Fresh Fig & Olive Oil Cake

Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Recipe: Fresh Fig And Olive Oil Cake
Confession: It's fig season.

I thought that'd be a good opening because if you didn't know (I think you do, though), fig season is about three seconds long. During the roughly two weeks of Indian summer, fig trees drop hundreds of pounds of highly perishable, tear-drop shaped fruits which look pretty alien when you slice them open.

Beef Stew With Root Vegetables


"There's a lot left to learn about umami...after all, everyone knows exactly what you mean when you talk about sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. If umami is just as fundamental a taste, then why does it so often need to be explained? What makes umami so obscure?"
-Bob Holmes Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense

Raise your hand if you've heard about "umami," the fifth widely accepted "fundamental taste" -if you haven't, don't worry. That elusive savory, meaty, almost gamey flavor often associated with soups, broths, aged food products (cheese, charcuterie), and mushrooms is now called "umami," because apparently "savory," "meaty," and "gamey" are doing service no longer. I had heard of this term (which was only publicly acknowledged about fifteen years ago) but I grasped umami more as a concept. I couldn't pin an intense experience as a recent memory.

Coconut-Tahini Protein Breakfast Cookies

Protein breakfast cookies...sounds like it could either be a very, very good idea or a very, very bad idea. I mean, when somebody suggests the idea of eating cookies for breakfast I am 100% on board. Sometimes I resist but sometimes I don't even want to resist. Sound familiar? But if you're at all experimental and health-conscious, I'm sure that you've been in my boat: you know, when what you really want is an actual chocolate chip cookie for breakfast and what you've really made is a Kylie Jenner chocolate chip cookie that doesn't even deserve to bear the name. I get it - you try to healthy something up and all of a sudden it tastes like

Gelato Freeze Week Two: Lighten Up

because you do need a picture of paul and julia child in your monday.

Well, a weekend vacation happened and let's just say that it involved a birthday party, a brunch squad, a crepe shop, and four-cheese macaroni. Maybe my two-salad-a-day average bought me a grace period over the weekend when I let it go to wrack and ruin and patisseries? Yes. Let's go with that version of the story.

Kale Apple Salad With Chicken

Happy Confetti Plate Week! I don't know about you, but so far this week has been pretty easy - I didn't realize that I do typically eat at least one salad a day. Getting to eat exactly the way I normally do and counting it as part of an eating challenge is giving me such a false sense of accomplishment! Okay, honestly I have been more thoughtful about the choices I make, skipping out on things that aren't whole-grain, and successfully avoiding potatoes entirely. I love the way I've felt this week, energy-wise and mentally. It's amazing what just knowing you're treating your body well will do you for!
I'm so excited to share the recipe for this salad which we discovered last autumn and made almost weekly (sometimes more) all the way through "kale season." Chopped kale, diced cucumbers and apple, toasted pecans, blue cheese crumbles, and dried cranberries make up the majority of this salad. Then you add grilled chicken if desired (this is recommended, as it takes the salad into fully-filling territory), and toss the whole thing with a yummy citrus vinaigrette.

Gelato Freeze: A Four-Week Eating Challenge

 via pinterest

I'm sitting here with a mug of hot tea and a reheated (gluten-free, refined sugar-free) pumpkin spice doughnut I flipped up in the kitchen this morning. Turns out cake doughnuts are a cinch to make and if you're not afraid of hot oil, actually aren't intimidating to make. The other reason that I'm eating a doughnut at 9:15 PM is that tomorrow morning starts a month-long eating challenge and I wanted one last goodbye. Properly, I ought to have started a month-long eating challenge at the start of the month but I wanted to wait till after Labor Day because of reasons like picnics and gelato and sourdough bread that wanted to be eaten one last time for a bit.