Looking for new posts?

I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

leung family christmas 1980-something

wanna know something funny? I have that same haircut still. and the outfit; just a different size. it's my favorite.

wishing you the happiest of happy christmases and into the new year. I will be taking the next two weeks off, and hope you take the time in the following days to make a snow angel, or sip a mojito by the beach if you prefer, learn (or cook!) something new, make new and happy memories, and eat lots of good food.

see you in the new year.


what does yours look like? meaning, your "to-do-before-it's-entirely-too-late" list. mine was full of things to bake and share, places to go, things to get, people to see.

then I took a breath.

you know, the kind that you take when you realize you've barely been breathing at all. I saw from another perspective that I was filling my time with good things, but things that were taking me away from what I love most about this season, the moments I get to share with my two favorite people in the world.  Moments that, if I allowed myself to be consumed with my to-do list, I would miss. It happened just in time for a big snow storm that came through our town yesterday. Just like the yards surrounding our home, I was given a clean slate. Or rather, the chance to create one.

I looked at my list, eliminated the things that would only be taking me away from that handsome devil and sweet + sassy mini-him, and took another breath. This time one that cleansed, one that enlivened. Instead of spending my time in the kitchen, craft room, wherever it was I thought I needed to be, I was outside making a snowman in 12 inches of the best packing snow you've ever seen. It was an unconventional snowman, with cranberry eyes and an old granny-like knit hat, but it was a perfect early morning on the first day of winter. Pans and pans of peanut brittle can't compare to the happiness that wet snowboots and damp socks hanging near the heater vent can create; my love tank was overflowing.

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to share my granny's peanut brittle recipe with you.

Read more »

 {a vintage hand painted ornament, by my mother}

This weekend we will be coping with the loss of our city's beloved tabernacle, making gingerbread cookies, my great grandmother's peanut brittle, sending out christmas cards, filling our window with a few more paper snowflakes, maybe going to brunch, and wrapping presents (did you see my thrift store find for the babe? I am so excited). We may fit in a viewing of elf and the muppet christmas carol too.

Can you believe there's only a week left before Christmas day?

a few things for your weekend:

.make some hot chocolate.
.plan your christmas morning breakfast or brunch.
.sign up for our seasonal foods class in January:: comfort foods for every day.
.tune in on twitter for the launch party of simply the sweet life magazine, april atwater's newest venture.
.remember to breathe.

here's wishing you a wonderful weekend full of christmas preparations.

Hot chocolate. A widely misunderstood confection that deserves clarification.

I'm no stranger to the watered down and sometimes intensely powder milk versions served at gatherings like football games, the classiest of gas stations and church functions. I'm not exactly turning up my nose, they have their place and function, but when I want to indulge in something warming and intense, I want it to live up to its name. I have heard about places like Angélina in Paris where the famed hot chocolate is almost as important an attraction as its eastern neighbor - the Louvre. Or Madame Constantin's chocolat chaud served at Steiger (also in Paris), which she lovingly called, "grandmother's hot chocolate" that was also described as angelina's on steroids. Storybooks talk of chocolate drinks that can only be experienced while in magical places, and I am willing to bet you wish you could have a cup. right now.

Read more »

Another post about gifts, I am in the giving mood. Or maybe it's the gimme gimme's?

Whatever it is, I have had less and less time to photograph our meals in natural light, and even less time to blog about them. But even with all my busy-ness that permeates this time of year, somehow I've still been able to shop. Or rather, accumulate this small list of things I've seen around the internet that have caught my eye and heart. They would be lovely gifts to give the foodie in your life.

happy giving.

Read more »

I wanted to show you the gift ideas that we shared at our class last saturday. They aren't your typical Christmas cookie gifts, although we do love a cookie plate every year.  If you are interested in watching the class (and skipping over the silliness) you can watch it here.

gift basket with ingredients to make elizabeth hayley's christmas cake

a small spice jar with equal parts of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves layered for a touch of drama, a large glass jar with 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup raisins, and 1 cup mixed dried fruit, paper loaf pans purchased from here, a copy of the recipe, and an ornament, to make it pretty. Of course you can give the cake, already made. I am sure some people would actually prefer that.

Read more »

Even though it is raining outside (where's the snow?!) today feels quite christmas-y. It may be because students in our small college town are preparing for final exams, and will soon be venturing home for the holidays, or maybe it's because Christmas parties are being held and people are really beginning to celebrate. I think it also has to do with the seemingly-dusted-with-snow candied peels that are garnishing our kitchen table. But it's more likely the organized mess of dishes in the sink that remind me of the holidays.

Our home is already decorated, our tree(s) up and alight, music heralding the season, and goods being baked far too often not often enough. This weekend we will attend a couple parties, bake more christmas cake, and I will find the time to put together a few more gifts, the type that will be used in the kitchens of those I love, (sorry to spoil it!). A few of the same gifts that Melissa and I will be sharing with you, live, from jacob's cove farm. I hope you will join us!

recipe for candied citrus peel at zupas today

p.s. enter to win a spot at our class this saturday, leave a comment on facebook!

{photo by becky}

Guess what? The seasonal foods class Melissa and I are teaching this saturday, the class where we will be sharing a few Christmas gifts to give your friends and family like homemade garam masala spice mix is going to be streamed live over the internet!

That means you will get to watch from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas, while noshing on those smacks cereal, although I'm pretty sure you will be wishing you could be slurping down some winter squash and roasted garlic soup with nutmeg and chives instead.

The stream is being brought to you free of charge, but with a catch. There are commercials that run on top of the stream, you can hear us but we can't hear you, there's a possibility for delays and freezing stream and you won't get to savor the incredible food that will be there. So if you can, come to the class in person because it'd be a shame for elizabeth hayley's christmas cake to go to waste.

WATCH the class here, friday saturday (sorry!!) morning 11a.m. to 1p.m. MST

REGISTER for the class here to come in person, then neener neener at everyone at home in their pj's while savoring winter squash masala.

follow me on facebook because I am giving away two seats to the class!

follow me on twitter and look for the #jacobscove hash tag to send us questions and comments while you watch, so even if we can't hear you, we can read you!

Some days I like to mix things up, you know, to keep husband and baby on their toes. Like making pancakes instead of oatmeal on a weekday. And on a wednesday for cryin' out loud! But these weren't just any pancakes. They were all nogged up and served hot with real maple syrup, frozen raspberries, and a dallop or two of peanut butter for the moma bear. Chocolate milk filled our glasses (and sippy cup) and we were in luxe comas until noon. I like celebrating the middle of the week.

Read more »

a little something for your wednesday.
(feel free to skip to :45)

isn't it incredible? someone in utah needs to offer noodle making classes.
and yes. this is from the kung fu panda dvd. jane's current favorite.
every time po comes on screen she waves and says "i po!"

p.s. the winner for the communal giveaway was announced here.

p.p.s. you may think the mr.ping character (the duck) is a typically westernized idea of an asian, but he reminds me way too much of my silly silly father.

My middle name means "victorious". It was because of this that since I was young (and before the spice girls) I wanted to change my first name to Victoria. I was sure that once it was changed it would be more fitting to who I was and wanted to be. But then I was a silly girl, and I learned to love Jennifer because it could be sweet and coy as Jenny, intimate and practical as Jen, and timeless in its fullest form. No, my name suits me well with all my whims and changing fancy. My great grandmother in law had similar sentiments, although she followed through with them. She was named Lizzie, but everyone knew her as Elizabeth. She knew what she wanted and made it so, even with food.

Read more »

Here is some information on the seasonal foods class being held at Jacob's Cove this saturday. We will share some great gift ideas to give from the kitchen, but not the sweet ones people usually give. Well, there is one. We will be demonstrating the recipes and you will get to taste as much as you want of everything! Come share your kitchen gift giving ideas, holiday traditions, recipes and stories.

hope to see you there!

Creating Delicious Holiday Meals with Gifts from the Kitchen
december 11, 2010 - 11a.m. to 1 p.m.

the menu:

winter squash masala with gifted garam masala mix
winter squash soup topped with winter greens
elizabeth hayley's fruitcake with gifted spice and dried nuts and fruit

we will also be teaching how to make spice mixes from whole spices and how to grow greens indoors.


Earlier this week I made a pot of my father's jok. Even though I know how to make it I still find myself calling him to make sure I am making it correctly and to troubleshoot when something isn't quite right. When I called earlier this week he was already on the telephone with my brother, for the very same reason. I got some good tips like I always do when I talk about food with my dad, and then updated the recipe so you can benefit from them too.

The first step for good jok? Making your own stock from the remnants of your thanksgiving turkey (or any other meal's) and water, that's it. today's zupas post is about how to do that, and includes a tip for making vegetable broth too, if you prefer.

This weekend we have plans for a fruitcake, a few different types of cookies and candies, and a GMAT. It is sure to be an epic weekend.

A few suggestions for yours:
.check out the events page (see the new link on the left?) and mark your calenders
.bake some cookies
.enter my giveaway for a $25 giftcard to Communal
.if you haven't already, trim a tree
.pull out those gaudy christmas sweaters you can't bear to part with
.and listen to festive music while you're at it.

Whatever you end up doing this week's end, here's wishing you a wonderful one. And if you (or your better half) is taking the GMAT too, well then bonne chance!!

I'd love to get my floury hands on this.

I have a soft spot for cookbooks all about simple and beautiful bread.  I have been particularly fascinated with natural leavening, which is what they use at Tartine bakery & cafe. In gwenyth paltrow's newsletter a number of weeks ago, co-owner and author Chad Robertson shared his recipe for whole grain seeded bread and a few other recipes using it, like grilled cheese and onion sandwiches.
be still my beating heart.

have you ever been to Tartine? I think we may have to make a trip when we visit northern california year.

get the recipes, or buy the book.

their other cookbook would look great with flour and watermarks scattered between the pages as well.

I find it incredible that other people, oftentimes strangers, can explain my own thoughts and ideas better than I can myself. I love talking with people and finding that their passions are the same as my own. It's easy to find kindred spirits this way, and I always feel inspired and even more passionate about my philosophies after meeting them. This very thing happened when I was invited to attend a breakfast at communal with a number of fabulous utah bloggers. I felt like a guppie at the long wooden table full of incredibly inspiring women, but it was wonderful sharing conversation, company, a breakfast that you may get to experience yourself, and a food philosophy.

but first, the breakfast.

Read more »

How was your weekend? I'm pretty sure there were about 10 different kinds of pie at our thanksgiving feast, one being the cream cheesecake that I thought my mother was going to forego for simplicity's sake. She reprimanded herself and made it anyway because she realized it's the beacon of our family's thanksgiving meal, next to the cranberry jello.

After we had relaxed a bit from our hearty meal we bundled up, leaving the dishes unclean, and went to a nearby hill where we went night sledding, everyone except my brother and his sleeping babe. Considering it was barely above zero degrees, yes zero, we lasted about a half hour; we're rockstars.

The next day was filled with shopping, movie watching, visiting with old friends and nibbling on leftovers and pie throughout the day. Before we headed home we stopped by Temple Square to see the lights, is it just me or does it seem like they do less each year?

Saturday we pulled out the Christmas decor, set up half of what we have accrued over the last five years and gave the other half to our local thrift store all the while singing along the rat pack, ella, and nat. We ate a few more bites of cold pie and sipped some hot cider before bedtime. It was a lovely weekend, and I am excited for the next few weeks as we prepare for Christmas. how was your holiday? do you still have leftovers?

check out this list of some of our favorite cookies to get you baking! don't you love this time of year, despite the cold?

Read more »

today i am thankful for...

family that live nearby. even though an hour is sometimes too far
earth balance butter. because sometimes coconut oil just won't do
red mittens. and the little hands that fit inside
seeded dandelion heads. because even if they're bare and frozen, she will still pick them and blow
maple syrup. because it's my very favorite
giggling. because even if it's silly, it feels good and shows off my happy wrinkles
pumpkin chiffon pie. because even if i accidentally made it with sweet potato, i just might eat it all
a blue hand knit cowl. because my cousin sister made it and when i wear it, i think of her. and miss her
four wheel drive. because even if it's not supposed to snow, it just might
you. because i love getting your e-mails, comments, and creating long distance friendships with such incredible people.

here's wishing you a lovely holiday.

We will be celebrating this Thanksgiving holiday in an over crowded house with beloved family, a few good movies, and lots of food. We may use my mother's china and silverware, the crystal will likely be filled with mulled apple cider, and the table will definitely be stuffed with the traditional family dishes we love eating year after year. There will be a few dairy free changes made for the babe and I, but I doubt anyone will even notice. We will be enjoying the best company, sharing stories, jokes and laughing a lot. Anyone who has had the fortune of a family dinner with us knows that wit and humor are just as important as dessert.

if you are looking for a few more Thanksgiving recipes to perfect your feast, here are a few suggestions:
jeanne wotring's cranberry jello
buttercup squash risotto
apple and currant sweet potatoes
dutch oven turkey
pumpkin biscuits or pumpkin cardamom rolls
mulled apple cider
sweet potato cake or pumpkin chiffon pie

need table setting ideas?
check out the vintage mixer, or armelle blog for beautiful inspiration.

happy eating!

In honor of the holiday this week, I am sharing one of the recipes from our decadent Thanksgiving dinner class. These sweet potatoes are a little healthier than the usual version served at our family's feast. No marshmallows, butter or brown sugar. The natural sweetness in the applesauce takes care everything, the coconut oil (or butter if you so desire) adds a bit of luxury, and you won't be able to recall what used to top these sweet root vegetables because it was always meant to be cinnamon candied pecans and walnuts.

They may look a little different, but they're still what my grandmother always called them, 'practically dessert'.

Read more »

This past weekend, we were without internet connection, so I couldn't wish you well. It felt like Thanksgiving because I was up late prepping Thanksgiving dishes to teach at our seasonal foods class. It was a wonderful class, and the food was perfect for a stormy afternoon. It began with warm winds and dark grey clouds during which we ate some delicious Thanksgiving sides, then in the evening it ended with a dusting of light up the night sky snow.

On friday, the babe and I visited the bijou market, then the antique store next door to it, and are now (just about) finished with our christmas shopping. My sister came over saturday, tagging along to the class and then volunteering to guard the house + home while the babe slept and husband + I experienced the magic of Harry Potter 7, fantastical. Sunday was dark and cozy, and I spent a lot of time thinking about how blessed we are and very little to no time cooking. Now, it is monday; and I finally have my food assignments for Thanksgiving, which is in less than a handful of days. what? Even though I've been looking forward to it, I feel like it snuck up in the night. anyone else?

a few more things::

there is a new events page where I will share dates and info about classes that Melissa and I will be teaching as well as other local and real food events that might be happening nearby.

the week's end zupas post about persimmons and some lovely recipes using them.

and in case you haven't heard, thanksgiving is this week.

do you have your food assignment yet?

there mightn't be any turkey, but I am loving this visual rendition of a thanksgiving feast from hollister hovey.

only a week left, are you ready?

i love this movie.

we have been playing christmas music for the past week, and although i still have mixed feelings about it, it's warming up to me.

i love reading gratitude posts, and that people have months full of them.

i am grateful for grocery stores that give balloons to children.

i just realized that the url for my hello page is misspelled. curses.

i enjoy the sound of my oven when it's preheating.

Today, i am giving away a free registration for our Decadent Thanksgiving cooking class this saturday! If you would like to come, for free!, keep on reading on how to enter. more information about the class here; including the menu. If you'd rather not take the chance, register here.

to enter:

leave one comment on this post to enter, you have until friday morning around naptime (when I get on the computer for the first time of the day)

a few things:
- you have 2-ish days to enter. this giveaway closes friday, november 19th at naptime/whenever i close comments.
- the winners will be chosen at random and announced at the top bottom of this post.
- if you don't respond to me that same day/before the class, your prize goes to someone else; i know that's a short time frame so stay close to your e-mail!
- please leave a reliable e-mail for me to contact you so the previous bullet point doesn't happen.
- you get one extra entry for tweeting/facebooking/blogging. I can only keep track of so many, but also want you to spread the word! tell me in one separate comment that you did so.
- anonymous comments don't count.


congrats!! Jill is the winner! you should be getting an email now-ish.
remember, you can still register for the class here or show up at the door. hope to see you there!

happy weekend!
and thank goodness for 3G.

We love food from all around the world and we're always excited to try new things, as long as it's not still creeping and/or crawling. I love making curry, and hubby likes it too, although it's not his favorite. He doesn't squee for curry but he does squee for masala. Served over steaming rice beside hot tandoori garlic naan and he is in heaven, or rather a reincarnated state of mind.

I'm not sure how authentic our version is, I do know one main difference. This version is made with delicata squash and sweet potatoes, a seasonal and healthier change to the heavy marinated meats that usually fill this dish. With it's healthier changes, it is still as comforting as ever, a delicious meal on a blustery day.

Read more »

In addition to watching the weather over the past week (which we do a lot of) we have also been trying out new recipes including winter squash pot pie, pumpkin molasses cookies, homemade (coconut milk) yogurt, and the above pumpkin spice no bakes. They were each fantastic and under par in their own ways, but that's alright, it just means there is more food to be made!

and eaten.

In other news, Melissa and I are teaching another class this saturday, November 19, 2010 at Jacob's Cove farm in orem, utah. We will be teaching you how to use local and seasonal ingredients to make a decadent Thanksgiving dinner.

the menu:

Apple Custard Pie with Fresh Cranberries and Cinnamon
Winter Vegetable Salad with Yogurt
Fennel and Ground Mustard
Apple and Currant Sweet Potatoes with Candied Pecans
Cornbread Stuffing with Walnuts and Bing Cherries

and come hungry!

We will also be teaching a class December 11, 2010: Creating Delicious Holiday Meals. Mark your calendar!

how was your weekend? ours was wonderful, spent watching movies, helping (in the babe's case, hindering) neighbors with big piles of leaves, visiting friends, and watching the rain soak our beighborhood from the warmth of our front room, wrapped in quilts and blankets.

To start off the week I wanted to share this cookbook with you. I know I shared a handful with you last week, but this book is so beautiful. Plus, I love making jam. Not the kind with those small boxes of pectin; I've heard there are squeeze tube varieties now, but have yet to see if it's a valid rumor. Of course I have made jam with pectin before, but I prefer the type made with lush ripe fruit, natural pectins from the fruit themselves, a bit of sugar, gentle and constant heat, time, and a lot of love. The kind that gets just about everything sticky, and necessitates a long soak of every utensil for ideal cleanliness. The same kind my granny and great gran must have made and likely shared with neighbors and friends.

Neighbors and friends that just happened to be all family.

Read more »

I am looking forward to this weekend. Among the activities planned, and unplanned, is my little book group gathering. One of the books of choice (of three) for the month was this book by K. Douglas Bassett. Even if you overlook the religious context that it is written under, it has a powerful message about allotting your time to the things that are most important, the relationships and people that surround you. This book inspires me to seek out and dwell on the moments in life that are seemingly unimportant, the moments that are gone in an instant, and only recognized when you are paying close attention.

This weekend I will be paying attention, to the crooked smile and tenderness of my little one, the sarcasm and talents of my life love, and the beauty that is in thoughtful action. You can bet we will be crunching through the leaves a little more than usual, there are too many piles in this neighborhood that need to be organized and disassembled.

panna cotta and mulled cider granita at cafe zupas today.

wishing you attention to detail and beloved fleeting moments this weekend.

For many families, the turkey is the centerpiece at the Thanksgiving table. To me, separate plates of two different shades of meat, and cold turkey sandwiches the days after, are a bit nostalgic. We try to make good choices when it comes to our food, choosing foods that are real, whole, and grown the way nature intended them to grow. There is an ever-increasing number of people who feel similarly, which has been reflected in the amount of heritage and pastured poultry farms that are cropping up, even in Utah.

Read more »

The city library is a bi-weekly visit for us. It helps that it's literally down the street. Although as it becomes more frigid, the weeks between visits increase and I use the drive through drop off and underground parking more and more often. I borrow cookbooks all the time, using them to see if they are worth spending the money on. But I have a bad habit of taking the book to the main desk, after I've exceeded my renewal limits, to first check if there are any requests from others, then if not, to borrow it for another 3 - 6 weeks. If you are thinking of buying a cookbook, but want to take it for a test spin, look for it at your local library. Chances are they'll have it, and you might find that you actually hate the cookbook, or maybe you'll love it so much that you'll renew it so often and pay so many late fees on it that you'd have been better off buying it in the first place. Not that I am talking from experience...

These are only a handful of the cookbooks (one food related book) I have renewed more than once, spent weeks on a waiting list for, and admittedly even paid fines for. I hate paying library fines. I read these books like novels. They're worth the publisher's price. I would be surprised if you owned any of these and haven't given them a pet name. or two.

Read more »

this weekend was probably the most perfect weekend yet.  We now have a sea of mustard yellow leaves flooding our sidewalk like a castle mote out front, and mixed with today's cloudy skies and rainy streets it's incredibly beautiful. The babe and I spent the perfect amount of time romping through leaves, listening to the crunch beneath our soles. Too bad the mote won't do much to keep away winter much longer.

It has been a few weeks since art weekend, but checking out nicole's recap I saw an image of our class and remembered the brain cramps i got because of all the knowledge i learned. then i wonder if i have been capturing moments and images any better since... see me? i'm in the first bw image trying to remember how to be as graceful as nicole is at eight (?) months pregnant.

I was giving Sheena suggestions for places to eat in san fransisco and when I was telling her about golden gate bakery, and their don tot, I got a hankering. Then I found this post about how they're really as good as 'they' say, and I got homesick for custard. A few weeks ago I made puff pastry for my father so we could make don tot with the molds he got from his hong kong trip, but we never did finish them. I am craving one something fierce now.

how was your weekend?

Our town's farmer's market ended last saturday, the weather is consistently below 70 degrees, the trees are leafless in the canyons, I haven't acknowledged my "garden" for over a week, and they have begun to play christmas music on the radio. not kidding. I especially love the view form our front window. The trees that border its frame are rich with yellow and golden leaves, and I have heard that if you listen very closely you can hear each leaf as it falls. I have had spices and citrus on the stove all week and have smiled each time someone comments on the comforting aroma. Even if winter is rumored to be "on our doorstep", I am enjoying every minute of my favorite season.

As for our weekend, we have a house guest for the week. So good times and a lot of good food is to be had. Speaking of, what do eighteen sixteen year old boys like to do? that is, besides eating double thier weight at every meal. I'm at a loss...

This weekend, fill your home and senses with the aroma of autumn; apples, citrus and spice. today's zupas posts I am sharing a recipe for mulling spices and how to make mulled apple cider.

wishing you a happy and cozy weekend.

Read more »

I feel as though the end of the year is a vortex of shrinking time. The days become shorter as we quite literally lose our minutes. I don't think I've ever been excited about losing that hour when daylight savings ends. There are so many things I could have done in that time, even if I can't think of anything at the moment.

It doesn't help that autumn in utah seems to last for a week, until presumptuous winter demands all the attention. Around our home things have been a bit unsettled with guests, gatherings, and a clingy toddler. I have been unfaithful in staying up to date with the challenges of the kitchen cure, but I am slowly and surely making progress. I finished the first challenge: cleaning out my refrigerator/freezer and pantry - love it! I was even opening the freezer to admire the order. Pictures to come! someday.. Even though I'm a bit behind, I will finish before Thanksgiving. Maybe it will become a yearly to do before the holidays. There is something inspiring about a clean and orderly kitchen.

How has your week been? crazy fast too? can you believe it's november?

Read more »

Because we will be celebrating all hallow's eve this weekend, I was hoping to share with you our newest versions of butterbeer and caramel corn. We make them every year, but we have need to alter them without dairy. However, the three batches we have tried were under par and therefore, we have more recipe searching and testing, and caramel corn making and eating to do before I make any permanent decisions. But don't let that keep you from making the original recipes, we may end up doing just that. With dairy free equivalents of the called for ingredients, of course.

caramel corn

not the butterbeer and caramel corn type? maybe another pumpkin recipe is more akin to your palette? this is the last of my pumpkin series posts over at the zupas blog. the pumpkin in the caramel is delicate and the freshly grated nutmeg makes it sing. even my pumpkin snubbing neighbor would like it. well, I like to think she would. Read on for a recipe for pumpkin caramels.

wishing you a horribly haunted and ghoulishly ghastly holiday, and weekend!

Read more »

Sunday evening we had an incredible dinner with some of the most inspiring people. Amongst the chatter of introductions, family updates, offers of help, and talk of tapping local maples, I overheard someone say they had foregone sleep on account of a discussion about squash. winter squash. It made me smile, knowing I was surrounded by kindred spirits. I thought about the numberless conversations I've had about my favorite foods and was glad we were spending the evening with fellow foodies. There's comfort in being surrounded by people with like minds, you become instant friends, find inspiration in similar places, and share like obsessions.

I have created this small guide for you on the subject of the culprit, winter squash. It is incomplete because it doesn't cover every possible variety (there are hundreds). However the ones highlighted may be found at your local market, or maybe in your own garden these days. However with the snow that has frosted the tips of our neighboring ranges, there are likely fewer and fewer edibles available in local garden.

These particular squash are grown at Jacob's Cove Heritage Farm. They let me pick one of each so I could share this guide with you, recipes included. There are so many lovely things to do with squash, I will be adding to this guide periodically, especially as I share new recipes with you and slowly but surely make my way through eating these beautiful vegetables.

So let me introduce you, in no particular order.

Read more »

A few weeks ago, I met Lindsey at the raspberry patch in west mountain. It's a small patch of raspberry bushes where you can pick to your hearts content, for a small price. We spent the early morning hours filling our small baskets and buckets with the most beautiful red raspberries. Of course we tasted a few, and the babe had to have eaten at least a pound herself, which we were sure to pay for. I'm pretty sure she wasn't eating only berries either; regardless, she was in heaven. We returned a week or so later, just our little family. It has now become a tradition, bundling up in our sweaters and boots, heading out before anyone else on the block has stirred, and returning with basketfuls of plump juicy berries. I am pretty sure a sound nap on the ride home will be a favorite part of this newfound tradition.

For a few days we ate the berries with our morning oatmeal, in fresh lemonade, mixed with frozen strawberries and blueberries under a drizzle of coconut milk, and of course by hand. With the rest I made some jam. I was going to use the same recipe I used for the apricot jam I made earlier this summer, but because the raspberries were much sweeter, I used less sugar.

I am incredibly excited that this will be a tradition for our family because this is the best raspberry jam I have ever had. We may have to return within the next few weeks so I can make more; seeing as we only have a few smears left. It's a good thing I made apple butter this weekend.

Read more »

Americans love pumpkins; we're obsessed, really.

It's almost to the point of worship.

Who else plans weekends entirely devoted to traveling long distances just to pick out perfectly shaped gourds, carve them with the utmost preparation and care, and then set them alight for the world to see? And all on a designated day no less! There are mountains of the orange orbs displayed along the face of every market, as if the height and beauty of their peaks are proportionately equal to the quality of the establishment. The streets are even littered with them, especially if your neighborhood has a high number of reckless teenagers running about. It is the reason people plan week long festivals, make their living growing and selling the fruit (yes, fruit), and even bake 2,000+ pound pies that will feed at least 3000 people. They are also the reason I will be writing a three week series over at zupas; because pumpkins are the bomb.

check out today's zupas posts where I introduce you to the pumpkin, and then tell you how to make it into a buttery pumpkin biscuit.

and of course, happy weekend.

 {taken with my phone}

We have been preserving these past few days; canning (and eating) raspberry jam, baking pumpkin puree, drying tomatoes, freezing squash, etc. none of the food was from our own small garden.

I attended art weekend, my mind is finally coping with the amount of information I accumulated from nicole's photo 101 and tabletop class. I haven't touched my camera all weekend.

The groundbreaking for the Allred's new farm in Midway was fantastic, I loved meeting so many wonderful people and seeing old friends. And I think they liked the cookies I brought.

I feel as though I've been so busy these last few days, I am grateful for the moments I can sit and breathe, especially if I have a small mug of hot apple cider to warm my chilly fingers.

I am looking forward to sharing the delicious food we've been eating, and some that I can't wait to make; but for now I think I will just enjoy another quiet evening.

Sometimes you need to take a long weekend, even if no one else is.

What a wonderful week this has been, my favorite thus far. It's quite possible that we had soup every night this week. One was smooth, another was noodle-y, there were some that tasted like leftovers (because they were), and yesterday's was thick and chunky, and I think husband's favorite. I laughed at husband's comment before leaving for work one morning, he said the babe and I were so lucky to be able to stay home and play with such magical weather outside. We both stayed in our pj's until late afternoon, there was a lot of snuggling and out-the-window watching going on. It has infected everyone, autumn does this to people.

So far this weekend I have baked a lot of goodies, some for a book club gathering (my first ever) and others for the groundbreaking for Jacob's Cove's new farmland in Midway, Utah. If you are in the area this morning, come join us. There will be delicious food (some apple molasses cookies included), and so much to learn and see as they celebrate this exciting new step in utah's real food movement.

I will also probably make the eggplant and summer squash gratin pictured above, because I picked up a number of beautiful squash from my parent's home the other day, and it's one of our favorite meals. Do you still have summer squash after this magical (and chilly) week?

have a wonderful weekend, what's left of it.

I love finding money in pockets of pants and coats I haven't worn for ages. When I was younger it's possible that I may have put things in pockets of coats I put away for spring, just to surprise myself the next freak snowstorm in May. Of course I only did such silly childish things like that long ago, a few months at least.

I was sifting through all the starred posts in my reader, and found a few lovely things I had forgotten about. It was like finding money in my pocket. And even if these won't buy me anything delicious, they did inspire me and maybe they even made me drool a little, which is why I kept them in the first place. I even caught myself trying to star them again. Hopefully it won't be months before I actually refer to them once more, but I'm not making any promises.

Read more »

I love soup. seriously. love it. And it has nothing to do with the fact that during my favorite time of year it's all I want to eat. Or maybe it has everything to with it. I am always surprised at how full I feel after eating a seemingly small amount of soup. It has a way of making me feel so content, so at ease, so comfortable.

Of course there are as many types of soups as there are types of mullets (completely random. but hey, they're on my mind). My favorite kinds (of soups, not mullets) are thick, creamy, and smooth, a little sweet and a lot of savory, topped with a drizzle of thinned sour cream and toasted nuts, and paired with right-out-of-the-oven bread. When sopped, it has the perfect soak to cling ratio. The amount of soup soaked into the bread never exceeds the amount clinging to the crumb outside and the very center of the bread is dry so you can enjoy every aspect of the meal in one bite. I especially like the soup that clings because it has the potential of making your bites just a bit messy, moreso if you aren't paying close attention. When I am distracted I almost always get a little on my chin.

It's all part of the experience, slurping a little as you take a bite of dipped bread, changing it up by throwing in tears and eating it by spoon, scraping your spoon along the bottom of the mostly empty bowl, and the ripple of the soup as you serve yourself seconds that slowly level out by the time you tear a morsel from another roll. It's the informalities of eating soup that make it so comforting, to the point that husband will reach over and wipe the soup from my chin, even if we have company.

Read more »

I contemplated having a week where I post nothing but pumpkin recipes; until I realized I might not stop at just a week. How can it be that I've never shared a pumpkin pie with you? shocking. So although I won't make any promises as to the amount, you can be sure there will be an abundance of pumpkin recipes in the coming weeks, because it's only the beginning of the best time of year. How about we start off with the most important and basic pumpkin recipe, shall we?

check out my zupas post today, a tutorial on how to roast a pumpkin for some homemade sugar pumpkin puree. It's much better than any can, except maybe your own.

Have you noticed the new sponsor links? They are in the left sidebar below the "buttons" that take you here and there around my little space. I hope you will check them out, they are each fantastic, and may keep you busy for a few hours.

have a beautiful and cozy weekend.

...general conference this weekend.

...making these for said general conference weekend.

...(maybe) going early morning raspberry picking at a little farm lindsey and i visited last week.

...receiving the postcards i purchased from sheena in the mail.

...making a festive wreath out of colorful leaves.

...wearing a sweater all day because I actually need to.

...art weekend.

...pumpkins, mulled apple cider, ghost stories, the magical month of october.

I thought I was genius when I made up the most incredible, perfectly seasonal, morning oatmeal. But then I was full of disappointment mixed with a smidgen of contentment when I found that instead, it was everywhere. I thought I was so clever, adding extra pumpkin to my oatmeal. That I was creating beauty, adding chopped nuts, some cinnamon, maple syrup until just perfectly sweet, and itty bitty currants to seal the deal. But no. I am not original. I am not genius, I'm not even clever because apparently pumpkin and spice in oatmeal is old news. People have been enjoying it for ages and I'm just late to the party. It doesn't matter though, I am glad I finally know, even if I had to figure it out for myself. Although next time there's something fantastic I don't know about, I'd appreciate the tip.

And if you're like me and haven't been introduced to the comfort of pumpkin and spice oatmeal, you're about to fall in love.

Read more »

Every once in a while I am incredibly confident, other times I'm the biggest weenie around. On a good day I can recite the rehearsed eloquence in my head, most of the time I scramble words in a way that is irreparable. After many a meal I crave something dense, crumbly and comforting, but on warm nights I'd rather have something fresh, and lighter than air. On occasion I will remember to be that person who is unfailingly kind, but mostly I notice I am surrounded by them. On saturdays I forget about the mail, mondays I remember. I like to think that I am witty and constant, but I think I am more often too serious and even more fickle. Usually he readies my toothbrush for me, but the evenings he falls asleep on the couch, I get to them first. Sometimes I know the perfect way to introduce a beautiful dessert, but still other times I am at a loss.

like right now.

Read more »

i had big plans for our harvest moon dinner. lots of chinese flavors, noodles and veggies in a soup, since it was rainy. but instead i made creamy polenta with oven roasted tomatoes. my previous plans were for naught, but it didn't matter. sometimes spontaneity is what you really want, even if you don't know it yet.

happy weekend!

i plan to get past the first chapter of my latest read, work a little more on the babe's bedroom curtains (we're going on 8 months now, maybe 9?), teaching another delicious class at jacob's cove, and working out details with sponsors. I will be sure to fit in a nap or two, and maybe a scenic drive through a colorful canyon.

what are you planning?


This saturday I will be teaching another class at the Jacob's Cove farmhouse in Orem at 11:30 a.m. I would love to have you there, talk with you, and feed you. All the details for signing up are in this post.

saturday's menu includes:
chipotle and lime baba ganoush
week night ratatouille
pumpkin and cardamom rolls
naked apple gallette

come hungry.

update: this class has ended, for more classes check here.