Corn and Shiso Fritters

Summer went by way too quickly. We were gone most weekends, but somehow didn’t manage to check off any of the camping or hiking trips we had planned. To make up for it, we’re headed to Italy in a few weeks for a yoga workshop and some travel. I’m pretty giddy with excitement and looking forward to a little vacation. Before we leave though, I’m packing in a bunch of work and enjoying the rain and cooler weather. I’ve been lighting candles every morning, sipping tea on the couch with my pups and making soup and baking cookies. Fall is my favorite season for sure. As much as I love fall, I’m not quite ready to let go of the summer produce so I’ve got the recipe for these Corn and Shiso Fritters  for you. Continue reading for the recipe…

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Savory Breakfast Bowl

Hey friends. I’m popping in real quick to share the recipe for this simple savory breakfast bowl and some existential thoughts on climate change, responsibility and action. I hope you’re all hanging in there during these terrible times…

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Watermelon Cilantro Limeade

Hello friends! I hope you’re having a fabulous week. I’ve got the recipe for this cooling Watermelon, Cilantro Limeade for you as well as some Ayurvedic tips to pacify Pitta. Keep reading to learn about Pitta imbalances, how to treat them with diet and lifestyle, and to get the recipe for this refreshing summer drink…

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Fig and Candied Pecan Panzanella

This time of year, I often find myself standing barefoot in the grass in my parent’s yard biting into a freshly picked fig: juicy and sweet, tasting of honey and flowers and summer sun. These moments are what inspire me to create recipes that show off nature’s incredible bounty. This Fig and Candied Pecan Panzanella does a pretty great job of exemplifying what late summer produce is all about. It combines ripe figs with crusty bread, smoky candied pecans, and bitter greens for a super satisfying lunch or dinner. The smoky, crunchy pecans balance out the sweet softness of the figs and add some protein to make this salad hearty enough to be a meal on its own. Continue reading for the recipe and enjoy…

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Methow Grown

I spent last week touring farms in the Methow Valley for the Methow Conservancy’s Methow Grown campaign. The project is designed to raise awareness about Methow Valley farmers and their work, to help build community and collaboration between farms, and to advance marketing strategies and explore streamlining distribution. It was an honor to be a part of such a meaningful and impactful project and a pleasure to get to know these farmers, hear their stories, learn about their values and their goals, and develop a deep appreciation for the work they do to nourish us and the land. Each one of them has a unique approach to farming integrating their personal philosophies, innovative techniques, and sustainable practices. Despite their differences, they all share a deep love of the land and a deep desire to serve their communities and the world. I hope these photos inspire you to get to know your local farmers and to support them in their work. Scroll down for a list of the farms I visited and be sure to check out the Methow Grown website for virtual farm tours and more info on where to find their products…

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Hormone Balancing Nut Butter Bark

Hello from the Methow Valley. I’m here photographing farmers for the Methow Conservancy’s Methow Grown project. I can’t wait to share some images and stories from the week with you soon. In the meantime, I’m sharing the recipe for this hormone balancing nut butter bark. Continue reading for the recipe…

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Miso Rosemary Beans on Toast

I know, this looks like more of a winter recipe, but bear with me. I don’t know about you, but for us, summer involves lots of outdoor activities which means less time in the kitchen. A quick, satisfying lunch is always appreciated after a long bike ride or hike and these miso rosemary beans on toast hit the spot. Pair them with a big salad and you’ve got the perfect lunch to gobble down in the backyard. Continue reading for the recipe and have a great week! XO

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Dairy Free Chocolate Hazelnut Soft Serve

Hello friends! Last weekend Anders and I went for a long bike ride over on Bainbridge Island. It was a great way to spend a Saturday. The ferry is always so scenic and Bainbridge was lovely as well. Right away, the open space and trees made us feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. The ride took us through woods and fields and along the coast. We finished in town and grabbed lunch before hopping on the ferry home. I used to ride all the time in VT but since moving to Seattle, I rarely get out. Riding in the city is a very different experience from cruising down pastoral one lane roads. While I was tired and sore by the end of the day, I also felt so invigorated… and really hungry. So, I made this super simple dairy free chocolate hazelnut soft serve. It was the perfect treat and completely satisfied my craving for something cool and sweet while also helping combat my sore and tired muscles. Continue reading for the recipe and enjoy…

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Crispy Broccoli and Barley Bowl

I don’t know about you but this summer weather has me itching to get outside. We’re hoping to go for a long bike ride or hike this weekend or maybe take some paddle boards out on the lake. No matter what we end up doing this Crispy Broccoli and Barley Bowl from Izy Hossack’s new book The Savvy Cook is definitely making an appearance. Continue reading for the recipe and some thoughts on eating healthy…

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A Simple Avocado Salad

Hello! The weekend is finally here and I’m excited to share this simple but satisfying avocado salad with you along with some tips on how to create a more sustainable kitchen. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the little things I do to make my kitchen more sustainable and I wanted to share a few tips and resources with you. Continue reading for all the details…

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Mango Lassi Pops

Popsicle Week is here and I’ve got a special Mango Lassi Pop recipe for you! These frozen treats are made with luscious coconut milk yogurt, fresh, ripe mango, a bit of lime, vanilla, a pinch of cardamom and some mint and turmeric for good measure. Continue reading for the recipe…

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Beet and Strawberry Gazpacho

Hello from sunny Los Angeles! We’re here for a few days and I’m looking forward to eating all the amazing food, visiting museums, and working on some fun collaborative projects (be sure to follow along on Instagram stories). In the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for this Beet and Strawberry Gazpacho for you as well as all the details on my morning routine…

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Quinoa Salad with Ramps, Peas and Herbs

Hello from Joseph, OR. We’re here for a few days celebrating my mom’s birthday and exploring the Wallowa Mountains. It’s beautiful here and we’re already dreaming up another visit and a backpacking trip in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Today we hiked along Hurricane Creek, marveling at the imposing mountains, the rushing water, the distant waterfalls and the myriad wildflowers. After our hike we picnicked by the creek and soaked our tired feet in the ice cold water. The picnic was the perfect way to end our hike.

Speaking of picnics (’tis the season) a few weeks ago I met up with a wonderful group of bloggers for a picnic featuring Lundberg Farms products. Lundberg grows organic, sustainable rice and other grains in California and is doing a lot of great work to ensure that their products have a minimal impact on the environment including soil regeneration, crop rotation, habitat preservation, and water conservation. You can learn more here. We had so much fun visiting and cooking together and the open fields and rolling hills of my parent’s property made the perfect backdrop for our feast. And what a feast it was: Shelly made crostini with stone fruit salsa, Eva made black pearl rice stir fry with miso, mushrooms and crispy tofu, Holly and Natalie made morel mushroom risotto, Trisha made rice pudding with strawberry rhubarb compote and I made this spring quinoa salad with ramps, peas and herbs. This salad is packed with spring alliums and herbs plus fresh snap peas, shaved fennel and pumpkin seeds for crunch. It is bright, tangy  and satisfying.

Be sure to keep an eye out for all of the other posts and recipes later this summer. Enjoy!

*This post was sponsored by Lundberg Farms. Thank you for supporting my work by supporting my sponsors.

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Carrot Ginger Soup

Today I’m sharing the recipe for this super satisfying five ingredient carrot ginger soup. This is the soup I make any time we need a quick meal or when the fridge is bare. It’s simple, fast and so nourishing. Continue reading for the recipe and some Ayurvedic tips to improve digestion. Continue reading

Almond Coconut Cookies

These are my go to cookies. I’ve been meaning to share the recipe with you for years and now it’s finally happening. I love them because they’re simple and pretty darn healthy as far as cookies go, with no gluten or obscure gluten free flours and no refined sugar. We always have extra dough in the  fridge or freezer in case the cookie craving strikes.

I’m settling back in after a few weeks away and am looking forward to sharing some fun spring recipes with you soon. What are you all making these days?

*Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos of my recipes  with #tendingthetable. 

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Soba Noodle Salad

Hello from VT! I’m here for a week-long yoga workshop and am excited to share some thoughts on sustainable and ethical eating from a yogic perspective with you. I’ve also got the recipe for this super simple and satisfying soba noodle salad. Continue reading for all the details… Continue reading

Orange Blossom Water and Honey Sahleb with Roasted Strawberries

Hello friends. I’m headed to Vermont for a week long yoga workshop and am looking forward to reconnecting with my teacher and our community there. It will be nice to focus on my practice and immerse myself in the philosophy and teachings. I’m sure I’ll have lots to share with you when I return but for now I want to talk about Karen Mordechai’s new book, Simple Fare.

Karen is the creator of Sunday Suppers, a blog and dinner series designed to bring community together around food. I’ve long admired Karen’s aesthetic. Her style is clean, bright, crisp, elegant, and simple. She knows how to let the ingredients shine and takes pride in thoughtful sourcing. In her new book, the first in a seasonal series, she offers simple recipes based on her favorite weeknight meals. My favorite thing about the book, aside from it’s size (it’s designed to function as both a cookbook and a coffee table book, so is much larger than a normal cookbook), is the way Karen encourages the reader to explore and innovate in the kitchen. The recipes are written to encourage you to modify and adapt based on what’s in season and what you have at your disposal. For me, cooking is so much about exploration and invention, so I love that Karen is opening to door to more conservative home cooks and inviting them to get creative.

Now, how about this recipe? I’ll admit I’m a newbie when it comes to sahleb. Honestly, I didn’t even know what it was before reading Simple Fare. Let me tell you, it’s pretty much the best thing ever. It’s made with coconut milk, cornstarch and a little sweetener. That’s it. The result is a sweet, luxurious dessert that falls somewhere between pudding and yogurt. I took Karen’s recipe and ran with it. The original recipe suggests using mahlab and rose water, but I added orange blossom water instead. I also changed up the toppings from the original recipe and added strawberries that  I roasted in coconut sugar and vanilla and then topped it all off with pumpkin seeds and poppy seeds for a little crunch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Feel free to modify the toppings seasonally and be sure to check out Simple Fare. Congratulations Karen!

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Passionfruit, Cacao Juice and Pineapple Granita

Hi. I’m just popping in real quick to say hello and to share this granita recipe with you. The weather is finally warming up here so cool summer treats like this one are on my mind. This granita is made with passionfruit pulp, cacao juice, pineapple juice and plenty of vanilla. What is cacao juice you ask? It’s juice pressed from the fruit of the cacao tree; the same tree that produces chocolate. The cacao fruit encases the cacao beans and is normally discarded as waste. Repurposed Pod is eliminating that waste by taking the fruit and turning it into juice for you to enjoy. It’s slightly sweet, full of tropical flavors, and packed with magnesium, vitamin B, and antioxidants. If cacao juice isn’t available at your local grocery store, I think substituting in plain kombucha would be just as good. Enjoy!

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Grapefruit, Cucumber and Rose Skin Quencher

Good morning! Today I’m excited to share a recipe with you from Lily Diamond’s new cookbook. Although I have followed her work for some time, I first met Lily in person in February at a blogger retreat. We spent a few days together, cooking, talking and hanging out. Lily is one of those people who is somehow simultaneously bright and energetic and still calm and collected. I don’t know how she does it. She’s sweet, playful, funny, and so so kind. Her new book exudes all these same qualities. It is packed full of vibrant recipes that satisfy, heal and nourish and self-care tips and body-care recipes that promote wellness, self-love and self-esteem. It’s a beautiful book and I hope you love it as much as I do.

This recipe from Lily’s book caught my attention right away. It’s simple and refreshing and the rose water makes it feel special and a little decadent too. It’s also perfect for keeping you cool and hydrated during those warm summer days that are right around the corner. Enjoy the recipe and check out Lily’s book.

XO Sasha

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Treating Anxiety

Hello friends! I hope you’re having a great week and enjoying the sunshine.

I’ve had several people ask me about anxiety recently so I’ve decided to share my favorite tips and tricks with you here. I hope you find some of it useful or at least feel less alone knowing that anxiety is a prevalent issue in today’s fast paced, over stimulating world.

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Soy Sauce and Toasted Almonds

It’s dark out and the rain is pummeling the metal roof and splashing onto the window panes. Here, in the Pacific Northwest, we like to complain about all the clouds and incessant rain, but how can we complain when so many places suffer years and years of drought? How can we complain, when all this rain is what feeds us? Without it, seeds would shrivel up, leaves would show their veins and the fields would lie fallow and barren.

As spring rolls around and patches of sun leave us longing for sunny, summer days, we curse the spring showers. But let’s also remember to be grateful for the rain. Be grateful for the pitter patter, the quenching sparkle on the skin, the smell of  mud, the feel of wet grass tickling the toes, the misty mornings that hold us and ease us into the day, and the food on our tables, that wouldn’t be there without the rain.

This sprouting purple broccoli from the farmer’s market  was just begging to be photographed. Every time I look at its slender stalks, serrated leaves and tiny purple buds, I am reminded of the earth’s beauty and bounty and our responsibility to preserve and protect the resources at our disposal.

I cooked this gorgeous broccoli up with toasted sesame oil, some soy sauce and a little coconut sugar for sweetness. The crunchy, toasted almonds are the perfect thing to round it out. Enjoy!

Remember to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes. I love to see what you’re making!

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Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake

As the clouds settled low in the sky, we threw on our boots, hopped in the truck and drove North. The city blocks turned to pasture and rolling hills dotted the horizon. It felt good to be out of the city; to have more space, more trees, more fresh air. After an hour or so, we pulled  into Bow Hill Blueberries for a visit. The farm, run by Susan and Harley, is the oldest blueberry farm in the Skagit Valley. It is rich in history and planted with heirloom varieties, each with unique flavors and characteristics. Susan and Harley take pride in the history of the farm and their berry bushes and farm organically, focusing on soil health and waste reduction. They make several products with the smaller berry varieties that they can’t sell fresh, including a kick-ass cold pressed blueberry juice and blueberry powder made from the pulp that is leftover after juicing. I love that Susan and Harley decided to turn the spent blueberry skins into a value added product instead of throwing it all away. Not only is this product sustainable, it’s nutrient dense. Each eight ounce bag of Organic Heirloom Blueberry Powder contains the skins of 2000 blueberries. This stuff is packed with fiber, manganese, iron and vitamin C and is great in smoothies or if you’re feeling fancy, in this Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake. This cheesecake is dairy free, refined sugar free, super creamy and just right for the Easter weekend. Enjoy!

*This post was sponsored by Bow Hill Blueberries. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting it’s sponsors. As always, 10% of proceeds go to supporting sustainable agriculture. 

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Cinnamon Rose Horchata

Hey there. It’s spring here in Seattle and I’m enjoying the warm weather and looking forward to lounging in the grass, picnics at the park, summer camping trips, and cooling summer drinks like this Cinnamon Rose Horchata. I’m one of those people who overheats pretty easily, which can lead to headaches, hives and indigestion, so staying cool in the summer is super important for me. When the weather warms, it’s all about routine and paying attention to what I eat. I try to exercise in the early morning or evening to avoid going out during the heat of the day. I often have a cold bandana on hand to tie around my neck and will sometimes even soak my shirt in cool water to lower my body temp. I try to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of room temperature fluids and avoid anything acidic or spicy. I will often add some aloe into my diet as well during the warmer months. Do any of you have a love hate relationship with summer like I do? Well, if you do, this horchata is for you. It’s a simple combination of almonds, rice, cinnamon, honey and rosewater. It’s creamy without being heavy and sweet but not too sweet. And the almonds, rice and rosewater are all super cooling. Enjoy!

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Cocoa Tahini Shake

This one’s a winner you guys! Cocoa, dates and tahini blended up with creamy coconut milk, vanilla and ice! What could be better? It’s my take on the typical peanut butter and chocolate combo. The tahini is really fun for a change but still provides that nutty, rich quality that is so satisfying. And it’s a perfect treat for those warm days that are right around the corner…fingers crossed.

I hope your week is going well. XO

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Nettle Soup

Nettles, popping up on the forest floor are one of the surest signs of spring. Their bright green leaves and prickly stems emerge as the ground thaws and the weather warms. As they grow taller, they often leave tingling welts on the ankles and legs of unassuming hikers. But, when they’re still small, nettles can be harvested (carefully, using gloves or scissors), steamed, and used pretty much any way you might normally use spinach or other leafy greens. They’re packed with iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin K, vitmain A and vitamin B complex and are a welcome change after months of heavy winter foods. I always look forward to foraging for nettles and turning them into this creamy, chlorophyll packed soup every spring. Enjoy and be well.

*When harvesting nettles, wear gloves and use scissors to avoid stings. Only pick the top 1-2 inches from young nettles as too much stem will result in a fibrous, woody texture. Be sure to always use tongs when handling nettles in the kitchen to avoid stings. Steam the nettles thoroughly. The cooking process deactivates the stinging property of the nettles, making them edible.

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Braised Purple Cabbage

Hello friends! Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been busy with some non-food related projects that I wanted to share with you. As much as I live, breathe, and love all things food, my meals have been very simple as other things have been taking priority lately. While I’m looking for ways to get involved in some food justice opportunities and exploring how to have a greater influence in the food sustainability world, I’ve also been consumed by a desire to stand up for civil liberties, the environment, compassionate human to human interaction, and my values. I hope you’ll forgive me for bringing some of that into this space. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  1. I’ve been getting pretty politically engaged since the election and am now organizing with a local group to dialogue with our local law enforcement about how to make our city a model for civil liberties and justice. I hosted a house party through the ACLU’s new People Power program and am now working on setting up meetings and facilitating dialogue. It’s exciting to feel like I’m taking action in a meaningful way and I’m excited to see what we can do. You can join the People Power movement in your area here.
  2. Another way I’ve been getting politically engaged recently is through Swing Left, an organization developed to get people involved in swing district congressional elections in 2018. I’m looking forward to organizing events, phone banking and canvassing  for progressive candidates and to having conversations with people about their beliefs and values.
  3. I just signed up for this great opportunity through my local NPR station to dialogue with others in my community I don’t often interact with. They’re hosting conversations aimed at reducing the harmful polarization in our society.
  4. After becoming aware of some hate crimes in my area, I started a Hate Has No Home Here campaign to fill my neighborhood with yard signs denouncing hate. We’ve raised over $1,000 to print 200 yard signs. I’m excited to encourage tolerance and send a strong message about our values as a community. You can start a campaign in your area too.
  5. I’ve also been working on lining up some super fun sponsored work with some really great, sustainable and innovative companies. I can’t wait to share them with you.
  6. In April, a bunch of other bloggers and I  will be promoting our national parks, forests and wilderness areas to raise awareness about the value of public lands. Stay tuned!

This recipe is a go to weeknight dinner in our house. It’s adapted from a recipe in Chez Panisse Vegetables, but I haven’t used the recipe in years. It’s easy, requires minimal ingredients and is very forgiving. You basically just  cut up a cabbage and throw it in a pan with butter and broth and cook it, covered, until tender. The cabbage gets luxuriously creamy and sweet. We often have it with some brown rice and a salad or veggie soup. Enjoy!

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The First Mess’ Easy Gluten-Free Waffles with Maple-Spice Buckwheat Crispies + A Giveaway

The First Mess' Waffles | TENDING the TABLE

You matter. It’s easy in this buzzing world of omnipresence and instant gratification to forget how we as individuals fit into the big picture.  But, we do fit in. We’re part of the whole and as such, how we participate and engage influences everything around us. The choices we make on a daily basis really do have an impact on the world and on the future. A couple of recent experiences have awakened me to the importance of compassionate, human to human relationships and thoughtful and tangible action. While reading  this article the other day, this quote stuck out:

“A dedication to cultivating your social media brand is a fundamentally passive approach to professional advancement. It diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter. “

As bloggers we spend lots of time on social media, and while I acknowledge the importance of building a following, I think it’s easy to become complacent and lose sight of our values and goals. Why do we do what we do? My guess is that most of us have some reason that has nothing to do with numbers of followers, engagement, page views or click throughs. For some of us it’s about creating art and sharing beauty with the world. For some of us it’s about family and community and building relationships around food. For some of us it’s about  helping others find health and vitality. For some of us it’s about educating others about important issues in our food system. But for all of us it’s about much, much more than just creating content and getting likes. I hope you can all find ways to take your values and passions and translate them into concrete action in the coming weeks and months, because what we all need more than anything else right now is human engagement. Share your gifts every day through little acts of selflessness and compassion. Give a hug, call a friend, discuss an article, cook together, attend a rally, concert, lecture, exhibit, or party, host a fundraiser, collaborate, volunteer, help a stranger, and don’t forget to smile.

I’m working on some interesting projects that I’ll look forward to sharing with you soon. For now….waffles!

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I’m so excited to share this recipe with you from Laura’s new cookbook! I had the pleasure of meeting Laura a few weeks ago at our blogger retreat after having admired her work for some time. She’s fun, vivacious, funny, and so talented as both a cook and photographer. This book epitomizes her love of vibrant, seasonal, plant based food. The recipes are precise and easy to follow and packed with plenty of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits and veggies. Her photos are full of soft light and casual styling which creates a sense of comfort that invites you in and makes you feel at home. I’m especially excited to try the Savory Ginger Green Onion Crepes, Weeknight Root Vegetable Dal, Creamy and Spicy Corn and Millet Toss, Roasted Carrots with Ginger Maple Cream, and Fudgy Nut and Seed Butter Brownies. I’ve already made these Easy Gluten-Free Waffles a couple of times and love them. They really are quite easy and I love that they’re crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just like a waffle should be. The shredded coconut adds a rich, nutty flavor and texture. I topped mine with the Maple-Spice Buckwheat Crispies from the book. You can win a copy of The First Mess Cookbook by entering the giveaway below. XO

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(GIVEAWAY CLOSED) GIVEAWAY: To win a copy of Laura’s amazing book comment below with your favorite weekday breakfast. I’ll pick a winner randomly next week and get a copy to you in March. Open to US and Canadian residents only.

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Cauliflower Kofta

Cauliflower Kofta | TENDING the TABLE

Welcome home! We’re settling back into city life and honestly, it’s a bit of a bummer. There’s the traffic, the noise, the absence of stars. It’s harder to get outside when all that greets us is concrete and rows upon rows of houses. The dogs are disappointed too. After weeks of frolicking in the snow and going on long walks they’re already feeling a little stir crazy. But, despite all of this, it’s nice to be back, sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen, and getting back into a more consistent work routine. I’ve got some fun things coming your way next week, and in the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for this Cauliflower Kofta for you. We made this out in the Methow Valley and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It’s a riff on the traditional mediterranean meat kofta, but made with cauliflower and packed with toasted pine nuts, dried currants, cinnamon and cumin. They’re amazingly fluffy and are great with some good crusty bread and tomato sauce. Enjoy!

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Maple Bourbon Hot Chocolate

Maple Bourbon Hot Chocolate | TENDING the TABLEI hope you’ll forgive me for posting another drink recipe this week and one with similar styling no less. I’ve been making this hot chocolate pretty much every day here in the Methow and couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you. It’s our go to post ski treat and I’ve convinced myself that it’s also a necessary recovery beverage, which I’ll admit is a bit of a stretch. But, it’s got some things going for it that make it healthy as well as indulgent. It’s rich, creamy and frothy, packed with cinnamon (which stabilizes blood sugar), sweetened only with maple syrup (which makes it practically sugar free in my book) and also has some salt in there to rebalance electrolytes. The bourbon and vanilla add an exotic note. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And now for a few words on milk:

As with every recipe, ingredients matter here. If you have a favorite nut milk that’s great. If not, consider what milk you buy carefully. Dairy farming is a significant contributor to climate change and environmental degradation, not to mention the myriad animal welfare issues involved in the dairy industry. Things to look out for when buying milk include what breed of cows are being used (most dairy cows have been bred to produce more milk more often which results in more stress, illness and shorter life spans), whether or not the cows are treated with growth hormones or antibiotics, how calves are treated, what they are fed, and how early they are separated from their mothers, if cows are being fed GMO corn, alfalfa, or soy grown as a monoculture or are pasture fed, if the animals have access to the outdoors and what kind of access they have, what kind of grazing practices are used to ensure minimal top soil degradation and erosion, if the cows are restrained in holding stalls or are free to move, what kind of milking practices are used to prevent mastitis, if sensitive ecosystems and/or forests have been destroyed to make room for cattle, and what kind of waste management is used on the farm to prevent water pollution. It’s a complicated system and there is no perfect product, but it’s worth investigating what you’re buying so you know what systems and practices you’re supporting and what you’re putting into your body.

Thanks for following!

XO Sasha

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Rosemary, Honey, and Grapefruit Spritzer

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I’m just settling in back in the Methow after a weekend retreat on the rugged California coast with a bunch of fellow bloggers. My vision for this retreat was for us to be able to spend time together without the constraints or pressure of work, allowing us to really get to know one another, talk freely and cook together. I’d say it was a success. The views were stunning, the food was delicious and bountiful and the conversations were fun, inspiring and informative. I’m already thinking about our next retreat. For now you can check out what we were up to on Instagram under #realeatsretreat.

I made this mocktail on the first night of our retreat and loved it so much I decided to recreate it for you here. Rosemary and grapefruit are always a winning combo and the honey adds a sweetness and floral quality that really works well. It’s a simple drink, but so so delicious. It works well as a winter mocktail because of the earthiness of the rosemary but would also be super refreshing during the warmer months.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate, Raspberry, Buckwheat Muffins

Chocolate, Raspberry, Buckwheat Muffins | TENDING the TABLE

It’s been a challenging week emotionally. Without getting too political here, I’ll just say I’ve been feeling frustrated, dismayed and disappointed with the current state of the nation (If you want more specifics feel free to check out the links I’ve been posting on Facebook). It’s been a crash course in civics and political activism and I’m finally beginning to feel empowered again. I have hope and faith and determination to do what is necessary and right. Part of that means reconsidering how to most effectively raise awareness about sustainable agriculture. There are so many issues and I know it can be overwhelming and paralyzing, but I firmly believe that as long as we keep our eyes, ears  and hearts open, we will know what to do. That being said, I  want to continue to bring you thoughtful content that focuses on issues, information and concrete action surrounding your food choices and why they matter to help guide you in the right direction.

For today though I’ll leave you with a poem and the recipe for these chocolate, raspberry, buckwheat muffins. They’re a decadent breakfast, a great snack and  also a romantic treat perfect for Valentine’s. They’re dairy free (because methane emissions from cows is a serious problem) and use a mixture of Einka flour (which is high in protein and vitamins and grown and milled right here in the Methow Valley) and buckwheat flour for a hearty, rich flavor. Enjoy!

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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Cauliflower and Kale Gratin with Caramelized Onions and Thyme

Cauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLE

Hello! Phew…It’s been a while. We’ve been bouncing around from one ski trip to the next which has made consistent posts a bit tricky (I’m not complaining though…). We’re finally settled into our little cabin in the Methow Valley where we’ll be for the next few weeks and despite the seriously lacking kitchen situation I’m hoping to have some more fun and comforting recipes coming your way soon. For now I’ve got this easy and satisfying weeknight dish for you and some links to things I’ve been reading and watching lately. First, here’s a bit about the recipe. This gratin is packed with roasted cauliflower, hearty brown rice, kale and caramelized onions. I whipped up  a simple roux to add some creaminess and topped it with crushed Onion Thyme Lentil Bean Crisps. These crisps are packed with protein and are great as a snack. Turns out they also make a fantastic crusty topping for any baked dish or on pasta or soup. This dish is a great side dish or dinner and is also amazing with a fried egg for breakfast. Enjoy!

And now for some links:

  1. I was shocked and upset to learn that the number one purchase by households on food stamps is soda. This article does a good job explaining why.
  2. I’ve always been a supporter of moderation in everything, including gluten. This is an interesting article outlining some of the ways a gluten free diet can actually be harmful to your health.
  3. Wise words about the power of storytelling as a political, cultural and personal guide in life.
  4. I’ve always known sugar was bad, but this article has me more convinced than ever.
  5. Just watched this film about climate change and came away more committed to boycotting palm oil (which is in more things than you think, including most store bought peanut butter) and  is a leading cause of rainforest deforestation.

Wishing you all an empowering and peaceful weekend!

XO

Cauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLECauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLECauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLECauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLECauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLECauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLECauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLE Cauliflower and Kale Gratin | TENDING the TABLE

*This post was sponsored by Harvest Snaps. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting our sponsors. In accordance with our mission, 10% of the proceeds from this post have been donated in support of sustainable agriculture. 

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Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass | TENDING the TABLEHappy New Year! As I reflect on the past year I’m humbled and empowered by the challenges I faced. I know that many people share this sentiment. Aside from the losses, humanitarian crises and political upheavals, I experienced 2016 as a year of profound grief and fear. My sister committed suicide last October which propelled me into a long period of confusion and anxiety. Her death shocked me and shattered my world view, propelling me into a struggle with long dormant OCD tendencies. For several months I felt out of control, anxious and afraid. But, through the process of learning about how my mind works, and doing lots and lots of hard work to retrain my mind not to jump to conclusions, I feel like I know myself better than ever before. In January my mom suffered a minor heart attack. Old fears were replaced by new ones and I became hyper vigilant concerning my mom’s symptoms, always worrying that she might have another heart attack and die. As I think back on these two monumental events a pattern emerges. 2016 was about death, trying to understand it and what happens next, fearing it, respecting it’s unpredictability, and doing my best to accept it. Nature teaches us that where there is death, there is also life and 2016 taught me to appreciate this dichotomy and to strive to better myself and the world with every action, to see the beauty around us and to appreciate it viscerally and concretely. So, as 2017 begins I’d like to remind you all that your thoughts and actions matter. They have an effect beyond what we can immediately see and no matter what you believe, it’s hard to deny that all living things are connected in some way. This year I challenge you to take on every day as an opportunity to support and foster kindness, compassion, and beauty. This means owning your flaws, staring your weaknesses in the face and taking them on with bravery and pride because you know that the struggle will make you stronger. This means making mindful decisions every day about how you live and what you eat. It means thinking beyond yourself and considering how your daily choices impact others and the planet. It means giving willingly and selflessly to support the good things even at a cost. I think you will find that doing good feels good. In this spirit, from now on, I’ll be donating 10% of all revenue from the blog to non-profits supporting sustainable agriculture. You can read more about this exciting new project here.

 Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass | TENDING the TABLE Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass | TENDING the TABLE Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass | TENDING the TABLE Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass | TENDING the TABLE Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass | TENDING the TABLEThis recipe is a twist on your typical squash soup, with the addition of lemongrass, ginger and lime. It is bright and satisfying and will get you through the  remaining winter months. Enjoy!

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New Year’s Cocktail Round Up

Pear Ginger Fizz | TENDING the TABLE

Happy almost New Year! I’m up in Wisconsin on our annual ski trip so I’ll be celebrating the New Year with a long ski, a potluck dinner, bingo, catch phrase, something bubbly, and an early night. In the spirit of celebration I have the recipe for this Pear Ginger Fizz and variety of cocktail and mocktail recipes from around the web for you to enjoy.

Thank you again for all your support, comments, encouragement and engagement this past year. I couldn’t do this work without you, so thanks! I’m excited for what next year has to offer and to bring you more great recipes and inspiration.

Lots of love, Sasha

Pear Ginger Fizz

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 Bartlett pear

1 cup ginger lemonade (I like this one)

Plain kombucha

Ice

Rosemary sprigs

PROCEDURE

Core the pear and place it in a high speed blender with the ginger lemonade. Purée until completely smooth then strain through a fine mesh seive. Divide between two glasses and top with kombucha, ice and a sprig if rosemary.

Enjoy!

Ginger Apple Spritzer

 Grapefruit Rosemary Cocktail

Smokey Spiced Pear and Ginger Fizzes

Cranberry Kombucha Cocktail

No Sugar Added Winter Sangria

Rhubarb and Rosewater Syrup

Date Gingerbread

Date Gingerbread | TENDING the TABLE

Hello from the Methow Valley! We’re here for the week playing in the snow, skiing, getting cozy by the fire and enjoying the peace and quiet. The dogs were simply euphoric to be out in the snow (check out IG stories to see Scarlet romping around) and we were pretty excited too. When we’re not skiing we’re writing holiday cards, snacking on gingerbread and marveling in the awe inspiring beauty of nature. Being here makes me appreciate and love the natural world all the more and has reinspired me to do everything I can to preserve and protect it. For me this means educating and affecting change surrounding sustainable agriculture. As many of you know, this blog has always been a place for me to share my thoughts on sustainability in hopes of influencing the daily decisions people make about what they eat. Well, I’ve recently decided to take my commitment to a new level and donate a percentage of my income from every sponsored post to non-profits in the agriculture and food sectors. I’ll have more details on this soon so stay tuned. In the meantime… This date gingerbread is moist and rich with just enough spice and a crunchy streusel topping. You could also add pecans and/or chocolate chunks to dress it up even more. Wishing you all a holiday full of peace, joy, gratitude and gingerbread.

XO Sasha

Date Gingerbread | TENDING the TABLEDate Gingerbread | TENDING the TABLEDate Gingerbread | TENDING the TABLE

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Almond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade

Almond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade | TENDING the TABLE

It’s been a hectic few weeks, but Anders finally wrapped up his thesis and we’re getting ready to head to the Methow Valley for a week of skiing. I can’t wait! The first snowfall here made us giddy and I keep imagining the dogs romping through the snow, running free. I’m looking forward to the meditative rhythm of gliding across the snow, cuddling up by the fire, and snacking on holiday cookies…but only the healthy ones (fingers crossed). Anders’ mom always makes springerle cookies which are pressed into anise seeds before baking. They’re not too sweet and the anise improves digestion. I’ll also be snacking on these Almond Macaroons. They’re gluten free and refined sugar free, crispy around the edges and chewy inside. I added almond extract to bump up the flavor and the optional satsuma marmalade filling adds a bitter note to balance out the sweetness and aid digestion as well. What are your favorite healthy holiday cookies or snacks? And how do you prevent over eating during the holidays? I’ll be posting on IG during our travels, so stay tuned…

Almond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade | TENDING the TABLEAlmond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade | TENDING the TABLEAlmond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade | TENDING the TABLEAlmond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade | TENDING the TABLEAlmond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade | TENDING the TABLE

*This post was created as part of the #calmandbrightcookienight hosted by The Modern Proper. Be sure to check out all the other great cookie recipes here.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Holiday Gift Guide 2016 | TENDING the TABLEHoliday Gift Guide 2016 | TENDING the TABLE

In anticipation of the upcoming holidays, I’ve curated a wonderful gift guide for you. It features elegant, sustainable, locally made goods for everyone on your list.

And, if like me, you’re feeling empowered to give back this holiday season by making donations to important causes, I’ve also put together a list of worthy non-profits to make it easy for you.

These groups work to PRESERVE CIVIL LIBERTIES (ACLU), LITIGATE on behalf of the environment (Earth Justice), combat FOOD WASTE (City Fruit), provide REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH services (Planned Parenthood), promote FREEDOM OF THE PRESS (Pro Publica) and create economic opportunities that benefit COMMUNITIES AND THE PLANET (Eco Trust). I’ve personally donated to all of these groups and feel confident that they are run by passionate, well-informed, forward thinkers. Check out the work they do. If it’s not in your budget to make a donation this year, look into other ways you can get involved.

Wishing you all a joyful holiday full of gratitude and generosity.

  1. The HAND SPUN CAHSMERE SHAWL is part of a new line from Skida, a small company in Vermont, owned by a college friend. They’re known for their colorful hats and neck warmers but I’m loving their new cashmere goods.
  2. The LE CREUSET DUTCH OVEN is a classic and I love the clean look of the matte white.
  3. BEE’S WRAP  is a beeswax coated muslin that does everything plastic wrap can do without the waste. And it’s made in VT!
  4. I’m loving the simple design of this IRIS GUY NECKLACE made by local Pacific Northwest artists.
  5. The MARLOW GOODS WALLET  is made from leather from small farms in upstate NY. I just bought one to replace my old wallet from goodwill and love the feel of the leather and the fact that it fits a passport and my phone.
  6. These UASHMAMA WASHABLE PAPER BAGS are really innovative and great as planters or produce bags.
  7. The SARAH KERSTEN EVERYTHING BOWLS have a simple speckled glaze and are great for everything from soup to salad.
  8. EATING ANIMALS was the book that really changed my mind about eating animal products. It’s a must read for anyone interested in food and how it is produced.
  9. How pretty are these COPPER MEASURING CUPS with wooden handles?
  10. The Trilogy ROSE GERANIUM  AND LAVENDAR MIST smells delicious and is soothing and relaxing.
  11. HERBIVORE’S COCO ROSE BODY POLISH  is a luscious blend of coconut oil, rose, shea butter and clay and is made in the Pacific Northwest.
  12. I’ve been lusting after this FILSON DUFFEL. It’s got plenty of pockets and is just the right size for a short trip.
  13.  SAGITTARIO IMPRUNETA’S BALSAMIC VINEGAR is thick and sweet and so luxurious. It is the best thing ever drizzled over fresh tomatoes and mozarella.
  14. The KAVU SUNDOWNER JACKET is stylish and functional and perfect for winter in Seattle.
  15. These Japanese TAWASHI SCRUB BRUSHES are a great replacement for disposable sponges and look cool too.
  16. These LE PARFAIT JARS are great for storing bulk goods or for gifting homemade holiday treats. I love the classic look of the lids.
  17. MARY OLIVER POEMS always bring me back in touch with nature, humanity and the present.
  18. ANDREA RAMSAY makes beautiful wooden bowls and utensils out of Port Townsend, WA.
  19. Last year we bought four of these MAUVIEL CARBON STEEL PANS and love them. They conduct heat well, are relatively non-stick and are oven safe.
  20. And if you need a few more ideas order some ROSEMARY SEA SALT VEGAN CARAMELS from Lagusta’s Lucious, my favorite WHITE TEA from Stone Leaf Teahouse, Frankie and Joe’s PLANT BASED ICE CREAM or some MAPLE SYRUP from Lincoln, VT. So good!

 

 

Coffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone + A Giveaway

Coffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone | TENDING the TABLEHappy Holidays folks. I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving. We have so much to be grateful for and I’m starting to realize that I can channel that gratitude into action. One thing I’m doing this holiday season is requesting that instead of material gifts my family and friends make donations to a selection of non-profits. It feels like a really easy way to focus on appreciating all that I already have while opting out of the supply chain that produces so much environmental damage and waste. And there is so much work that needs to be done in our country and our world right now and so many great organizations who are already doing a great job and need our support. That said, I’m totally in favor of supporting small, local makers and making homemade edible gifts too. I’m looking forward to putting together a gift guide with some suggestions for you soon. In the meantime, here’s a recipe for your next holiday celebration.

I’ve made this recipe probably five times now and am obsessed. It’s very forgiving and so luscious, creamy and rich. It’s perfect for the upcoming holidays and can be made in advance. The crust is made with toasted hazelnuts and dates and the filling is a classic combination of coffee, chocolate, bourbon and maple syrup. I topped it with Vermont Creamery’s mascarpone and a little cardamom for some holiday spice. I sampled several brands of mascarpone in the process of developing this recipe (because believe it or not I  plowed through all six containers Vermont Creamery sent me) and theirs really is the best. The other brands I tried were too thick and dense and didn’t have the same depth of flavor. So if you can get your hands on it, Vermont Creamery is the way to go!

Coffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone | TENDING the TABLECoffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone | TENDING the TABLECoffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone | TENDING the TABLECoffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone | TENDING the TABLECoffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone | TENDING the TABLECoffee Chocolate Tart with Cardamom Mascarpone | TENDING the TABLE

Vermont Creamery is generously giving away a care package containing creme fraiche, mascarpone, butter and a pie box with a leather strap so you can transport your holiday treats safely. This giveaway is open to US residents only. A winner will be randomly selected on December 7th at 12am EST. Enter to win HERE.

This post was sponsored by Vermont Creamery. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting its sponsors. All opinions are my own.

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Roasted Mushrooms on Toast and No Kid Hungry

Roasted Mushrooms on Toast | TENDING the TABLE

I got home yesterday from a week in Vermont. I was there for a yoga workshop and it was the perfect thing to do after the election last week. While it was hard to be away from Anders and the dogs during such an emotional and confusing time, I was able to spend my time away reflecting on purpose, reconnecting with community and recharging for the holidays ahead. For me, the past week has been full of emotions including disbelief, sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, frustration, hopelessness, and hopefulness. I’ve been reading and listening to the news obsessively and trying to wrap my head around what is happening and how to move forward. I certainly haven’t figured it all out but I’d like to share with you a few things that I believe are important to do right now:

  1. Listen to Others. So many people have said to me that I’m lucky to live in a place like Seattle where I am surrounded by like minded, progressive thinkers. But am I really lucky, or has my privilege blinded me to what is going on in other parts of the country? So, instead of shaming or shutting out the other, let’s take this opportunity to reach across the divide and listen to how people feel. I for one have started a dialogue with my extended family about their values and why they believe what they do. I’m working hard to remain open and compassionate and to listen without judgement. We can’t assume to know anything about someone else’s values, beliefs or motives and broad generalizations and demonizations of others only fosters more hatred and fear. (I recognize that in writing this I’m assuming that you all  share my beliefs and values. If your views differ from mine, don’t close our browser or delete this email. I’d love to hear from you).
  2. Practice your Beliefs. All religions and faiths have moral codes and tenets that provide instruction on how to live righteously. I’ve found inspiration lately in the yoga sutras, particularly the idea that we should have joy for those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, delight in the virtuous and equanimity towards those who are unvirtuous. Each time I find myself reacting to a person or situation I try to remember these guidelines and act accordingly.
  3. Listen to Music. Here are a couple of songs I’ve found particularly inspiring, poignant and relevant. Here, here and here.
  4. Take Action. Simply being well informed and voting doesn’t feel like enough any more so I am making a concerted effort to become more engaged and fight complacency in the long term. I’ve been signing petitions (like this one, this one, this one and this one), creating calls to action, calling my senators (encouraging them to do everything they can to block the appointments of Stephen Bannon and Myron Ebell. You can look up your representatives here), researching opportunities for community outreach and am working towards shifting my finances to support banks and companies that support the values I hold dear.
  5. Laugh Often. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and burdened by the negativity these days so I’ve been seeking out humor and levity wherever I can. Soak up those moments of pure joy and let that energy carry you forward. Maybe you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did.
  6. Donate. More than ever I feel it is my duty to use the resources at my disposal to support non-profits and organizations that work to  support communities and people in need. Here are a few that I’m supporting or planning to support: Planned Parenthood, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, NRDC, Pro Publica.

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving please also consider joining Julia Turshen’s Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry campaign to provide meals for kids in need. In her book, Small Victories, Julia says:

This cookbook, like most cookbooks, assumes that whoever is reading it has access to food and not only the desire, but also the time, energy, and means to cook. How great would it be if that were the case for everyone? I firmly believe that if you have the privilege of eating however much you want whenever you want, you should spend some time ensuring that others have the same opportunity.

To join the campaign click here.

Roasted Mushrooms on Toast | TENDING the TABLERoasted Mushrooms on Toast | TENDING the TABLERoasted Mushrooms on Toast | TENDING the TABLERoasted Mushrooms on Toast | TENDING the TABLERoasted Mushrooms on Toast | TENDING the TABLERoasted Mushrooms on Toast | TENDING the TABLE

Wishing you all a weekend full of loving kindess, wellness, peace, and joy.

Sasha

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Ginger Apple Spritzer

Ginger Apple Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEGinger Apple Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEGinger Apple Spritzer | TENDING the TABLE

We moved our bedroom upstairs this week and the process got me all excited about redecorating. As a result I’ve been spending way to much time on Pinterest and way too much money. I also decided to re-paint the living room which means that I’ve spent the last few days covered in paint, breathing in fumes. My arms are sore and the dogs are really hyper as a result of being locked in the bedroom all day. I had to lock them up because Roux is an idiot and likes to lean on things…even freshly painted walls. Anyways, enough about my house projects. Let’s talk mocktails.

I’m not a drinker…except for champagne. And only really good champagne. I know… I’m a snob. With the holidays approaching, I decided to develop some mocktail recipes so I won’t feel left out when everyone else is sipping fun drinks with garnishes. So, I’ve got two recipes for you today. One is for a Ginger Apple Spritzer which is simple but full of rich spices. The ginger is warming and the cardamom bitters are aromatic. If you like you could add some bourbon to this one. The other recipe is for a Ginger Pear Fizz. I pureed the pear with ginger lemonade for an intense pear flavor and topped it with kombucha and rosemary. These mocktails will make you feel fancy and they’re both great for your digestion too so you’ll feel great even after the party is over.

Ginger Apple Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEGinger Apple Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEGinger Apple Spritzer | TENDING the TABLEGinger Apple Spritzer | TENDING the TABLE

 

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Spiced Apple and Cranberry Muffins

Spiced Apple and Cranberry Muffins | TENDING the TABLE

Hey friends! Hope you’re having a good week. I spent the morning the New York Times Magazine issue about big food and it really got me thinking about the food movement and my role in it. The feature includes some really eye opening images that emphasize the massive scale of food production in our country, a fascinating article about candy companies struggling to create natural food colorings, an article about the oversight of meat processing facilities or lack thereof and an article by Michael Pollan about the obstacles to new food policies. Pollan argues that unless we have a widespread shift in our food culture that shifts consumer demand and puts pressure on companies and politicians, nothing will change. I’m always trying to figure out the best way to inspire people and I’m not sure I’ve figured it out yet, but I hope that if I continue to do what I do and continue to share my thoughts on current issues some of you will be moved. For me, the take home message after reading this feature was that our daily choices really do matter. We cast a vote every time we buy something at the grocery store and shopping mindfully, with ethics, human rights and the environment in mind is more important than ever. If we all choose healthier, more sustainable food by supporting our local small-scale farmers, organic, and non-gmo we can shift demand and start a movement. Let’s start a movement!

I made a big batch of applesauce the other day. It’s one of my favorite fall activities and one of the few things I still put up for the winter months (I’ve stopped making jam because of all the sugar. If anyone has a good jam recipe that doesn’t use refined sugar please let me know.) These muffins aren’t too sweet and I love the way the tart, juicy cranberries pop as you bite into them. I added cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the muffins to pump up the fall coziness factor. Enjoy.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad

Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad | TENDING the TABLE

A teacher once told me, “We are not programmed to be afraid. We are programmed to be courageous.” Despite having heard these words many years ago, I still often lay in bed at night, my body riddled with nervous energy, trying to fall asleep. As I try to relax, I listen to a guided meditation and repeat an affirmation to myself. Now, I’m not sure if telling people my affirmation will jinx it like when you say your birthday wish out loud, so I’ll just paraphrase it for you. The jist is that I envision a future where I am strong and brave. Sometimes you need to hear something multiple times to really get it. I think that’s the case for me with this idea of being inherently courageous.

Today someone told me, “we are designed to deal with hard things.” Hearing this brought tears to my eyes. It’s been such a crappy year and more often than not I’ve felt burdened by grief, fear and anxiety. But maybe, instead of thinking of myself as overcome by these fearful thoughts and feelings I should remember that I’m on a journey and that every day I’m learning how to be stronger and braver; I’m learning how to deal with the hard things. Maybe those feelings aren’t so bad after all and I should learn to appreciate them the same way I appreciate the moments of peace. Easier said than done I suppose. Here’s to the practice of life!

Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad | TENDING the TABLERoasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad | TENDING the TABLERoasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad | TENDING the TABLERoasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad | TENDING the TABLERoasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad | TENDING the TABLE

This recipe was developed as part of the annual #virtualpumpkinparty. It’s a hearty salad full of textures and flavors. The barley is nutty and chewy, the pumpkin sweet and creamy, and the radicchio is crunchy and bitter.  I dressed it with a molasses maple balsamic that is perfectly sweet and sour. It’s great as a main dish or as a side. Feel free to play around and use other types of squash in place of the pumpkin if you like.

You can check out all the other pumpkin recipes here. Enjoy!

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Matcha Marshmallows

Matcha Marshmallows | TENDING the TABLE

Okay. You asked for it, so here it is. The recipe for these Matcha Marshmallows as seen on IG was adapted from Molly’s new book Molly on the Range. You really need this book! It’s full of delicious recipes, playful illustrations, and witty essays that will have you laughing out loud. I’ve never seen a cookbook quite like it. A few things I’ve made or want to make: Molly’s oven fries (they’re cooked in butter and sooo crispy!), brussels sprout rosti, matzo brie (haven’t made this in such a long time but remember it fondly from my childhood), dark chocolate marzipan scone loaf, cardamom orange kubaneh, cauliflower shawarma tacos, and of course challah! I’ve bookmarked at least a dozen recipes and can’t wait to keep cooking from this amazing book. Congrats Molly!

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Chestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies

Chestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies | TENDING the TABLEChestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies | TENDING the TABLEChestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies | TENDING the TABLETwo years ago today I started this blog. I told myself that I’d give it a try and if after a year I felt like it wasn’t right I’d try something else. But here I am, two years later, still loving almost every aspect of this work. I love the creativity, the solitude and the idea of impacting the way people think about food. Things I don’t love so much: hustling for work, writing contracts, and doing payroll. But, it’s worth dealing with these aspects of the job in order to feel like I’m making the world a better place, one post at a time.

So in honor of my blog-versary and in the spirit of changing the world through food I’ve finally compiled a list of links  from the sustainable foods conference I attended in September. It’s a list of articles, projects and information that I found particularly inspiring and that changed the way I think about food and the choices I make each day. Because, as Jane Goodall said, the small choices we make each day can lead to the kind of world we all want for the future.

Chestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies | TENDING the TABLEChestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies | TENDING the TABLEChestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies | TENDING the TABLE

  1. In 2014, University of California launched its Global Food Initiative, a campaign designed to identify and test best practices across UC campuses that can serve as examples for other schools and communities and to foster research and policy that will shape a sustainable foods future. If I could go back to school, I’d apply for a GFI fellowship!
  2. Sean Sherman is opening a restaurant that will focus on revitalizing Native American indigenous food traditions. He’s using native, wild ingredients and creating jobs for his community. And most of his food in inherently vegan! This is the beginning of a new hyper local, sustainable food movement…
  3. Louie Psihoyos, the guy behind The Cove and Racing Extinction, is making a new film about elite vegan athletes called The Game Changers. I can’t wait to see it! His goal is to create a tipping point and change the world by convincing people to give up meat and he’s off to a good start with his previous films and the hashtag #startwith1thing.
  4. Think about this the next time you think about buying or eating shrimp!
  5. These short films are beautiful and inspiring…What would the soil say if it could speak?
  6. By 2050 global demand for animal protein will go up 80-100% with devastating impacts on our planet. Instead of trying to develop new systems of production or create alternatives that taste like meat (but not really) why not just eat more vegetables? I’m liking the phrase, “plant forward” more and more.
  7. A study by food ethnographer June Jo Lee found that only 17% of people want to know where their food comes from. Let’s change that!

I hope you found something interesting or inspiring here today  and that you’ll start a conversation with your friends and loved ones, ideally while eating warm Chestnut and Spiced Pear Hand Pies.

XO

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