This week as we unpacked our Christmas ornaments and strung twinkle lights, my mind turned to food, as it usually does when a holiday is approaching. I love nothing more than planning a menu that will be both decadent and nourishing for my family and friends. And my favorite course to plan is always, without fail, dessert. I love the idea of wrapping up a delicious meal with the perfect treat, one that isn’t overpowering in its sweetness, but instead delivers a delicate, pleasing close to the night.
I always begin the process of shaping a menu by browsing the in-season offerings at our farmers market. Although I call New England home, we’re lucky enough to have a vendor at our market that offers incredible citrus from his family’s farm in Florida. While is isn’t technically local, I still indulge. This rustic Almond Ricotta cake is topped with the most beautifully hued blood orange glaze and a festive sprinkling of pistachio. The cake itself is dense and nutty, yet there is a lightness thanks to the ricotta. The citrus tang perfectly balances out the rustic cake, and the presentation couldn’t be more beautiful. Simple, nourishing and satisfying, I hope you’ll find this to be the perfect end to a holiday meal with loved ones. Our family makes some of our most memorable moments around the table and I hope this holiday season, your family has a chance to do the same.Almond Ricotta Cake with Blood Orange Glaze
As I’ve focused more on gluten free recipes in the past few years, I’ve found the Vitamix grain container to be invaluable. Here I used it to make almond meal, which is simply made from raw almonds. I use my Vitamix to make all of my flours now- from oat flour to quinoa flour- there is nothing that the grain container can’t handle.
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup blood orange juice
1 teaspoon blood orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups almond flour*
4. Transfer the batter into greased cake pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is a toasted brown and firm to the touch. Allow the cake to cool before removing from pan.
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1. In a small bowl whisk together juice and sugar until well mixed. Pour over the cake, and sprinkle with crushed pistachio. Allow the glaze about 10 minutes to set.
Serve and enjoy!
I had the distinct pleasure of taking a workshop with Aran Goyoaga at Sunday Suppers in Brooklyn this past weekend. I was feeling like I needed a little creative boost, and I find that workshops are great for connecting with other creatives, as well as improving on skills and learning new techniques. I left Providence…
I had the distinct pleasure of taking a workshop with Aran Goyoaga at Sunday Suppers in Brooklyn this past weekend. I was feeling like I needed a little creative boost, and I find that workshops are great for connecting with other creatives, as well as improving on skills and learning new techniques. I left Providence early Friday morning and grabbed an Amtrak to NYC and made it in time for a Union Square Greenmarket sourcing trip with the group in the pouring rain. Despite the downpour, it was fascinating to watch Aran carefully choose her ingredients, keeping an eye out for interesting details; beautifully curved stems, imperfect apples and pears, rough-skinned squash. The beauty, and therefore visual interest, lies in the imperfections. We met up again on Saturday morning in the Sunday Suppers studio and kitchen space to learn more about Aran’s process, and watch her style and photograph several dishes. It was fascinating to watch her attention to detail, often spending at least an hour photographing a single recipe (not taking into account time spent sourcing props and food, and cooking). For me, it brought up questions around studio vs. lifestyle photography, and which direction I am drawn towards. The whole weekend gave me quite a bit to think about, which is exactly the point. I’m always hesitant to invest in myself, whether it be new equipment or a workshop, and yet I’m always so grateful when I take the leap. I was surprised to find that I didn’t pick up my camera that often, as I was too busy watching and taking notes, but here are a few behind the scenes shots taken on my phone. A big thank you to Aran for the weekend, as well as the entire group for their inspiration. The light in the studio was absolute perfection, with large north facing windows that let in plenty of light despite the gray, rainy weather. A selection of neutral props- love! The selection that Aran chose from the market- look at those gorgeous imperfections. And a buckwheat galette using Hidden Rose apples from Scott Farm Orchard (which I brought with me from home, cradled in my lap for the train ride!). My favorite discovery of the weekend- Seed and Mill! One of the company founders, Rachel, was a workshop participant and it was an absolute joy meeting her and learning about the company. She treated me to a goat’s milk soft serve ice cream, topped with Seed and Mill tahini and halva, served in a red velvet cone. It was the most delicious thing in the world. Find their stall at Chelsea Market- do it! And the last gasp of dahlia for the season at the Greenmarket.
As the summer winds down, I thought it might be fun to do a little round-up of some of the recipe features, press and kind words that my book has received. I’ve been so overwhelmed with the outpouring of excitement over Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet. I’m so very thankful- seriously, it is such a thrill….
As the summer winds down, I thought it might be fun to do a little round-up of some of the recipe features, press and kind words that my book has received. I’ve been so overwhelmed with the outpouring of excitement over Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet. I’m so very thankful- seriously, it is such a thrill. Let’s dive in to this deliciousness…*Sara and Hugh Forte of Sprouted Kitchen made my Maple Pecan Crunch Ice Cream. I’m such a fan of their work so this really made my day. They had the genius idea to add chocolate. When in doubt, always add chocolate! Above photos by Hugh Forte.
*Design*Sponge featured my Roasted Peach Pops, one of my favorite recipes in the book. Stone fruit season is still happening so do yourself a favor and give these a whirl!
*Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant made my whole fruit pops (below, right). Just look at those chubby little fingers! *Erin of Reading My Tea Leaves made my Roasted Peaches and Cream pops with cashew cream instead of yogurt and they turned out beautifully (above left)!
*Over at Eat Boutique my Frozen Yogurt Bark got packaged up for a sweet frozen gift!
*I was very honored that Sweet Paul included Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet in both his 25 Books I’m Loving Spring and Summer editions! *Megan Gordon of A Sweet Spoonful went blueberry picking and made this vibrant blueberry ice cream!
*Kim Kinzi of Motif Magazine wrote the kindest review. When I came to work one day, my boss had pinned it to my bulletin board. That totally made me blush- I keep my school work self very separate from my writing work self!
*My friend Xan wrote the kindest words about both Little Bites and Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet over on her blog, The Conscious Caterpillar. I love that both of my books have earned a spot in her kitchen, and I especially love seeing them stained and ear-marked, just how a cookbook should look!
*Elizabeth interviewed me for her incredible Mornings on the Dock podcast. We talk books, babies, creativity, and what my month of July is like in Northern Michigan. If you can handle my strong Michigan accent, have a listen! And while you’re there, listen to them all…each one is fabulous and inspiring.
I have been so thrilled to receive some great press mentions as well, including a few of my recipes being featured in the July/ August issue of Self. As one of the first magazines I ever read, and one of the few that I continue to read on a regular basis, I can tell you that seeing my recipes in Self (and photographed by the one and only Johnny Miller) was a career highlight. I also had the pleasure of shooting the COVER of The Coastal Table (above left). It is my first cover, and I am incredibly grateful to Karen, the founder and editor, for her support. The entire issue is gorgeous, and inside you’ll also find a fun ice cream story with several recipes, some from the book and a few brand new additions. I’ve been really appreciative of the Edible community for spreading the Icy, Creamy word. A big thank you to Edible Rhody, Edible Cape Cod, Edible Jersey, Edible Memphis, Edible Indy, Edible Toronto, Edible East Bay and Edible Boston for their features. I’ve received other wonderful press coverage, including really nice features in The Improper Bostonian and Vegan Life, among other publications. I was also incredibly honored to win The Readable Feast’s People’s Choice Cookbook of the Year award, and a subsequent feature in The Boston Globe! Thank you so much for all of your votes! How thrilling. I also have an original recipe and thoughts on what it is like to write about food for a living in the current issue of Remedy Quarterly, issue #21. Finally, after waiting so long to join Instagram, I have to admit that I joined at the right time. I’ve loved seeing people enjoying my recipes! So, late to the party, but I’m fully here and loving it! Here are just a few of my favorite Insta images, above, top row (l to r): Sarah Waldo, Edible Manhattan, Jenn Elliott Blake. Bottom row (l to r) Floret, Marisa Dobson, Golubka Kitchen. Below, top row (l to r): Punkpost, With Style and Grace, The Book Larder. Bottom row (l to r): The Conscious Caterpillar, Megan Gordon, Amy Chaplin. Keep sharing your treats and make sure to tag me ch_chitnis and use #icycreamy. Thank you so much for all of your enthusiasm and support! And finally, if you missed my book tour recap be sure to check out my Seattle and San Francisco posts!
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!
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 😉
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!
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!
In less than a month ICY CREAMY HEALTHY SWEET hits bookshelves and to celebrate I have a gift for everyone who pre-orders the book! It’s my little way of saying a great big thank you for all of your support! If you pre-order the book in the next two weeks, I will send you a…
In less than a month ICY CREAMY HEALTHY SWEET hits bookshelves and to celebrate I have a gift for everyone who pre-orders the book! It’s my little way of saying a great big thank you for all of your support! If you pre-order the book in the next two weeks, I will send you a free 5 x 7 professionally printed photograph (the one above of the blackberries and blueberries!). I framed my print and it lives in my kitchen, where it constantly reminds me that the bounty of summer is right around the corner!
After you order the book, simply fill out THIS FORM with your name, address and purchasing information. And if you’ve already ordered the book (thank you!) – not to worry, you can still fill out the form to receive your print.
So, to receive your free print:
- Pre-order your copy of Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet from any of the following retailers: Amazon / Roost / IndieBound / Barnes & Noble
- Fill out THIS FORM with your name, address and purchase information.
- That’s it…you’re all set! Your print will arrive in the mail in 2-4 weeks. If you have any questions, or if you live internationally, simply shoot me an email and we can work it out!
And can I just say…this book is a beauty. It exceeded all of my expectations in terms of design and feel: hardcover, matte pages and full-page color pictures for every recipe! Inside you will find 75 recipes for frozen yogurt, pops, dairy-free ice cream, slushies, shakes, granitas, snow cones, ice cream sandwiches and more. And here’s the kicker…they are all FREE of refined sugar. This book reflects my ongoing dedication to providing my family sweet treats that rely on natural sweeteners without compromising taste one bit. I think my favorite two recipes are Raspberry Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate (make it with farm fresh, just picked berries- seriously, just do it!) and Black Forest Pops with Homemade Cherry Compote. Oh, and the Gingerbread Cookies with Chai Ginger Ice Cream, and the Tart Cherry Limeade Slushies … well, you get the picture!
I know it is early to be thinking about frozen treats, but trust me, you’ll be happy to have this baby in your kitchen once the temperatures soar! Here’s a little peek inside at a few of my favorite spreads…
*photos in this post by the fabulous Forrest Elliott
Now that we’re back in Rhode Island it’s hard to believe that somewhere out there the sun is beating down on white hot sand while the ocean waves roll lazily on the shore. It’s hard to believe that somewhere out there it is 80 degrees with the slightest breeze blowing in off the ocean, rustling…
Now that we’re back in Rhode Island it’s hard to believe that somewhere out there the sun is beating down on white hot sand while the ocean waves roll lazily on the shore. It’s hard to believe that somewhere out there it is 80 degrees with the slightest breeze blowing in off the ocean, rustling the leaves of the palm trees. But what is really hard to believe is that we choose to live here in New England when we could be living there (joking…kind of)! Our trip to Jamaica was heaven on earth. It was so nice to escape the winter sickness that had descended on our family during the last few months. Digging our toes into the sand, basking in the sun and swimming the day away in the ocean proved to be immensely healing. We’re back and feeling good!
Of course all of the Vitamin C helped too. We indulged in fresh pineapple ever morning, and coconut water straight out of the coconut every lunchtime. Jamaica is a place of such abundance in terms of local food offerings. We ate so well while we were there- lobster, fish, jerk chicken, tropical fruits and avocado as big as our heads- it was all so incredibly fresh and delicious. I spent an afternoon wandering the market and trying all kinds of interesting fruits: soursop, custard apple, sweetsop, guava and naseberry. I also bought bags of sugar cane for swirling in our nightly piña colada (made with fresh coconut meat and fresh pineapple- heaven on earth).
The seafood offerings made for some memorable dinners. Curry crab and jerk lobster were the crowd favorites, served alongside fried plantains and rice and beans. There is also a Jamaican fish dish called Escovich, which is best described as lightly fried red snapper served with vinegar pickled vegetables. It is so tasty.
Tomorrow I’ll share with you a bit more of our trip, like where we stayed and a glimpse of the gorgeous sunsets that I am now missing terribly!
On Saturday I was able to sneak away to Boston for the afternoon to partake in Eat Boutique’s Holiday Market. It was such a gorgeous venue, filled with makers and food vendors, and offering a packed schedule of amazing author appearances and events. I jumped in at the last minute to get my book signed…
On Saturday I was able to sneak away to Boston for the afternoon to partake in Eat Boutique’s Holiday Market. It was such a gorgeous venue, filled with makers and food vendors, and offering a packed schedule of amazing author appearances and events. I jumped in at the last minute to get my book signed by Joy the Baker, which was certainly a thrill. But the biggest thrill of all was connecting with Lucinda Scala Quinn, former vice president at Martha Stewart Omnimedia and author of many amazing books including, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys. She was so engaging, warm and welcoming, and I can’t wait to use her book to feed my hungry boys. Even though they are only 3 and 5, I am already amazed by their appetites. Much of my day revolves around feeding them: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Bowls upon bowls of fruit slices, veggies with hummus, hard boiled eggs…. It’s like shoveling coal into a fast burning furnace and I need all the help I can get to avoid getting into cooking ruts.
Getting out to events like this is such a refreshing change of pace for me. There is a part of me that feels that between having two kids so close together, writing book after book and juggling a freelance career, social networking fell by the wayside. And that is such an important thing as an author. I missed the boat by a few years in terms of social media, and as much I understand the value of networking and “getting out there” it just feels really difficult given the demands of home. All of that to say, it was such a treat to spend an afternoon meeting movers and shakers of the food world.