands dirty in the kitchen, making pie dough by hand isn’t my favorite thing. I always end up with dough stuck under my wedding ring, flour all over the floor and counter, and a soggy crust. Grand Central Bakery’s ready to use pie dough (available at their three retail bakeries in Eastlake, Burien and Pioneer Square) is made with local flour, super easy to use, and so so flaky. This pre-rolled pie dough makes baking pies, galettes, turnovers etc. so effortless. I’m never going back.

Sweet peaches and tart raspberries make a juicy, subtly sweet filling for these turnovers. The cardamom and lime juice add an exotic flair. They’re simple to make and perfect for backyard potlucks or summer picnics. Enjoy!

Peach and Raspberry Turnovers | TENDING the TABLEPeach and Raspberry Turnovers | TENDING the TABLE_DSC9050

*This post was sponsored by Grand Central Bakery. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting its sponsors.

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Vermont

Vermont | TENDING the TABLE

Hi friends! I spent last week in VT and wanted to share some photos from our time there with you along with some links to some of our favorite things to do and eat. I’ll be back next week with a vibrant summer recipe for you.

  1. This is our new favorite swimming hole. There are plenty of flat rocks to lounge on/jump off of and three deep pools for swimming.
  2. These maple creemees put the rest to shame. Sooo good! P.S. The small is not small.
  3. There are creative and sustainable food businesses all over Vermont. I was excited to learn about a few new ones during our visit including this delicious solar powered, naturally leavened bread, these stone ground corn tortillas made by a college friend and this local sunflower oil.
  4. This bakery was started by another college friend and has become wildly popular. They’re transitioning to dinner and I can’t wait to visit next time we’re in town.
  5. We always enjoy grabbing wood fired pizza at this family run place when they’re open. It’s all outdoor seating and BYO. On summer evenings families come with kids and picnic blankets to enjoy good food and the sunset. Pick up some english muffins to go.
  6. This is still my favorite grocery store/community gathering place ever. Anders usually visits with old friends while I shop.
  7. We hiked some of our favorite trails and enjoyed some impromptu swimming and some great views.

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Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat to see what I’m up to while I’m travelling. And if you haven’t already, please take a moment to nominate Tending the Table for the Saveur Blog Awards.

With gratitude, Sasha

 

 

Cherry Almond Oat Bars

Cherry Almond Oat Bars | TENDING the TABLE

Hello from Vermont! We arrived on Friday and have been busy hiking, swimming, hanging out, flying kites, jumping on trampolines and visiting all our favorite spots. It always feels good to be back. The fields are lush and green, the wind hums through the trees and the rivers are clear and cold. We’ve been looking at a piece of land out here for the past six months and were hoping that things would fall into place while we were here. We took a little hike through the woods to explore the property and were discouraged and disappointed by the condition of the land and have decided to keep looking. Suddenly, things feel very uncertain. Anders graduates in December and instead of having a home to move back to, we could do anything or go anywhere. Big transitions like these always feel daunting and having faith that things will work out is hard for me.

In the face of uncertainty I usually turn to baked goods for comfort. I made these bars a few weeks ago and am super excited to share the recipe with you. The flavors here are rich and nutty with almond extract and chocolate in addition to sweet summer cherries. The bars are gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free which means you can eat them for breakfast!

Enjoy.

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Toast with Peaches, Tahini and Honey

Toast with Peaches, Tahini and Honey | TENDING the TABLEToast with Peaches, Tahini and Honey | TENDING the TABLE

A rooster crows. A soft breeze blows through the open window and I begin to stir. Roux jumps up on the bed and flops down next to me, thumping his tail enthusiastically, and giving me a few sloppy kisses. I fell asleep thinking about abundance and woke up feeling abundant. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions weave such a complex web of downy, dewy threads that it often seems impossible to untangle them all. But, I’ve come to realize that the simple act of concentrating the mind has the power to change how we feel and what we do. Thought really does manifest action.

Two years ago, I was lost and unhappy. I was working long hours waitressing, adjusting to a new life in a new city, and lonely. But, I was lucky to have a wise man in my life who suggested I try something new. So, I signed up for a workshop and waited. The air got colder, the leaves changed color and fell to the ground. It was October. The workshop arrived and I spent two days learning about food styling and how to shoot on manual. The next day, on my birthday, I started this blog. Now, after pursuing my passion, building a business, and honing a craft, I feel happy, content and full of purpose. I still think about “success” and what that means. For me, success means reaching a wider audience with the hope of changing our food system. So, I’m hoping you can help me by taking a moment to nominate Tending the Table for the 2016 Saveur Blog Awards. These awards recognize the best blogs out there in a myriad of categories and set the standard for the industry. Nominations are open through July 18th, here.

They say gratitude is the key to abundance and it’s true. I feel so grateful for all the steps that led me here, grateful for a sequence of events that now seem serendipitous and almost archetypal, and grateful for all of you who give my work meaning. So, thank you. Thank you for being here and sharing this space with me. For listening and for sharing your stories.

With gratitude, Sasha

Toast with Peaches, Tahini and Honey | TENDING the TABLEToast with Peaches, Tahini and Honey | TENDING the TABLEToast with Peaches, Tahini and Honey | TENDING the TABLEToast with Peaches, Tahini and Honey | TENDING the TABLE

This toast was inspired by a dessert I saw on a menu in Sydney. The combination of peaches and tahini turned out to be even better than I expected, perfectly balancing sweet and savory. The juiciness of the peaches works perfectly on toast and the radish sprouts add a little punch. This is a perfect breakfast or lunch on those days when it’s too hot to cook and you want something both filling and refreshing.

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Creamy Chai Pops

Creamy Chai Pops | TENDING the TABLECreamy Chai Pops | TENDING the TABLECreamy Chai Pops | TENDING the TABLECreamy Chai Pops | TENDING the TABLE

It’s vacation time! I spent the beginning of the week sewing curtains, cleaning out all the kitchen drawers, scrubbing the top of the fridge and herding dust bunnies out from under the beds…you get the idea. The deep cleaning is pretty miserable in the moment but I love how things feel all sparkly fresh afterwards. Part of me really wants to stay and enjoy it. Instead, we’re heading out and about for four weeks, visiting family in Oregon and New York, friends in VT, camping, backpacking, and enjoying all the summer fun. Be sure to stay tuned and follow my adventures on Instagram and Snapchat. What are your summer vacation plans? Whatever they are I hope they include plenty of frozen treats.

I made these amazing chai pops for Popsicle Week. They’re super creamy, a little spicy, vegan and refined sugar free. I’m pretty excited about them and hope you are too.

Enjoy!

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Gingered Strawberries

Gingered Strawberries | TENDING the TABLEHey! Hope everyone is having a great week. I’m at lake crescent taking a much needed break from the city, kayaking, hiking and trying to teach Roux to swim. It feels like summer is really here and the farmer’s market is in full swing. Last week I picked up peas, zucchini, basil, cucumbers, peaches, and all the berries. With the insanely warm weather we’ve been having the berries started going bad before we could eat them all, but I was determined not to let any go to waste. They aren’t perfect looking, and are even a little wrinkled and bruised (they had a rough ride home on the back of my bike) but that’s ok with me. I think there’s something beautiful about produce that isn’t perfect and I hope that you’ll see the inherent beauty too. Twenty percent of the produce grown in the U.S. goes to waste because it doesn’t fit the strict cosmetic standards set by grocery stores, and expected by consumers, resulting in wasted resources and huge environmental impacts. Several organizations like Imperfect Produce and Imperfectly Delicious  are working to change this by educating consumers, working with farmers and gleaning imperfect produce to sell in discounted CSA shares or incorporate into food service industry menus. After all, it’s the flavor that matters most right?

Gingered Strawberries | TENDING the TABLEGingered Strawberries | TENDING the TABLEGingered Strawberries | TENDING the TABLEI dressed up these strawberries by tossing them with coconut sugar and freshly grated ginger for a rich roasted flavor and a little zing. I served them with sheep milk yogurt, apriums, toasted pistachios and chia seeds but they’d be great on strawberry shortcakes or over ice cream too. The styling in this post was inspired by Tara O’Brady’s recipe for Chia Pudding with Fruit and Golden Honey Elixer.

Gingered Strawberries

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 cup strawberries hulled and sliced

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

Sheep milk yogurt

Sliced apriums or apricots

Toasted and chopped pistachios

Chia seeds

PROCEDURE

Gently toss the strawberries with the sugar and ginger until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries start to release their juices. Serve with sheep milk yogurt, sliced apriums, toasted pistachios and chia seeds.

Collard Wraps

Collard Wraps | TENDING the TABLEIt’s been a bit of a rough week. Last weekend I attended a workshop, but instead of feeling inspired and encouraged I ended up feeling lots of self-doubt and insecurity. I’ve been feeling down ever since and am trying to remember to just roll with it, knowing that these feelings come in waves. On top of it all, it’s been ridiculously hot here which makes it hard to get much done. I’m looking forward to a little break next week and some time on the water. What are your summer plans?

Collard Wraps | TENDING the TABLECollard Wraps | TENDING the TABLECollard Wraps | TENDING the TABLECollard Wraps | TENDING the TABLECollard Wraps | TENDING the TABLEI made these collard wraps a few weeks ago on Nom after I found these beautiful collard greens at the market. I’m excited to share the recipe with you here. They’re simple, tasty and make great leftovers for lunch. Enjoy!

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Kohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw

Kohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw | TENDING the TABLE

A wise man once said, “Be the change  you wish to see in the world.” Then lots of other people repeated his words and turned a powerful message into a tired cliche. However, if you stop and really consider these words, they still ring true. I often get frustrated  by other people’s inaction and hypocrisy. I become judgmental and grouchy, muttering and grumbling under my breath when I see friends or family eating feedlot meat and conventional produce. I know I sound like a snob and I am one. I admit it. I also know that all the judging and grumbling in the world isn’t going to change anything. Everyone has values and most people live them out in their daily lives. Over and over again I have to remind myself that the things I value most are not universal. While I view our daily food choices as the most impactful choices we make when it comes to ethical and sustainable living, others might not agree and it’s not my job to shame them or guilt them into submission. All I can do is live my values and set an example that I hope inspires others. So, what inspires you to change? I find that reading powerful books or moving documentaries (the kind that make me uncomfortable and sad) often impact my choices the most. But, I know that for some, this kind of exposure leaves them feeling discouraged. For some, positive solutions or satire are the most inspiring and for others scientific facts compel them to change. One of my goals with this blog is to help people eat better, not only for themselves, but for the planet. I’ve been reluctant to write too much about the ethical and environmental problems with our current food system for fear of alienating readers and driving people away. But I’d like to change that and start bringing you some weekly food for thought (sorry, I couldn’t resist). So, I’d like to hear from you, my readers, about what inspires you to change? How can I help you learn about the issues facing our food system and instill in you a desire to shop, cook and eat more mindfully? Comment below and let me know…

Kohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw | TENDING the TABLEKohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw | TENDING the TABLEKohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw | TENDING the TABLEKohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw | TENDING the TABLEKohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw | TENDING the TABLEKohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw | TENDING the TABLE

This salad is crisp and fresh and perfect as a side for picnics and barbecues. The apple adds a sweet crunch and the lemon, turmeric and ginger dressing is zippy and bright. It’s also super easy to throw together and really colorful. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Lavender Popsicles

Strawberry Lavender Popsicles | TENDING the TABLEStrawberry Lavender Popsicles | TENDING the TABLEStrawberry Lavender Popsicles | TENDING the TABLEHappy Saturday! I’m spending a long weekend in the Methow Valley camping, hiking and biking. Have I told you about the Methow yet? It’s pretty much the greatest place on earth. There are mountains and rivers, forests and meadows, and miles and miles of hiking and biking. The valley has been our home away from home since we moved to Seattle. It’s the one place where we really feel like ourselves. There’s something about the fresh air, the exercise, the friendly people, and the local food that make us instantly happier, more grateful, more in love, and more alive.Strawberry Lavender Popsicles | TENDING the TABLEStrawberry Lavender Popsicles | TENDING the TABLEStrawberry Lavender Popsicles | TENDING the TABLEThese popsicles were inspired by Yossy Arefi’s new book Sweeter off the Vine. I’m generally not a lavender person, but I had the opportunity to try Yossy’s Pistachio Pound Cake with Lavender Strawberries at her book talk here in Seattle and fell in love with this flavor combo. These popsicles are really easy to make, refined sugar free and perfect for a holiday weekend. Enjoy!

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Chana Palaak

Chana Palaak | TENDING the TABLEChana Palaak | TENDING the TABLEChana Palaak | TENDING the TABLEChana Palaak | TENDING the TABLE

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe with you all for a while now. Sorry it took me so long. This is one of my favorite go to meals that I’ve been making since college. It’s my riff on the classic palaak paneer but it’s dairy free which makes my tummy and my skin happy. I add coconut milk to make it rich and creamy and the chickpeas make it nice and hearty. I love it, Anders loves it, and our friend’s 11-month old baby even loves it. Every time I make this, the smell of Indian spices makes me nostalgic for our time in India and I vow to cook more Indian food. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do and that every time you make it you imagine me in India, zipping through the crowded streets on a motorbike, slurping fresh coconut water, sitting cross legged on the floor and eating with my fingers.

Chana Palaak | TENDING the TABLEChana Palaak | TENDING the TABLEChana Palaak | TENDING the TABLE

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Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Mousse | TENDING the TABLE

Happy Saturday! It’s raining again which means all I want to do is cuddle up on the couch with a big mug of tea and a puppy or two and watch reruns. I won’t even tell you what show I’m hooked on right now, because it’s too embarrassing. What are you watching these days?

I did my first live cooking demo yesterday, which was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. I think it went pretty well. You can watch it here if you’re interested and pick up a few tips for making this mousse. Most vegan mousse recipes rely on avocado, but this recipe uses aquafaba (aka bean juice) instead which miraculously whips up just like egg whites. It creates an incredibly light and airy consistency and reduces food waste by using a product that would normally end up down the drain. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like beans at all.

Here are a few links from the week:

  1. I just started reading this book and  so far it’s full of eye opening information about the problems with our food system and has me rethinking some of my food choices.
  2. This article exposes the horrible working conditions in poultry processing facilities, just in case the environmental impacts and animal cruelty issues weren’t already enough reason to boycott chicken.
  3. This article has some great info on the health benefits of chickpeas.
  4. My new favorite ceramics artist. I can’t seem to find the bowls I want through any of his stockists though…Dang!
  5. I’m excited to make this soup this weekend.

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Roasted Cherry Soda

Roasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLE

I feel like I have a toddler. I wake up every morning, and before I have time to brush my teeth or shower or make tea or do yoga, Roux starts jumping on the bed and on my lap, furiously licking me in the face, running around tossing balls and bones every which way, demanding my attention. It’s not enough anymore to just let him out into the backyard. He wants to play. And even after an hour of running around at the park, he gets home and goes straight for the toys. By mid-afternoon, he finally falls asleep. But the minute Anders gets home, he’s at it again, running full speed from one end of the house to the other, purposefully dropping his bone on the floor and sliding it around to make as much noise as possible. Forget about having a conversation or watching a movie. I’m sure a nice cocktail would take the edge off, but since we don’t drink much I usually opt for a mocktail instead.

I was surprised to find cherries at the farmer’s market over the weekend and wanted to do something special with them. This mocktail is rich and robust but still refreshing and perfect for warm summer days. Roasting the cherries with the vanilla bean and maple syrup brings out their sweetness and the smoky black tea and lemon add complexity and a touch of acidity. And if you want to get crazy, try adding some tequila or bourbon.

Enjoy!

Roasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLERoasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLERoasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLERoasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLERoasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLERoasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLERoasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLERoasted Cherry Soda | TENDING the TABLE

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Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake

Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake | TENDING the TABLEHappy Saturday friends! Last night my friend Kristan and I hosted a little cocktail party for a group of local bloggers. We drank and ate and talked and laughed. It was wonderful to make new friends and build community. This morning after a long walk with the dog, I taught yoga to a small group of friends. Now, we’re eating brunch and watching The Daily Show. So far it’s been a pretty great weekend. I hope you’re having a great weekend too and that this orange blossom water and poppy seed rhubarb cake will make your weekend even better! In the meantime, I’ve got some favorite links for you below. Enjoy!

  1. I watched this TED talk this morning and LOVED it! It gives a really great, scientifically grounded argument against the paleo diet while promoting a diverse, local, seasonal, whole foods diet. Plus there’s some really cool stuff in there about the differences between wild vegetables and our modern ones.
  2. We just got a set of these to help shorten dryer time and save energy when I don’t have time to hang my laundry up! Woohoo!
  3. I can’t wait to make this and this!
  4. This is a great little article about the environmental cost of growing food, something people are starting to think about more and more. It’s about time!
  5. Tara O’Brady’s photos from her recent trip to India are so stunning. They capture a mood and the essence of place so perfectly and have me dreaming about another trip to Mysore.
  6. Obsessed with these hand woven, naturally dyed rugs and can’t wait to fill our future cabin with them.

Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake | TENDING the TABLE_DSC6586-3Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake | TENDING the TABLE

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Salmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger

Salmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger | TENDING the TABLESalmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger | TENDING the TABLESalmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger | TENDING the TABLEWe just got back from our first camping trip of the season. We hiked through fields of gold and purple wildflowers and lounged in our hammocks by the river. It felt good to be outside breathing the pine scented air and reconnecting with the world around us. Spending time in nature fills me with so much gratitude; gratitude for a healthy body, for fresh, clean water, for bountiful food, and for companionship. Stepping away from the bustle of the city for just a few days allowed me to recognize the power of solitude, but also the indelible impact of community. It’s the people around us who shape our understanding of the world and inform our choices and inspire us. And it’s the farmers and fisherman who shape our understanding of the food on our tables.

Drifters Fish | Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink

Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink

Salmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger | TENDING the TABLESalmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger | TENDING the TABLESalmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger | TENDING the TABLESalmon Burgers with Lemongrass and Ginger | TENDING the TABLE

I developed this burger recipe for Drifters Fish, using their wild Copper River salmon. Every summer Nelly and Michael head to Cordova, Alaska to fish the Copper River. They fish sustainably, using a careful system of gillnetting and fishing only when the salmon population is thriving and plentiful. Every spring they sell shares of salmon through their community supported fishery which are then available for pick up in the fall after they return from Alaska. Nelly and Michael are not only passionate about sustainability, but also strive to build community and encourage consumers to #knowyourfisherman.

For these burgers I mixed in some lemongrass and ginger to brighten things up and added roasted red chili paste, cilantro cream and quick pickled cucumber and red onion for the perfect balance of flavors and textures. I think these burgers are pretty darn great and hope you like them too.

This post was sponsored by Drifters Fish. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting its sponsors. I truly believe in this company, their product and their mission. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Raspberry Frozen Yogurt {dairy free}

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt {dairy free} | TENDING the TABLEHappy Saturday friends! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. I’m excited to share this super easy, super delicious, dairy free, raspberry frozen yogurt recipe with you. I made this frozen yogurt the other day while I was cleaning out the fridge. I needed to use some leftover coconut milk and yogurt so I added a little sweetener, some frozen berries and whizzed it all in the blender before popping it into my ice cream maker. Sooo good! I love improvisational cooking like this because it leaves me feeling creative and resourceful. I hope you like this recipe as much as I do and I’d love to hear how you improvise in the kitchen.

P.S. I’m in the Methow Valley this weekend, camping and hiking (you can follow my adventures on instagram and snapchat @sasha.swerdloff).

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Spring Asparagus Salad

Spring Asparagus Salad | TENDING the TABLESpring Asparagus Salad | TENDING the TABLE

I’m a slow reader. I’ve been slowly making my way through The Third Plate for months and recently stumbled upon a passage that really resonated with me. It goes  something like this:

“Our current template for changing the [food] system is to opt out of it: eat seasonally, buy local, choose organic whenever possible. For all the virtues of farm-to-table eating […] the shortcomings of that ethos [are] easy to see. Our job isn’t just to support the farmer; it’s really to support the land that supports the farmer. That’s a larger distinction than it sounds like. Even the most sustainably minded farmers grow crops and raise meats in proportion to what we demand. And what we demand generally throws off the balance of what the land can reasonably provide”.

After reading this paragraph, I initially felt defensive. What do you mean it’s not enough to eat seasonal, local, organic food? What else can I do? How do you expect me to change the entire food system? But then I realized how pervasive this “template” really is. We do one good thing and tell ourselves that it’s enough. But, there is always more we can do.

I was recently approached by a company about some sponsored work. I was tempted by the offer because it paid well, but when I began to look into the product they wanted me to promote, I felt uncomfortable. The company claimed to be committed to preserving the land for future generations. To them this meant gradually transitioning to non-gmo production. On the one hand, I was impressed by their efforts to do good, but ultimately felt like this company was doing one thing and then opting out. How can you claim to be committed to sustainability while farming 170 thousand acres of conventional soybeans? I’m sharing this story with you, not because I’m looking to discredit a product or win validation, but to emphasize how there is always more to learn and consider and that what we learn ultimately impacts the decisions we make. Our food system is complex and convoluted, but in my mind, it’s worth parsing out the interconnected pieces to discover how your choices impact the planet.

In The Third Plate, Dan Barber suggests that chefs, (I’d include food bloggers too), have the power to influence the palate of the people and control the demand for certain products. I think he’s right and I’m troubled when I see that ramps are in danger of extinction due to high demand at restaurants and farmers markets or that the popularity of quinoa in the U.S. makes it unaffordable for the native populations who have relied on it for centuries. I don’t expect you to boycott ramps or quinoa, but hope that by sharing what I’ve learned, I can encourage you to think differently about what and how you eat. No decision is without its pros and cons, but every bite we take changes the world.

Spring Asparagus Salad | TENDING the TABLESpring Asparagus Salad | TENDING the TABLESpring Asparagus Salad | TENDING the TABLE

This has been my go to spring salad for a few years now. It’s bright and simple. I love all the green and the variety of textures and flavors. I sometimes add some diced avocado, brown rice or chickpeas to make it a little heartier and switch up the toasted nuts from time to time. Almonds are good, as are pistachios or pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

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Coconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb

Coconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLECoconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLEI’ve got a long list of all the things I want to grow when we’re finally settled in one place for more than a few years. It includes all the usual perennial suspects: lilacs, peonies, apples, plums, pears, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, asparagus, and of course rhubarb. I thought i’d have enough time here in Seattle to establish a hearty rhubarb crop, but despite growing up watching my mom in the garden, growing things doesn’t come naturally to me. I planted a few rhubarb starts when we first arrived in Seattle three years ago, but they died that first year. I thought they were gonners and resigned myself to buying rhubarb at the market. To my surprise, a few fragile red stalks crowned with pale green leaves popped up this spring. There won’t be anything to harvest this year, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to pick a few stalks next year. In the meantime, I’m forced to forage around the neighborhood when I want some rhubarb with the leaves still attached for styling. Yes, I stole the rhubarb. Now, let’s be clear. This is probably the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m terrified of getting in trouble and hate confrontation. So it was a big deal when I pulled over in front of someone’s house, casually got out of the car with an empty tote bag over my shoulder, looked around suspiciously, and hastily yanked a few stalks from the unassuming plant. I stuffed the rhubarb in my bag, jumped in the car and sped off as if I’d just robbed a bank. By the time I got home I felt embarrassed and wracked with guilt but decided to make the most of my precious loot. So I decided to poach the rhubarb in Steven Smith Teamaker’s  Big Hibiscus tea with ginger, rose and elderflower and spoon it over coconut almond brioche french toast, for a perfectly decadent brunch. Why not?

This hibiscus tea pairs perfectly with the tart rhubarb and rich nuttiness of the french toast, plus I love knowing that I’m supporting a local business  that takes pride in sourcing high quality teas from around the world while supporting the communities it works with. 

Coconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLECoconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLECoconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLECoconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLECoconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLECoconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLECoconut Almond Brioche French Toast with Hibiscus Poached Rhubarb | TENDING the TABLE*This post was sponsored by Steven Smith Teamaker. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting its sponsors. Note: Steven Smith Teamaker now has two tasting rooms in Portland, OR where they offer tea on tap, gaiwan service and a new tea latte every month.

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Spring Panzanella

Spring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLESpring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLESpring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLEThe spring cleaning bug has invaded our house and our lives. I’ve been furiously scrubbing and dusting, organizing, gardening, purging the garage of three years worth of accumulated stuff and trying to stay sane throughout it all. More often than not, after a long day of cleaning,  I find myself without a dinner plan. Luckily, we almost always have a loaf of good bread on hand and the garden is putting out all sorts of herbs and greens. This time of year we find ourselves eating a hearty salad for dinner almost every night. Sometimes I’ll throw in some legumes, nuts or grains or some pieces of bread fried in herbs and garlic until crisp and golden.

Spring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLESpring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLESpring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLEFor this recipe I used Grand Central Bakery’s peasant levain. Their breads are a staple in our house and I love knowing that I’m not only getting a great loaf of bread but that I’m also supporting a local business that shares my values. Grand Central Bakery began with one woman selling homemade bread on a small island in the San Juans. Today, the company has grown substantially, but is still a family run business and remains true to its mission to use the best sustainable and local ingredients including stone-ground, whole wheat flours grown by small Pacific Northwest Farmers who care about preserving the soil and the environment.

I truly believe that what we eat matters, not only for our health, but for the health of the planet. Even when I’m hungry and tired I try to create a meal using ingredients and products that I can feel good about eating and sharing with others.

Spring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLESpring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLESpring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLESpring Panzanella | TENDING the TABLE*This post was sponsored by Grand Central Bakery. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting its sponsors. Note: Every Tuesday throughout April and May, Grand Central Bakery is offering free samples and discounted loaves to customers.

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Lindsey’s Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle

Lindsey's Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle | TENDING the TABLE

When I got home from Australia, after eighteen hours of travel, the first thing I did was clean the house. The second thing I did was take the dogs to the park. And the third thing I did was flip through the three new cookbooks that had arrived in the mail while I was away. The prospect of discovering new recipes to make and to share is enough to make me giddy and I never get tired of studying how thoughtful styling can communicate and evoke emotion. Lindsey’s new book, Chickpea Flour Does It All, contains a myriad of gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian recipes that showcase the beauty of eating seasonally. I’ve been a fan of Lindsey’s blog and her styling for some time and the recipes and photographs in her new cookbook remain true to her minimal and warm aesthetic. Her work always highlights the simple beauty and luxuriousness of wholesome ingredients and her recipes evoke a love of self and others that is inspiring. I can’t wait to try her chocolate banana loaf, stuffed squash blossoms with macadamia ricotta, blackberry lime cobbler, and celery root latkes and Anders has already demanded that I make him the chickpea frites.

Congratulations Lindsey! You’ve created something truly beautiful that will inspire cooks around the world to eat more thoughtfully.

Lindsey's Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle | TENDING the TABLELindsey's Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle | TENDING the TABLELindsey's Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle | TENDING the TABLELindsey's Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle | TENDING the TABLELindsey's Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle | TENDING the TABLE

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Australia

Australia Workshop | TENDING the TABLE

Hello from Sydney! I’m excited to share some of my adventures with you here on the blog. I landed in Sydney last Wednesday after sixteen hours of travel and immediately made my way three hours west to the Blue Mountains for a workshop with Luisa Brimble and Marta Greber. Despite the jetlag and fatigue, which made me feel a bit nauseous and dizzy, I was thrilled to be out in the country on Sophie’s beautiful farm. The workshop was full of magical moments, picnics in the olive grove and the paddock, long table meals, laughter,  creativity and learning. Luisa is so spirited and positive and her passion and enthusiasm for photography is totally contagious. And Marta is just the sweetest. She’s humble and poised and so willing to share her knowledge and expertise. I feel like I really got the chance to hone in on my technical camera skills, deepen my understanding of how to manipulate natural light, and  experiment with new ways of styling. I returned to Sydney Friday night and met up with Anders for a romantic dinner and a short visit. He’s now off in the middle of nowhere immersed in the study of architecture. My mom flew in Saturday and we’ve been busy  exploring Sydney’s beaches, neighborhoods and cafes all week.  I’ve put together a list of my favorites below. For now, I hope you enjoy these photos from the workshop.

Australia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLEAustralia Workshop | TENDING the TABLE

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Fried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste

Fried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste | TENDING the TABLEI leave for Australia in just a few days. I’m busy packing and compiling an enormous list of restaurants to check out. If you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them. I’ll be doing a workshop with Luisa Brimble and Marta Greber for the first few days, then I’ll be traveling around with my mom and meeting up with Anders on the weekends. He’ll be studying with some famous architect on a farm somewhere the whole time. But mom and I are excited to see the sites, explore the coast and hang out.

Fried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste | TENDING the TABLEFried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste | TENDING the TABLEFried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste | TENDING the TABLEThis recipe was inspired by a dish I had at Bollywood Theatre in Portland a few weeks ago. It’s super simple and packed with flavor. The cauliflower is crispy on the outside and creamy inside and is smothered in rich roasted red chili paste, spicy sriracha and sour lime juice. Enjoy and keep up with my adventures abroad by following me on instagram.

Fried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste | TENDING the TABLEFried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste | TENDING the TABLEFried Cauliflower with Roasted Red Chili Paste | TENDING the TABLE

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Masala Potatoes with Tamarind Sauce

Masala Potatoes with Tamarind Sauce | TENDING the TABLEThe more I examine the workings of my own mind, the more confused I become. I keep hoping that practicing mindfulness will help me find more peace and certainty, but instead I’m faced with the ironic realization that the more I try to understand, the less I know. So instead of trying to comprehend it all, I’m trying to simply live in the present moment instead of thinking about what might happen in the future. It’s all those “what if’s” that seem to get me into trouble. I don’t know about you, but my mind can get pretty carried away imagining things that may or may not happen. It seems like it’s the “what if’s” that  spring from my most fundamental fears that cause the most anxiety and pain. So, this week, I’ve been making a really concerted effort to stay focused on the present moment, and when that fails I try to think about my hopes for the future. Anders and I are in the process of making some big plans. A dream that we’ve shared since we met eight years ago is finally coming to fruition and I’m both excited, inspired and, as always, a little scared. I promise to share all the details with you when it’s a done deal. For now, I’ll just say that the changes ahead are reinvigorating my aspirations to live a truly sustainable life. I recently heard about the zero waste home and found myself  giddy with excitement at the idea of taking sustainability more seriously. A few things I’m excited to incorporate into my life: using cloth bags for purchasing bulk items and produce, giving and receiving experiences instead of material gifts, and switching to bulk cleaning supplies and homemade hygiene products. If you have any favorite tips or tricks that help you live more sustainably I’d love to hear about them. In the meantime, I hope you have a great rest of your week and that you enjoy these crispy roasted potatoes topped with  a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce and toasted Indian spices. Enjoy!

Masala Potatoes with Tamarind Sauce | TENDING the TABLEMasala Potatoes with Tamarind Sauce | TENDING the TABLEMasala Potatoes with Tamarind Sauce | TENDING the TABLEMasala Potatoes with Tamarind Sauce | TENDING the TABLE

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Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze

Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLEEvery morning Anders makes me a cup of green tea. He got hooked on it while taking a class on Japanese architecture and while I was skeptical at first, now I’m hooked too. However, until now, I haven’t ventured into the popular world of matcha flavored treats. It took a little tweaking, but these donuts are pretty tasty. The combo of chocolate and matcha is perfect and they would be great for St. Patty’s Day. Enjoy! P.S. I promise to have more to say next week. I’m multi-tasking and watching Gilmore Girls and things just got crazy!Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze | TENDING the TABLE

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Smoky Chili with Quinoa

Smoky Chili with Quinoa | TENDING the TABLEAnders went skiing without me a few weekends ago. While it feels as if spring is right around the corner here in Seattle, there’s still plenty of snow up in the mountains. I miss the snow. I miss the soft weight of fresh powder, the cool, crisp air, and cozying up at the end of a long day outside with a warm bowl of chili. I whipped up this chili last week after Anders told me about one he had while he was at Mt. Baker. I added some paprika for extra smokiness, maple syrup to sweeten it a bit, quinoa…just because, and masa to thicken the chili. I hope you’re enjoying the end of winter. Enjoy!

Smoky Chili with Quinoa | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chili with Quinoa | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chili with Quinoa | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chili with Quinoa | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chili with Quinoa | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chili with Quinoa | TENDING the TABLE

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Baked Eggs on Toast

Baked Eggs on Toast | TENDING the TABLEBaked Eggs on Toast | TENDING the TABLEBaked Eggs on Toast | TENDING the TABLEA few weeks ago I hosted a benefit brunch with Eva Flores  for the Oregon Food Bank.  Eva generously opened her home and our guests mingled over cups of hot coffee and glasses of orange, carrot, ginger juice. A representative from the food bank outlined their programs including their cooking matters, learning gardens, and seed to suppers programs which help educate low income families about cooking healthy food and gardening. I was impressed by the scope of their work and their appreciation. We served sheeps milk yogurt parfaits with ginger lemon granola and pear preserves my mom and I made. Eva made hazelnut baked french toast spiked with frangelico and orange zest. Finally, we served these baked eggs nestled in a tangy tomatillo sauce, leeks and kale. They were a big hit at the brunch and would make a great Valentine’s brunch too.

A big thank you to all of our sponsors who helped make this brunch possible:

Heart Coffee Roasters

Bellwether Farms

Tabor Bread

Commonwealth Rentals

Hilary Horvath Flowers

Felt and Fat

The Modern Proper

Happy Valentine’s!

Baked Eggs on Toast | TENDING the TABLEBaked Eggs on Toast | TENDING the TABLEBaked Eggs on Toast | TENDING the TABLE

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Mexican Style Parsnip Fries

Mexican Style Parsnip Fries | TENDING the TABLEMexican Style Parsnip Fries | TENDING the TABLEMexican Style Parsnip Fries | TENDING the TABLEThings have been a little crazy lately. The universe is taking me on an emotional rollercoaster with far too many loop de loops. I’m habituating to that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach and the overwhelming anxiety that comes with fear of the unknown. My mood from day to day is unpredictable and I feel as if I haven’t been home in ages.

But, I’m home now, and feel as if I’m finally settling back into a routine. I cleaned the house like a maniac yesterday and purged the pantry of old jars of condiments I’ll never use and nondescript bags of stale spices. Feeling like I’m in control of some small aspect of my life makes all the difference. Things feel clearer and calmer and I’m more grateful than ever for the things that ground me: play time with the dogs, falling asleep to the sound of Anders’ heart beat and comfort food.Mexican Style Parsnip Fries | TENDING the TABLEMexican Style Parsnip Fries | TENDING the TABLEMexican Style Parsnip Fries | TENDING the TABLEThese parsnip fries are my new favorite comfort food. Part nachos, part french fries, and kind of perfect. I topped the crispy parsnip fries with beans, salsa, cheese, cilantro, avocado, and thinly sliced radish for some crunch. Enjoy!Mexican Style Parsnip Fries | TENDING the TABLE2

*This post was sponsored by Del Viejo. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting its sponsors.

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Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie | TENDING the TABLEIt’s here! I was going to wait to post this one until closer to Valentine’s Day, but I couldn’t hold off any longer. It’s just too good. I hope you’ll still make it for your special someone in a few weeks, because this pie is all about love. I mean, what’s not to love about peanut butter and chocolate…I love  peanut butter pie so much, we had it at our wedding instead of cake. But, sadly, my body doesn’t love the cream cheese and sugar filled version so much. So, I created this vegan peanut butter pie to satisfy that craving for something decadent and sweet while keeping my body happy. This one’s a keeper!

Peanut Butter Pie | TENDING the TABLEPeanut Butter Pie | TENDING the TABLEPeanut Butter Pie | TENDING the TABLE

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White Bean Burgers with Fennel Slaw

White Bean Burgers with Fennel Slaw | TENDING the TABLEWhite Bean Burgers with Fennel Slaw | TENDING the TABLEThe universe is testing me. At least that’s how it feels. A friend described it with an onomatopoeia. WHAM, BAM! Just four months after Maya’s suicide, my mom called me from the hospital. She had a minor heart attack. My mom, who just last week I described to my therapist as tough and resilient. And she is. She’s strong and healthy and grounded. There’s no obvious reason why she would have something like this happen. But instead of feeling discouraged, angry and afraid, I’m trying to remember that staring death in the face, makes us appreciate our lives all the more. So, we’re taking this “heart event” as an opportunity to reevaluate what matters and how we want to spend the lifetime we have been given. Now, more than ever, I’m focusing on maintaining a healthy body and mind. White Bean Burgers with Fennel Slaw | TENDING the TABLEThe other day Anders proclaimed that he wanted to eat more beans. He’d read about how they’re packed with fiber, reduce cholesterol and help prevent aging.  So, I pulled the pressure cooker out of the closet, bought a variety of dry beans and got cooking. I made a white bean and fennel soup with broccoli raab, a cranberry bean and orecchiette pasta and these white bean burgers with fennel slaw, a tangy caper aoli, avocado, arugula.

With gratitude, Sasha

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Lemon Tahini Cakes with Lemon Verbena Glaze

Lemon Tahini Cakes with Lemon Verbena Glaze | TENDING the TABLELemon Tahini Cakes with Lemon Verbena Glaze | TENDING the TABLELemon Tahini Cakes with Lemon Verbena Glaze | TENDING the TABLEThe lemon verbena bush in my back yard had cascading, gangly branches tipped with delicate purple flowers. Every few days, I’d go outside to feed the chickens and make a mental note to harvest the leaves for tea. But, week after week, I put it off. Then the holidays came and went and the leaves began to brown. In a rush to put what remained to use, I infused the  leaves in coconut milk and made an aromatic glaze with medicinal properties to boot. That is, unless the healing benefits are canceled out by the sugar…Lemon Tahini Cakes with Lemon Verbena Glaze | TENDING the TABLELemon Tahini Cakes with Lemon Verbena Glaze | TENDING the TABLELemon Tahini Cakes with Lemon Verbena Glaze | TENDING the TABLE

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Thai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”― Gautama Buddha

Thai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad | TENDING the TABLEThai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad | TENDING the TABLEThai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad | TENDING the TABLEI’ve been thinking a lot about purpose; how easy it is to get caught up in the day to day and lose sight of a bigger picture, and how that bigger picture gives meaning to our lives. For some it’s raising kind and compassionate children or having a successful career. For others it’s creating a legacy, building something concrete, or creating art. For all of us, I think, it’s about serving a greater good; doing something that makes the world a better place. One of my favorite children’s books tells the story of Ms. Rumphius and her adventures around the world. She returns home to realize that there is still one thing she has yet to do: to make the world a more beautiful place. So, she plants flowers. Such a simple gift with the potential to affect so many. I’m beginning to believe that we need each and every person, carrying out their unique purpose, to make the world brighter. We feed off of one another and the planet, in turn, is affected by our behaviors, thoughts and emotions. I’m still discovering my purpose, but I know that I want to bring health and nourishment into people’s lives while raising awareness about where our food comes from and how to support the planet by eating well. I can’t do it without you, so thanks for following along, commenting, coming to brunch, and cooking and for being a part of my purpose. I’m looking forward to sharing more recipes and thoughts on sustainability with you this year but would also love to hear from you about what you’d like to see on the blog. So please leave a comment or email me a note. And don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for daily inspiration.Thai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad | TENDING the TABLEThai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad | TENDING the TABLEThai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad | TENDING the TABLEThai Style Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad | TENDING the TABLE Continue reading

Cocktail Roundup

_DSC2154I know it’s a little late, but if you’re still searching for the perfect cocktail for your New Year’s party, check out the roundup below. When putting together this list, I gravitated towards fun, unusual flavors, fragrant herbs and spices, and a good dose of brightness. Happy New Year!

  1. Blackberry Sage Soda
  2.  Juniper Lemon and Ginger Spritzer
  3. Cardamom Hot Toddy
  4. Yuzu Maple Leaf Cocktail
  5. Balsam Gin Sparkler
  6. Lemon Verbena Whiskey Sour
  7. Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail
  8.  Persimmon Collins Cocktail

 

Juniper, Lemon and Ginger Spritzer

Juniper, Ginger and Lemon Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEJuniper, Ginger and Lemon Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEJuniper, Ginger and Lemon Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEHi there! This is just a quick post to say Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. I am so grateful for your support and honored that you are reading my blog and making my recipes. I’m looking forward to the New Year and excited to bring new inspiration, courage and adventure into my life and my work. In the meantime, here’s a festive cocktail to celebrate the winter season and the new year. The juniper berries are fragrant and taste like the holidays while the lemon and ginger create a brightness and warmth. The syrup is great with sparkling water or sparkling wine. Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous year ahead. XO

Juniper, Ginger and Lemon Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEJuniper, Ginger and Lemon Spritzer | TENDING the TABLE

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Nutty Oatmeal Cookies + A Holiday Treat Roundup

Nutty Oatmeal Cookies | TENDING the TABLEHello from the Methow Valley! Our days here are filled with skiing, reading by the fire, and baking. Roux is ecstatic about the snow and runs and slides and tumbles every chance he gets. Every time he careens down a snow bank and ends up with a face full of snow, I can’t help but smile. It is truly a winter wonderland here and I hope to have some snowy photos to share with you soon. In the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for these chewy, chocolaty, nutty, oatmeal cookies and a roundup of some of my favorite holiday treats. Enjoy!Nutty Oatmeal Cookies | TENDING the TABLENutty Oatmeal Cookies | TENDING the TABLENutty Oatmeal Cookies | TENDING the TABLE

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Holiday Gift Guide

HELLO!

It’s that time again. There are few things I enjoy more than giving gifts. I love carefully choosing just the right thing, I love spending time making homemade goodies. I love wrapping and packaging and writing cards. But what I love most is showing those around me how much they mean to me. I got my holiday shopping done early this year and have spent the past week bundling everything up into pretty little packages to be mailed and dropped off on doorsteps. But, if you’re still searching for something special I’ve got you covered. I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite makers and goods. Many of these items are hand made here in the Pacific Northwest and almost all are sustainable in some way. I’ve also included a list of recommended non-profits to donate to in someone’s name if you don’t feel like buying things. I think we may actually go that route next year. Anyways, happy gifting!

FOR THE FOOD LOVER

Holiday Gift Guide | TENDING the TABLE

  1. The Third Plate by Dan Barber: Dan Barber, owner of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, discusses how to bring a healthy and sustainable food system into existence through agricultural research, innovative sustainable farming and a new restaurant culture.
  2. Vitrified Studios: These tall ceramic cups, handmade in Portland, OR, are perfect for your morning tea.
  3. Nershi Woodworks: This father and son woodworking duo make stunning wood products for the home and kitchen. They are a small, family business and all their product photography is done by the lovely Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provincial.
  4. Laguiole Table Knives.
  5. Portland Apron Co.: I love these pinafore aprons, handmade from organic linen in Portland, OR. They look so good you can even wear them out and about…
  6. Girl Meets Dirt: Small batch jams and preserves using heritage fruit from centuries old orchards on Orcas Island. Try the plum, anise and hyssop!
  7. Gjelina: I’m currently obsessed with this cookbook. The styling and photos are stunning and the book is packed with inventive vegetable centric dishes!
  8. Root: Art in the Age has made a root tea, modeled after ones made in the 1700’s. It’s made with organic birch, sassafras, citrus and festive digestive spices.
  9. Staub Graphite Cocotte.
  10. Ballard Bee Co.: Ballard Bee Company has hives all throughout Seattle, on rooftops and in people’s backyards. Hooray for pollinators that help our fruits and veggies grow!
  11. The Modern Proper: Linen napkins in a variety of soft colors, handmade in Vancouver by the lovely ladies behind The Modern Proper.

DECOR FOR BODY AND HOME

Holiday Gift Guide | TENDING the TABLE

  1. Block Shop Textiles: Designed in LA and printed and dyed  in India using traditional hand block printing methods and natural dyes.
  2. No. 6 Clogs: Handmade to order in the U.S. Minimal, classic and comfortable.
  3. Abacus Row: Handmade jewelry from L.A. Gold beads on a silk cord are elegant yet simple enough for every day wear.
  4. Satsukishibuya: Ephemeral, abstract watercolor paintings evocative of nature and emotion.
  5. LVNEA Solid Perfume: This perfume  made from three simple organic ingredients smells like the forest in winter!

GIFTING FOR A BETTER FOOD SYSTEM

  1. Woodstock Farm Sanctuary: A haven for rescued livestock animals.
  2. City Fruit: Providing fruit tree care and gleaning in Seattle to ensure less waste.
  3. Eco-Trust | The REDD: A food hub to foster a new, sustainable food economy in the Portland area.
  4. Farm Forward: Lobbying and educating to end harmful livestock production.
  5. Seafood Watch: Helping people make more sustainable choices around seafood.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

Roasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts

Roasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLEWe are constantly surrounded by noise. Barking dogs, heaters whirring, music, tv, cars, airplanes, people talking. The holidays seem to exaggerate all the noise. There is a constant buzz in the air. They say that making time to sit quietly allows us to connect with the noise inside, to recognize it and to learn about our fantastic and fickle minds. For years I’ve enjoyed making time to notice my thoughts and watch them fade away as I breath in and out. But for the last few weeks I’ve found myself afraid of the quiet. In the absence of noise, my mind gets carried away. I can’t control it and I don’t like losing control. I can only hope that learning to be ok with the chaos will make me stronger.

Roasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLERoasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLERoasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLEI heard a story today about a man who took a vow of silence for seventeen years. He said that after some time he was able to just be without thinking anything. Imagine how liberating that must feel. To be free from our minds. While I hope to someday experience the peace of thoughtlessness, even for a few moments, I can’t help but think about all the wonderful things in the world, made wonderful by our ability to recognize their beauty.

Roasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLERoasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLEThis holiday I’m more grateful than ever for the little things; for feeling safe in someone’s arms, for a sloppy kiss and a smiling wag from Roux, for Scarlet’s sweet moments of contentment, for icy cold water on my feet, for the warmth of the sun on my face, for the full moon, for snowy branches and a warm drink in my hand, and for simple nourishing food that reminds me how beautiful and wonderful this world really is. Happy, peaceful holidays to all of you!

Roasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLERoasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLERoasted Beets with Horseradish Herb Yogurt and Toasted Hazelnuts | TENDING the TABLE

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Rosemary Applesauce Cake

Rosemary Applesauce Cake | TENDING the TABLEGood morning! I’m writing this from grey, rainy Montauk. I’m here for a yoga workshop and I’m excited to spend time with old friends, to walk on the beach, to learn and to reconnect with my practice. I don’t have much to say at the moment so I’ll just leave you with the recipe for this delicious Rosemary Applesauce Cake. This cake is light and sweet with a hint of spice form the olive oil and a bit of rosemary to make it cozy. And you can’t go wrong with crumbly, crispy streusel topping. I hope you’re having a lovely week. Enjoy!Rosemary Applesauce Cake | TENDING the TABLERosemary Applesauce Cake | TENDING the TABLEROSEMARY APPLESAUCE CAKE

Makes 1 loaf

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup applesauce

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, minced

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

STREUSAL TOPPING

1/2 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

PROCEDURE

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment and grease the sides.

Combine the olive oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rosemary and mix until smooth. Add in the diced apple and stir to combine.

To make the streusel topping combine the coconut oil, sugar, flour and walnuts and mix until the coconut oil is the size of small peas.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with the streusel. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

 

Smoky Chickpea and Roasted Tomato Tostadas

Smoky Chickpea Tostadas | TENDING the TABLEEverything says it’s fall. The days are shorter and darker, the rain patters on the roof continuously, and the internet is flooded with cozy holiday recipes. Given all of this I was surprised to find a bounty of peppers, tomatoes, corn and greens at the farmer’s market the other day. While I know that the tomatoes can’t possibly be as good as they were a few months ago, I couldn’t resist stocking up. I decided to roast them with brown sugar and olive oil to bring out their sweetness and serve them with smoky chickpeas and a fried egg on a crispy corn tortilla. This is the perfect weekend breakfast to bridge the gap between the seasons.Smoky Chickpea Tostadas | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chickpea Tostadas | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chickpea Tostadas | TENDING the TABLEI’m traveling for the next few weeks, starting in Oregon, then flying to New York for a yoga workshop and a visit with family. I’m feeling conflicted about being back. I’m eager to reconnect with family and our shared loss, as I’ve felt isolated and distracted here at home, but am also incredibly nervous about traveling alone as theres a good chance that I’ll randomly lose it and make some strangers very uncomfortable. I’m also feeling the reality of this loss more and more as I plan to head across the country on a trip that I had planned months ago with the intention of seeing Maya. I can only hope that this visit will help me begin to feel some sort of acceptance. In the meantime I’m coping by keeping busy and baking lots and lots. I hope you’ve all had a great weekend.Smoky Chickpea Tostadas | TENDING the TABLESmoky Chickpea Tostadas | TENDING the TABLE

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Chocolate Brownies with Bourbon Pumpkin Swirl + Maple Pumpkin Pot de Creme Parfaits

Maple Pumpkin Pot de Creme Parfaits (Dairy and Sugar Free) | TENDING the TABLEHappy Halloween! It’s getting late and dark and blustery and I’m looking forward to curling up on the couch with Anders and the dogs. We’ll probably watch a stupid action movie and we’ll definitely eat too many brownies.Chocolate Brownies with Bourbon Pumpkin Swirl (Dairy Free) | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Brownies with Bourbon Pumpkin Swirl (Dairy Free) | TENDING the TABLEI’m making up for my absence last month with two recipes today. These chocolate brownies are fudgy and rich and the bourbon pumpkin swirl adds a hint of fall (and if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate the fact that there is a vegetable in your dessert). Ok, I just looked it up and pumpkin is actually a fruit. But still… And then, if brownies aren’t enough, these maple pumpkin pot de creme parfaits layered with pumpkin and coconut cream and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, candied ginger and cocoa nibs are perfect just about any time of day.
Chocolate Brownies with Bourbon Pumpkin Swirl (Dairy Free) | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Brownies with Bourbon Pumpkin Swirl (Dairy Free) | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Brownies with Bourbon Pumpkin Swirl (Dairy Free) | TENDING the TABLEChocolate Brownies with Bourbon Pumpkin Swirl (Dairy Free) | TENDING the TABLE_DSC1317I’m off to the store to buy candy because I don’t think I can get away with giving away apples to the kids. I hope you have a wonderful halloween!Maple Pumpkin Pot de Creme Parfaits (Dairy and Sugar Free) | TENDING the TABLEMaple Pumpkin Pot de Creme Parfaits (Dairy and Sugar Free) | TENDING the TABLEMaple Pumpkin Pot de Creme Parfaits (Dairy and Sugar Free) | TENDING the TABLECHOCOLATE BROWNIES WITH BOURBON PUMPKIN SWIRL (Dairy Free)

Makes 12

Adapted from Date Night In

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BROWNIES

3/4 cup coconut oil

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1 cup cane sugar

3 eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

FOR THE BOURBON PUMPKIN SWIRL

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

4 tablespoons coconut cream

1 egg

1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

PROCEDURE

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an eight inch square pan and line it with parchment. Set aside.

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate and sugar. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Beat in the eggs until the batter is smooth. Add the salt, cocoa powder, flour and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and set aside.

To make the bourbon pumpkin swirl, whisk together all the ingredients. Drop spoonfuls of the pumpkin mixture onto the brownie batter. To create the swirl, use a chopstick and swoop it around in the batter.

Bake the brownies for 20-30 minutes until the top is beginning to crackle.

MAPLE PUMPKIN POT DE CREME PARFAITS

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE MAPLE PUMPKIN POTS DE CREME

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons coconut cream

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

FOR LAYERING

1/2 cup coconut cream

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts

4 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons candied ginger, diced

2 tablespoons cocoa nibs

PROCEDURE

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, puree the pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut cream, egg, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Divide the mixture evenly between two oven proof jars. Place the jars in a shallow baking dish and pour in boiling water until it reaches half way up the outside of the jars. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until just beginning to set. Remove the jars from the water bath and chill for 1-2 hours. When ready to serve whisk the coconut cream until smooth. Combine the nuts, candied ginger and cocoa nibs in a small bowl. To make the parfaits place a few spoonfuls of coconut cream on top of each pot de creme, add a spoonful or two of pumpkin puree, some of the nut mixture and another few spoonfuls of coconut cream. Top with the rest of the nut mixture.
 

A Brunch Recap and My Food Philosophy

A Brunch Recap | TENDING the TABLEFirst off, I wanted to say thank you for the overwhelming support and kindess that I received from all of you regarding my last post. It really means a lot to know that I can be vulnerable and honest. I’d also like to thank you for being patient with me as I gradually get back into my routine. I’m painfully aware of the fact that my posts have been less consistent recently. So thank you for bearing with me. I’ve got some new recipes and photos coming your way soon. For now I wanted to tell you a little about our most recent benefit brunch and share with you my thoughts on eating sustainably.A Brunch Recap | TENDING the TABLEOn Sunday, Kristan Raines and I hosted a benefit brunch in support of Farm Forward, a non-profit working to raise awareness about the environmental and ethical impacts of factory farming. In addition, Farm Forward works to promote new strategies to create a more healthy, just and humane food system. From what I can tell, there aren’t many non-profits working in this area despite the devastating environmental impacts, the animal cruelty issues, the brutal working conditions and the health concerns associated with livestock production and dairy farming.

I’ve always believed that our choices surrounding food are some of the most impactful choices we make. How and what we eat not only impact our health, but impact the health of the planet. I recently watched Cowspiracy which provides some staggering statistics about the environmental consequences of livestock production. As a result I’ve come to some new (and old) conclusions about my food philosophy that I wanted to share with you.

Eat personally: One way of eating isn’t necessarily right for everyone. The Ayurvedic approach to eating for your unique constitution really resonates with me.

Buy local, seasonal ingredients: Eating seasonally often ensures that you’re getting better quality ingredients and reducing the carbon footprint of your food.

Buy organic when possible: Don’t rely on the label. Many farms can’t afford to become certified organic, but still use sustainable farming methods. Avoid foods farmed using synthetic pesticides and herbicides as they are harmful to your health and the soil and water.

Eat raw, local honey: Fruit trees and other plants rely on bees for pollination so it’s important to support your local apiaries.

Eggs: I don’t have a problem with eggs from small, local farms who raise their hens on pasture and supplement with feed from local farms. I’d rather not support the large scale production of corn, soy and wheat for animal feed and avoid eggs laid by hens whose feed contains fish meal as it is often unsustainably caught and contributes to the decline of ocean health.

Dairy: Avoid dairy, especially from cows and other ruminants as they require enormous amounts of grain and water and produce copious amounts of methane. Livestock also take up large tracts of otherwise wild land resulting in the decline of wild predators when ranchers feel that their herds are threatened.

Meat and seafood: Avoid meat and seafood. If I can’t kill it I don’t want to eat it. Not only is red meat inflammatory and hard to digest, but new research shows that it is also possibly linked to an increased risk of cancer. As for pork, I’m troubled by the research that shows that pigs are as intelligent as dogs. Most seafood is overfished to the point where it will take years to reestablish healthy numbers. In addition, most commercial fishing methods result in damage to reefs and other species. Human rights violations are associated with shrimp fishing in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Soy and palm oil: I avoid these two mainly because their production is a leading cause of deforestation and habitat destruction.

So, there you have it. I know it’s a lot to take in and want to emphasize that these are my opinions and while I’ve done some reading and research I definitely don’t have all the facts. My goal is simply to raise awareness about the issues in our food system with the hope that consumer demand will shift leading to healthier humans and a healthier planet.

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Roasted Pumpkin with Tamarind and Coriander Chutney

Roasted Pumpkin with Tamarind and Coriander Chutney | TENDING the TABLEFive years ago I sat cross-legged on the living room floor eating Indian food with my fingers. My little sister was visiting me in Vermont  and Anders and I had made it our mission to teach her as many bad habits as possible while having as much fun as possible. So, we made an Indian feast, and taught Maya how to eat Indian style. We scooped and slurped and giggled. When we weren’t eating with our hands on the floor, we were sitting on the kitchen counter chomping on apples and peanut butter, scrambling up mountains, rough housing, or shopping for fedoras. I was excited to teach her to cook and to love nature and I was excited to learn from her how to be silly, brave and unabashedly uncommon.

Two years ago Maya spent a week with us in Seattle. We hiked and swam and licked dripping ice cream cones while debating the merits of veganism. Maya was fourteen and I was unsure how to connect with her but I was excited to teach her about love and relationships, about healthy living and to see the world in all its complexity and I was excited to learn from her about living in the present and unbounded compassion.Roasted Pumpkin with Tamarind and Coriander Chutney | TENDING the TABLERoasted Pumpkin with Tamarind and Coriander Chutney | TENDING the TABLETwo weeks ago my step-mom called and told me that Maya had committed suicide. I was shocked, horrified and sick to my stomach as Anders and I went about making travel plans. We flew to NY that night and spent a week attending services, sitting shiva, talking, crying, trying to understand and feeling a range of emotions including guilt, anger and frustration. When people express their condolences in person or in cards, they often say “there are no words” and I understand that it is difficult to know what to say in a situation like this and that sometimes silence is the best gift one can give, but I also feel that processing this tragedy with words both spoken and written has been helpful for me. I realize that I don’t often share such personal insights and that some of you prefer a more lighthearted tone, but I felt that putting my feelings about this tragic loss into words was a good way for me to process the grief and pain and a way to help lift the stigma of suicide by talking about it openly. Life can be difficult and the state of the world can seem hopeless, but life is a gift and the world is full of beauty, wonder and hope.

Maya was vibrant, smart and full of compassion for the world around her and I mourn for the tremendous impact she could have had on this earth. There is no doubt in my mind that she would have done great things and made the world a better place. In my mind, the best thing I can do to honor her memory is to take the lifetime I have been given and to make a difference, to live with joy and with compassion for others and for myself.

Here’s an Indian inspired, vegan recipe in honor of Maya. It’s best eaten with your fingers.Roasted Pumpkin with Tamarind and Coriander Chutney | TENDING the TABLE

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Strong Ginger Snaps

Strong Ginger Snaps | TENDING the TABLEFog hangs heavy and low in the air, gilded leaves adorn the trees, and I’ve pulled my slippers out from the back of the closet. It’s fall and I’m in love. I’m in love with my natal season, I’m in love with husband and excited to celebrate our first wedding anniversary in a few days, I’m in love with slippers and sweaters and tea and cozy blankets, and I’m in love with baked goods and warm spices. Strong Ginger Snaps | TENDING the TABLEStrong Ginger Snaps | TENDING the TABLEHeidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks has been a favorite of mine for years and her new cookbook Near and Far has already become a standard in my kitchen, with dog eared pages soon to be sticky and stained. Her recipes are healthy and wholesome but also ebullient and full of vibrant unique flavors, she gracefully captures the essence of some of my favorite cuisines, from San Francisco to Morocco, Japan, Italy, France and India, and her photos are simple yet elegant. Strong Ginger Snaps | TENDING the TABLEThese ginger snaps exemplify my ideal cookie. They’re easy to make, chewy on the inside and crisp around the edges, slightly sweetened with honey and molasses, and spiked with a generous amount of ginger. I added some chopped chocolate because…well, why not?

In other news, I’m hosting another benefit brunch on October 11th in collaboration with Kristan of The Broken Bread. We have a beautiful fall menu planned and some great sponsors lined up so get your tickets before they sell out!

STRONG GINGER SNAPS

Slightly adapted from Near and Far

Makes 4-5 dozen

INGREDIENTS

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (see note below)

5 tablespoons ground ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Scant 1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup honey, at room temperature

2 tablespoons molasses

1 cup bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

PROCEDURE

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to mix until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then mix into the butter mixture in two additions, mixing just enough to produce a crumbly texture. Add the honey and molasses and mix just long enough for the dough to come together cohesively. Add the chopped chocolate and stir to combine.

Use your hands to roll a tablespoon of dough at a time into balls and arrange, well apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven, let sit for a couple of minutes before serving. Bake the remaining cookies or freeze the  dough for later use.

*I’ve been reading about heritage wheat varieties in Dan Barber’s new book and how they’re better for the soil and more nutritionally rich, so I used this locally grown and milled wheat in this recipe with great success.

Miso Noodle Soup with Tofu, Chanterelles and Bok Choy

Miso Noodle Soup | TENDING the TABLEMiso Noodle Soup | TENDING the TABLEMiso Noodle Soup | TENDING the TABLEI was a bit of a lazy bum before college. I never played sports or did anything athletic. I was on the equestrian team, and tried my hardest to convince myself and everyone else that that qualified as exercise. Then I moved across the country to a place where exercise is a way of life. In VT, scenic roads, wooded trails and mountain passes all beg to be explored. I started hiking more and signed up to lead outdoor orientation trips to incoming students. That’s when I met Anders.  Miso Noodle Soup | TENDING the TABLEMiso Noodle Soup | TENDING the TABLEMiso Noodle Soup | TENDING the TABLEAt the time, Anders’ life revolved around cross country skiing. He ate three bagels each morning for breakfast, trained twice a day and was gone every weekend at races. Getting to know Anders meant learning to love exercise. Now, years later, Anders and I hike, run, ski and bike together. He’s not a competitive athlete anymore and he doesn’t eat three bagels for breakfast every day. Instead we focus on enjoying the outdoors, striving to be as healthy, fit and strong as possible and eating wholesome, nourishing meals, like this noodle soup. Miso Noodle Soup | TENDING the TABLE

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