The final event during the West Coast leg of my book tour was a party held at The Pantry. It was a gorgeous afternoon in Seattle and I spent the morning at Pike Place Market stocking up on local flowers and produce. The moment I walked into the space, I was hit with such a…
The final event during the West Coast leg of my book tour was a party held at The Pantry. It was a gorgeous afternoon in Seattle and I spent the morning at Pike Place Market stocking up on local flowers and produce. The moment I walked into the space, I was hit with such a feeling of calm. The space was so warm and inviting- it felt like walking into the kitchen of a good friend. I knew it was going to be a great party. As the guests arrived, they were greeted with delicious eats from Rain Shadow Meats, and tall, icy glasses of homemade celery soda. It sounds strange, but trust me when I tell you it was incredibly refreshing. The group that gathered was so interesting- food bloggers, restaurateurs, stylists, chefs- a really eclectic and interesting crowd. We all easily fell into conversation. I actually had to be nudged to start my demo, or I would have spent the entire party chatting away. I was thrilled to partner with Seattle ice cream phenom Molly Moon for the event, so along with the fresh peach syrup and almond coconut chocolate chip cookies that I made, we had incredible, homemade ice cream (without me having to lug my ice cream maker along for the ride)! After the demo, we all feasted on fruit-syrup drizzled sundaes and ice cream sandwiches. I’m so grateful to everyone who took the time to come and celebrate with me, including Jenn, Megan, Lisa, Deborah, Heather, Janti, Leslie, Marisa, Kellen, Di, Paul, Grace, Phillip, Jess and Andy. A special thanks to Julie Harmsen for the gorgeous photographs that you see here. Thank you to The Pantry for the use of your beautiful space. And a huge thanks to Molly Moon for those incredible tubs of ice cream! Finally, my deepest appreciation to Vitamix, for making this leg of the tour possible. Lots of love for you, Seattle!
I absolutely loved Seattle. I had a feeling I would, what with the incredible food scene, walk-ability and mild climate. We enjoyed mostly beautiful weather, although there were a few cold days that had me wondering if I’d misread my calendar. Could it really be late June? I packed entirely wrong (which I am famous…
I absolutely loved Seattle. I had a feeling I would, what with the incredible food scene, walk-ability and mild climate. We enjoyed mostly beautiful weather, although there were a few cold days that had me wondering if I’d misread my calendar. Could it really be late June? I packed entirely wrong (which I am famous for doing) and sorely missed a warm jacket and woolly scarf. But by the last few days, the sun was out and my sundresses felt appropriate. My friend Kellen met me in Seattle, and I tacked on extra time once my tour wrapped up, so we had several days which to explore the city together. It was such a treat. We stayed in a wonderful Airbnb in Capitol Hill, and since it happened to be Pride Week, and Capitol Hill is the rainbow district, it was quite the happening place. We were right down the street from Oddfellows Cafe, and it became our go-to destination for breakfast and coffee. Their tahini toast with banana, pecan and coconut was the best! Capital Hill is the place to be if you enjoy great food. We had such a hard time choosing where to eat for each meal, and we generally stuffed ourselves, not wanting to miss out on a single experience. Out of every amazing thing I ate during my time out west, I’d have to say that the General Porpoise donuts took the cake (so to speak!). I’m not even a stuffed donut fan, but these were the best; pillow-y and rolled in sugar, filled with a light, creamy, delicious filling. My favorites were the strawberries and cream and the aprium jam, both seasonal flavors. We also loved exploring Pioneer Square, with our two favorite stops being Drygoods Design and The London Plane. Another favorite shop we visited was Red Ticking, which is on Madison, a charming street filled with cute shops. It was a bit out of the way of Capitol Hill, but a visit to Red Ticking alone was worth the trip. Gorgeous French linens, perfectly curated clothing…I could have bought everything in the store (budget allowing!). And of course, you can’t visit Seattle and not partake in the tourist-trap that is Pike Place Market. Though to be honest, I absolutely loved it and found the most gorgeous produce and flowers, which were then used at my events and demos. The cherries were gorgeous, of course, but it was the delicate currants that really caught my eye. We set aside an afternoon to take a day-trip out of the city, a sort of knitter’s pilgrimage to Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, WA. Carrying an array of wonderfully curated yarns and knitting goods, Tolt is the kind of knitting shop that I dream of having nearby. There was a fireplace and lounge chairs where women were knitting and chatting. It had the feel of a real neighborhood shop. And their list of classes was amazing. I’d be there once a week at least, knitting away in one of those chairs by the fire if I lived nearby. And so there you have it, a quick recap of my time spent in Seattle. I’d certainly love to go back with my family and partake in a ferry ride and some hiking, and possibly an extended trip to Olympic National Park. I’d love to drive the coast, and stop in Portland. Hmmm- that gives me some ideas for next summer!
Here are a few of my favorite Seattle spots:
The Whale Wins
Rachel’s Ginger Beer
Upper Bar Ferdinand
Sitka and Spruce
General Porpoise Doughnuts
Molly Moon Ice Cream
The London Plane
The Fat Hen
Preserve and Gather
Pike’s Place Market
Elm Coffee Roasters
Elliot Bay Book Company
Tolt Yarn and Wool (in Carnation, WA located about 30 minutes from Seattle)
One of the highlights of my west coast trip was a visit to Floret. Ever since covering Erin and her flower farmer workshops for Country Living, I’ve been dying to meet her in person and see her farm for myself. It was such a spectacular visit- from the gorgeous flowers to Erin’s inspiring and kind…
One of the highlights of my west coast trip was a visit to Floret. Ever since covering Erin and her flower farmer workshops for Country Living, I’ve been dying to meet her in person and see her farm for myself. It was such a spectacular visit- from the gorgeous flowers to Erin’s inspiring and kind nature. Every now and then you have the chance to visit a place so beautiful it takes your breath away. I sincerely mean it when I say that I felt that, standing in the fields at Floret. It is an ordinary piece of land, not large by farming standards, just a few acres really, yet under Erin and her team’s care, it yields flowers so gorgeous they hardly seem real. I couldn’t help myself from asking Erin if she would be willing to make one of the “flower installations” that she is known for, and she kindly obliged. She headed out to the field to collect roses, and upon her return laid out the blooms in a wash of corals and pinks. Take a moment and really look..every single bloom is more gorgeous than the next. She made all of my flower dreams come true and I think I took about 150 of the same exact picture because I was so afraid that I wouldn’t capture the exact magic. And still…pictures just don’t do it justice. I would have boarded my plane home with these blooms if I thought they’d have lasted. I wanted to keep them, and hold them, and have them forever. And the dahlias…well, if you’ve heard about Floret there is a good chance you’ve heard about their dahlias. The dahlia fields were just beginning to pop when I visited, and if I had to guess right about now they must be hauling in truckloads of these beauties. Erin tests hundreds of varieties of rare and unusual flowers every year- choosing for uniqueness in color, bloom, stem length, etc. A wander through the test fields was quite an experience as every variety was unique and different than anything I’d seen before. Erin kindly sent me home with a care package that included packets of Floret seeds, which I am very excited to put to use next year! It was an extremely sunny day- beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. Which is normally a great thing…unless you are trying to take pictures out in the fields! So these are very blown out but I figured I’d share just a few. I’ll have to return someday in the evening light (yep, I just totally invited myself back). Thank you, Erin, for such an incredible visit. The memories from that afternoon continue to bring me immense joy. If for some reason you’re not yet following Floret on Instagram- do yourself a favor and follow along for the most gorgeous flower images ever!
It’s a bit hard to put into words the whirlwind adventure I’ve been on this past month. Going into my book tour, I had no idea how I was going to pull off numerous events in multiple cities. My itinerary was three pages long, with multiple flights and accommodations to keep track of, as well…
It’s a bit hard to put into words the whirlwind adventure I’ve been on this past month. Going into my book tour, I had no idea how I was going to pull off numerous events in multiple cities. My itinerary was three pages long, with multiple flights and accommodations to keep track of, as well as all of the food preparation and grocery shopping that took place. I boarded a plane to San Francisco with two 50 pound suitcases loaded to the brim with kitchen tools, stacks of books, gift bags, and personal effects. The moment the last event ended I let out a huge breath, my stress melted away and my shoulders finally stopped hovering around my ears. But then I see these gorgeous photographs, and I remember all of the amazing people that came out to support me and my book, and I think…yep, I’d do all over again in a heartbeat! I am so incredibly thankful to my sponsors, Vitamix and HawaiianShavedIce.com not only for supporting me on my book tour, but making products that are an absolute joy to use. Okay, so San Francisco…besides a book signing at the incredible cookbook store, Omnivore, I also held a private party for local tastemakers. We had the best time- a gorgeous venue (thanks Cookhouse), a super talented, inspiring crowd and a shaved ice bar with homemade syrups! Plus…Prosecco and pops! I greeted my guests with homemade strawberry pops served in a wine glass filled with Prosecco. Not only was it delicious but it served as such a great ice breaker! While I had a rough idea of the recipes that I would demo at the party, I let a trip to the Ferry Building Farmers Market inspire my final choices. The strawberries were at their peak, and locally grown. Plus I splurged on some gorgeous local wildflower honey. The pops were so vibrant and delicious…plus soaked in Prosecco, so there’s that! After mingling and sampling some catered fare, I demoed a Strawberry and Basil syrup recipe, which I made with the help of my new Vitamix (the smaller size makes it so travel friendly!). And then we all went crazy drizzling homemade Peach, Watermelon Mint and Strawberry Basil syrups over fluffy shaved ice from my HawaiianShavedIce.com machine! Snow cones, you guys! Best party idea- seriously, it was a blast! I want to personally thank all the wonderful people that came out to help me celebrate Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet including Nik, Stephen, Molly, Jessica, Alexis, Marisa, and Kim. You sure knew how to make a girl feel welcome San Fran. And a final, huge thank you to Nanette Wong for the gorgeous images you see here! Have a lovely Fourth of July weekend, folks, and if you’re up for some fun, give this frozen treat thing a whirl 😉
This month has been a whirlwind in the very best way possible. I’m excited to finally take a moment, catch my breath and report back from the other side. I was lucky enough to go on a bi-coastal book tour to promote Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet. The tour started with a launch party in Providence,…
This month has been a whirlwind in the very best way possible. I’m excited to finally take a moment, catch my breath and report back from the other side. I was lucky enough to go on a bi-coastal book tour to promote Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet. The tour started with a launch party in Providence, and concluded this past week in Seattle. In between there was NYC, Boston, and San Francisco. In the past month I’ve made over 400 (!) pops for samples and demos, and churned countless batches of ice cream. I’ll be doing a recap of events in a coming post, but in the meantime, I’m eager to share my travels. It was my first time in San Francisco. I loved the hilly streets and the way the fog rolled in off the bay. I managed to cover quite a bit of ground, though I was only there for a few days and those days were packed to the brim with event prep and signings (more on that in my next post). I’d love to share with you a few of my favorite shops and restaurants, starting with Zuni Cafe. Everyone talks about Zuni Cafe and insists that if you’re visiting San Fran, you simply must add it to your itinerary. I am so glad that I listened as I had the most gorgeous lunch there. The peach and whipped goat cheese tartine topped with arugula will go down as one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. The coffee culture in the city was also such a treat. I started every morning with a cup of coffee from a different cafe. A few of my favorites included Blue Bottle and Sightglass Coffee. If I’d had time, I had about twenty other cafes on my list. However if I’d have indulged in any more coffee my heart would have pounded right through my chest! I figured I’d have very little time for shopping, so I was pleasantly surprised to fit in stops to Heath Ceramics, and Olli (which shares a building with Heath). I was incredibly inspired by the artistry I witnessed at both. I’m not sure that Olli is open to the public, though I simply rang the buzzer and asked if I could take a peek into their studio and they happily obliged. Thank goodness, because that loom is just exquisite. And those poufs…oh if only I could have squeezed one into my bag! I knew that I wanted to schedule time to visit Heidi Swanson’s shop, Quitokeeto, and I am so glad that I did. The space is gorgeously edited, very serene and minimalist. You can tell that each product was chosen with care. I spent quite a while trying to choose one of Colleen Hennessey’s bowls to come home with me and I’m pretty thrilled with my choice. It will serve as a beloved souvenir from my time in San Francisco. On my last free afternoon, I grabbed an Uber to Oakland for a visit to A Verb for Keeping Warm. I felt that as a knitter, I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet Kristine and see her work. It was so worth the trip. Kristine took time to show me around her shop, her studio and her dye garden and I came away wondering if I might convince her to pick up and relocate to Providence so that I can take every single class she has to offer! Seriously, I could spend the rest of my days happily knitting and learning to dye in her space. And that brings me to my last evening in San Francisco, which was spent at the lovely Omnivore Books. It was a fabulous signing and I had fun passing out pops and answering questions about natural sweeteners and ice cream makers! It was a lively and warm discussion and perfectly wrapped up my time in the city. The following morning, shortly before 5am I was in a cab being whisked to the airport to catch a flight to Seattle. But that is a story for another day. Stay tuned… Suggestions for San Francisco (there was so much more I wanted to see/do/eat but this is a list of what I did manage):
Liholiho Yacht Club
Ritual Coffee Roasters
A Verb for Keeping Warm
I held my book party this weekend and treated guests to a hearty sampling of treats from Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet. It was such a great reminder of the joy of sharing frozen treats! Both kids and adults couldn’t contain their excitement when I brought out trays of pops (made in dixie cups), ice cream…
I held my book party this weekend and treated guests to a hearty sampling of treats from Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet. It was such a great reminder of the joy of sharing frozen treats! Both kids and adults couldn’t contain their excitement when I brought out trays of pops (made in dixie cups), ice cream sandwiches and flavored ice. Another of my favorite party tricks is a shaved ice station. HawaiianShavedIce.com makes really cool shaved ice machines, and with a few simple ingredients, you can make a whole host of beautiful, delicious, wholesome syrups. Watch the video above for some fun ideas! If you’re interested in a shaved ice machine of your own, HawaiianShavedIce.com is offering 30% off the the S900A Electric Shaved Ice Machine with the coupon code — ICYHEALTHY. It retails for $29.95, which is such a great deal (and that’s before the coupon code)! I love that this machine produces shaved ice that is light-as-air and fluffy. It makes for such a light and refreshing summer treat. Cheers to super summer parties!
Watermelon Lime Mint Syrup
2 cups watermelon, cubed
4 mint leaves
Berry Lemonade Syrup
1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
Pomegranate and Stone Fruit Syrup
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 peach, peeled and pitted
1 nectarine, peeled and pitted
1 cup cherries, pitted
Strawberry Kiwi Syrup
1 cup strawberries, chopped
2 cups kiwi, peeled and chopped
1. Prepare fruit for blender (washing, peeling, pitting, chopping). Blend until liquid. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and compost the pulp. Alternatively, you can use a juicer to extract the juice.
2. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon of water with 1 teaspoon of arrowroot starch (this helps to thicken the liquid into syrup).
3. In a small saucepan combine the strained fruit juice with 1 tablespoon of honey (feel free to add more, depending on your taste). Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring until the honey is dissolved. Add the arrowroot slurry to the pan and stir. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to thicken as it cools.
4. Using a shaved ice machine, prepare your shaved ice.
5. For serving, add 2 heaping cups of shaved ice to a small cup or paper cone and drizzle the syrup on top. Enjoy!
It has become a May tradition, taking a day to explore the vast fields that make up the Brimfield Antique Show. I’ve attended in every possible state; pregnant, with baby, alone, with friends and their babies, in rain and sunshine. This year I went alone with no agenda or schedule, just the day to wander…
It has become a May tradition, taking a day to explore the vast fields that make up the Brimfield Antique Show. I’ve attended in every possible state; pregnant, with baby, alone, with friends and their babies, in rain and sunshine. This year I went alone with no agenda or schedule, just the day to wander as I saw fit. The sun was shining, I had a hot cup of coffee for the drive, and I avoided all the show traffic by taking backroads. Yes, the stars aligned this year and I had a fabulous time. I usually end up leaving empty handed, but this year I came home with two incredible finds; a handmade dress by a small, Maine-based maker, Luksin Designs, and a gorgeous vintage-textile pillow from Rare Cloth. I’m sprucing up our bedroom a bit and this pillow is going to be the statement piece! In all my years attending Brimfield, I’ve never made a large purchase! Isn’t that kinda amazing? I guess it begs the question why I still bother to attend. The truth is I love wandering, people watching, and taking pictures. As I’ve spent the past year minimizing the number of possessions in our home, I have no real desire to bring in more. However ‘window shopping’ is immensely pleasurable to me and as I wander I enjoy speculating on the past life of all the various objects. This year I stayed in a good head space for the most part, and didn’t allow myself to become depressed over the sheer amount of STUFF. If you’d like to go back and read about my previous Brimfield adventures you can find them here: September 2015, May 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011 (oh and this really cringe-worthy 2009 post!). I especially recommend May 2012 where I gave tips and recommendations, which still hold true! If you go back in time, take a look in 2015 and 2014 for that same quilt (blue with flower, in the right corner of above picture)- it is STILL for sale three years later. Now that does blow my mind!
There are certain experiences that you know, without a doubt, are once-in-a-lifetime. The wedding we attended in Vienna was once of those experiences. It was truly a royal wedding in every way except the title. I’ll share more about the wedding in a moment, after I make you scroll through all of my favorite pictures…
There are certain experiences that you know, without a doubt, are once-in-a-lifetime. The wedding we attended in Vienna was once of those experiences. It was truly a royal wedding in every way except the title. I’ll share more about the wedding in a moment, after I make you scroll through all of my favorite pictures of Vienna, a city breathtaking in its beauty. We had exceptionally gorgeous weather; the sun was shining every day, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, and the city seemed to be glowing from within. We arrived on Saturday morning, and that was really our only free day to explore. The rest of our time was spent celebrating and partying! Indian weddings are four-day affairs, beginning in the afternoon and stretching on through the wee hours of the morning. Join me on a wander through the streets of Vienna, before we get to the wedding goodies… Of course the churches were just gorgeous, both inside and out. I used to complain bitterly when my mom would make us visit churches during my childhood travels, and now I find myself following enthusiastically in her footsteps. I guess it’s true- we really do turn into our moms! Now for the juicy bits- the wedding to end all weddings. I didn’t bring my ‘real’ camera along for the festivities. I didn’t want to be weighed down, and let’s be honest, a camera bag isn’t really an appropriate accessory for a sari! So please excuse the quality- these were all taken on my phone. I’ll take you through day by day. We arrived on Saturday, and the welcome dinner was that evening at the Hofberg Imperial Palace. The decor was breathtaking, and special guest Enrique Iglesias was pretty breathtaking himself 🙂 On Sunday, we roused our jet-lagged, sleep-deprived selves out of bed for the Mehendi, which took place at Liechtenstein Palace. Upon walking through the castle entrance, we were greeted with a lush, rose-filled garden, where stalls served food from around the world. Pasta was being handmade at one stall, hand rolled tortillas were being grilled at another, and large pots of dahl were being stirred at yet another. It was an incredibly decadent feast in an incredibly gorgeous setting. After a quick catnap at the hotel, we headed back out that evening for the Sangeet, which was held at Art for Art, the most modern of all the venues. The dancing went on all night into the wee hours of the morning (though we were some of the first to leave at 1am!), with the highlight being a performance by Mika Singh, a bhangra music star. Just when we didn’t think they could top all these incredible events and venues, the day of the wedding arrived. I can’t quite put into words what it was like to pull up to the Belvedere Palace, decked out in wedding finery. It was a sight that I won’t soon forget. At this point, I was practically weeping for my real camera, I wanted so badly to capture the beauty. So although these Iphone pictures don’t nearly do it justice, they’ll have to do. For a look at each venue, visit here, and for more about the wedding, including a look at the beautiful bride, visit Vogue India. And just like that we were back on a plane Tuesday morning, and I was back to work on Wednesday with my head spinning. Honestly, it all feels a bit like a dream.
Strawberries and rhubarb come together in this delicious, dairy-free ice cream. I created a fun little video, thanks to Vitamix, to show you how the ice cream magic happens. For more super delicious, dairy-free ice cream treats, be sure to check out Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet! Ingredients: 1 cup strawberries, chopped 1 cup rhubarb, chopped…
Strawberries and rhubarb come together in this delicious, dairy-free ice cream. I created a fun little video, thanks to Vitamix, to show you how the ice cream magic happens. For more super delicious, dairy-free ice cream treats, be sure to check out Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet!
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup rhubarb, chopped
1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1. In a small saucepan combine the strawberries, rhubarb, the scrapings of half the vanilla bean, salt and lemon juice. Place over medium-low heat, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring gently, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the berries and rhubarb soften and begin to release their juices. Remove from the heat and pour into the Vitamix. Give the saucepan a rinse.
2. In a small bowl mix together the arrowroot and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk. Mix together and set aside. In a small saucepan combine remaining coconut milk with the scrapings of the remaining half of the vanilla bean and honey. Place over medium-low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly to avoid burning, for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly blended. In the last minute, add the arrowroot slurry and mix to combine. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the Vitamix with the berries and rhubarb. Blend on medium-high until the two are well combined. Set the blender in the fridge to chill for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
4. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can eat the ice cream right away for a softer version, or freeze it for about 2 hours for a firmer consistency. Enjoy!
Thanks again, Vitamix! I’ve loved my Vitamix blender for years now, and I’m so happy to be partnering with this wonderful company for my book tour. Visit my events page for a full calendar of upcoming demos and signings!
Spring has sprung. For real this time! There were a few false starts and warm days that quickly turned cold, but the blossoms are out and the sun is showing itself more and more with each passing day. Every single year I forget how incredibly gorgeous Rhode Island is in the spring. This year, local…
Spring has sprung. For real this time! There were a few false starts and warm days that quickly turned cold, but the blossoms are out and the sun is showing itself more and more with each passing day. Every single year I forget how incredibly gorgeous Rhode Island is in the spring. This year, local flower nerds were abuzz with the gossip that a pick-your-own tulip farm was opening in Johnston, Rhode Island. Anyone who knows me well knows that I penciled in a flower date the very minute I heard the news! If you are local- or even within an hour drive- I would highly suggest a trip to Wicked Tulips Flower Farm. The tulips are so gorgeous, and there are so many varieties and colors. If you plan to go on the weekend, it might be smart to buy your tickets ahead of time. It was packed on a Thursday morning, so I can only imagine that the weekends will certainly be crowded. I let the boys pick our tulips and I was so surprised at the colors they chose. Our bouquet was stunning- in fact several people stopped to comment on it! Of course with Vijay wearing his SpiderMan costume and a random dinosaur mask, I suppose we were rather hard to miss!