Parsnip, Date and Walnut Bread

I have been receiving a lot of parsnips from my local CSA. I was hoping to try a sweet recipe after having tried a tasty parsnip cake and this recipe was incredible. There has been a lot of buzz around Joshua McFadden’s new cookbook Six Seasons. It features vegetables so I had to check it out! I adapted this recipe from his Parsnip, Date and Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze. I didn’t make the glaze and honestly do not think this bread needs anything else, it shines on its own.

Parsnip, Date and Walnut Bread

adapted from Six Seasons


  • Butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 150 grams (1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (about 8-12 jewel dates)
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once oven is warm, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven 6-10 minutes until the nuts smell toasty and have a slightly darker appearance. Be careful of burning the nuts, check them early until you know how your oven works. Leave them to cool.
  2. Butter a 22 x 12cm Loaf plan. Add a small amount of flour and coat all the surfaces, dump out any extra flour.
  3. In a medium to large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix in the dates. Try to separate the dates so that they do not clump together.
  4. Place the parsnips in a food process and process until they are finely chopped (similar to quinoa).
  5. Add the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
  6. Pulse in the olive oil until blended.
  7. Fold the parsnip mixture into the dry mixture.
  8. Fold in the toasted walnuts.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes. Start checking at 50 minutes.
  10. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove it from the pan and allow the bread to cool.

Fresh sautéed corn with tomatoes and feta


Hello corn!  I’m a bit behind the eight ball here, I know summer has ended and corn season has passed, however I loved this recipe so much that I want to share it with you!  I moved back to Seattle after living in New Zealand last year, it was an incredible experience.  New Zealand is a beautiful country, the color of the water there is a sea of amazing blues.  If you haven’t been, please put New Zealand on your bucket list!

Onto the corn!  There is nothing more refreshing to me than fresh corn, it doesn’t even need to be cooked but a light sauté can be quite nice.  I used a Deborah Madison recipe as the base and made a few adjustments, fresh feta was one of them.  Feta is probably one of my favorite cheeses to add to a dish to bring another level of flavor to it.  I hope you enjoy next time fresh corn is in season, or go ahead and try some frozen corn!


Fresh sautéed corn with tomatoes and feta

Adapted from Deborah Madison


  • 6 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil or butter (I used olive oil)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Roast the pepper and dice. I used the gas stove top method, I’m still figuring this one out so I will direct you to The Kitchn for a how-to.  If you like more heat, you could try a hotter pepper than a poblano (Deborah Madison suggests Anaheim or New Mexican chile).
  2. Prepare the onion and tomatoes and have these ready to go.
  3. Puree 1 cup of corn kernels with 1 cup of water in a blender for 3 minutes. Then strain out as much liquid as possible using a strainer and set aside.
  4. Finely dice the garlic clove and mix with the cumin, salt and a grind or two of fresh peppers. (Deborah suggests using a mortar to grind these ingredients together, I didn’t have one so opted for finely chopping and mixing, if you have a mortar and pestle go for it!)
  5. Heat the olive oil (or butter) in a large skillet over medium – medium high heat and then add the onion, garlic and pepper and sauté for 4 minutes.
  6. Stir in the corn kernels and corn milk. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomato and cook just until it is warm.
  8. Taste for salt (you will need less if using feta). Stir in the parsley. Top with fresh cold feta cheese and serve

**If you make enough for leftovers like me, only use the feta on what you will be eating. Reheat the corn and add fresh cold feta to your leftovers.  Reheated feta is good too, but changes the flavor and is not as strong as when it is added cold at the end.

Beet Risotto


Another beet post, and another time I am bested by beets.  This beet risotto is magical.  Not only is it a marvelous color, but it is delicious on the day I made it and for days after as leftovers.  AND to top it off, there is minimal cheese in it yet it is no less fantastic than a full cheese risotto.  Healthier and more beautiful. Eat the rainbow!

This recipe comes from Deborah Madison.  She is a vegetarian chef who was recommended to me by a friend and I treated myself to her cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  I’ve made a few recipes so far and completely enjoyed them.

Beet Risotto

slightly adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone


  • 6 cups of vegetable stock (I recommend making this from scratch, I used the Deborah Madison recipe in her book as well, and once you get the hang of it you will be converted to making your own!)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion, white or yellow
  • 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I tend to use whatever I have)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups raw peeled and grated beets (about 2-3 medium beets)
  • chopped beet greens, remove stems (use whatever comes with the beets)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced separated
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino Romano)


  1. Bring the stock in a small pot to a simmer.
  2. Heat the butter is a large pot over medium, then add the onion and saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the wine, simmer until absorbed.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp of parsley, 2 Tbsp basil, all the beets and beet greens and add 2 cups of stock.  Allow this to simmer until the stock is absorbed.
  6. Next begin adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stir frequently until completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup until only 1 cup remains of the stock. Taste the rice, if not cooked, add more stock using the above method until the rice is cooked through.
  7. Season with lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Bar


If you like pecan pie and chocolate you NEED to make these immediately.  A relatively easy recipe to throw together and the results are fantastic.  I took these to a dinner part and they were well received.  I opted to top them with fresh whipped cream but adding vanilla ice cream is another decadent option.  I also eat them as is and you will not be disappointed.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Bars

recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (180 grams)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup of chocolate chunks (semisweet works best)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • **optional: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to serve on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or coconut oil.
  2. To make the crust, mix together the flour, butter and brown sugar until crumbly.  (my method is the lazy version: melt the butter and mix with a spoon) Press into the bottom of the baking pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until light brown.
  3. To make the filling: beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, 1 Tbsp butter and vanilla extract with a whisk or hand mixer. Stir in the chocolate and pecans.  Pour on top of the baked crust
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set.
  5. Cool on a wire rack completely before cutting into bars or eat warm from the pan (let it cool a little so you don’t burn your tongue though)!
  6. Optional: serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Chinese Almond Cookies


I have long loved and lusted after these Chinese Almond Cookies.  I actually do not know the exact name of them, this is my best guess.  I originally found them with my mother at a Jewish bakery.  Most recently though I discovered them at an Italian bakery in Coral Springs and that is where I was lucky enough to find a recipe.

These are about 90% as good as the originals which is pretty good!  And the recipe makes quite a lot of cookies, but you can freeze extras if you need to.  They have a soft texture, not very chewy and the chocolate adds an extra layer of flavor.  The original calls for rolling them in chopped walnuts, I didn’t have any so I used sprinkles.  Both would be fabulous options!

Chinese Almond Cookies

Recipe from Doris’s Italian Market in Coral Springs, Florida


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond past
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12 ounces vegetable shortening
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 cups floud
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 6 ounces melted semisweet chocolate, divided
  • 2 cups walnuts, chopped (or sprinkles which I used!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine sugar and almond paste, works best using a hand mixer or electric mixer
  3. Add salt, baking soda, shortening, eggs, flour, vanilla and almond extract and mix on low speed until a smooth dough is formed
  4. Add 2 ounces of melted chocolate and mix in partially to create a marbled look.
  5. Separate the dough in half and form two logs about 2.5 inches in diameter.
  6. Roll each log in chopped walnuts or sprinkles.
  7. Cut each log into 12 discs.
  8. Place discs on baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until just barely golden brown.
  9. Cool completely and enjoy!


Pea, Paneer, and Cauliflower Chapattis


Hello from New Zealand!  I arrived in New Zealand in October for a 9 month work holiday as they call it here.  I am working at an urgent care and also traveling on my time off to explore the country.  So far the hiking and scenery have been incredible, I’ll share some pictures after the recipe.  The pace of life is definitely slower than America, I am living in Christchurch which is a modest city, quieter than my home in Seattle.  I have a lot more time to read novels and start practicing yoga regularly with free videos on line.  At the same time I’ve been exploring Indian cooking.

I checked out a few cookbooks from the library (again one of my favorite ways to try out recipes).  This recipe is from Anna Jones and her cookbook aimed to get fast, fresh, health filled food on the table easily.  While this recipe was billed in the 15 minute section, I would estimate it took me about 45 minutes to get this to come together.  I made chapattis from scratch which added time but is optional, I will share in the next post!

I ended up combining all the toppings together for my leftovers and reheating it worked brilliantly.  Just as delicious on day 3 as on day 1.  I hope you enjoy!  (side note, also super excited to be in a townhouse that has natural lighting so my pictures look a bit more appetizing)

Pea, Paneer and Cauliflower Chapattis

Adapted from Anna Jones: A Modern Way to Cook


  • 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2Tbsp oil, separated (canola or coconut)
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • half head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 6 curry leaves (fresh or dried ones placed in water for a few minutes)
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 lemons, zest of 1 lemon, juice divided
  • 1 green chili, chopped (add more if you like things spicy)
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro, stems separated from leaves, both chopped
  • 1/2-1cup paneer, crumbled
  • salt and pepper
  • Chapattis (recipe soon to come!)


  1. Boil water in a kettle or on the stove, place the frozen peas into a bowl. Pour boiling water over the frozen peas and leave for 5 minutes, then strain.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the green onions in the heated oil until they begin to turn golden.
  3. Add the cauliflower, curry leaves, mustard seeds and turmeric to the pan with the onions.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the juice of 1 lemon and continue cooking until the juice has evaporated.
  5. Taste a cauliflower, if still too raw, add a few tablespoons of water (1-3) to the pan and cook for a few more minutes until the cauliflower is tender to your liking (5-15 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a separate bowl.
  6. Mash the peas and then mix in the green chili, cilantro stalks, zest of one lemon, juice of half a lemon.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat a tablespoon of canola or coconut oil in the pan on medium high, then add the crumbled paneer.  Toss after a minute or two when it begins to turn golden. Remove from heat when sufficiently golden to your liking.
  8. Assemble by placed mashed peas over chapattis, then top with cauliflower and paneer. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves.

And here are some favorite pictures from New Zealand including crumbled blue cod (aka best fish and chips of my life):


Hello everyone, this is my first post in my new special category of vegetable basics!  I’m going to start placing what I know about certain vegetables and fruits in regards to their storage and preparation methods as I continue cooking.  Hopefully this will be a helpful place to turn when figuring out how to work with different ingredients!


Storage: keep tomatoes at room temperature or in a cool spot, they keep in a single layer best to prevent bruising.


  • How to Peel Tomatoes: Prepare a bowl of ice water.  Bring a pot of water to a gentle rolling boil.  Slice a small “X” in the bottom of the desired number of tomatoes.  Drop several tomatoes into the boiling water and wait 10-90 seconds for the skins to start to wrinkle.  Then scoop out with a slotted spoon and place into the ice bath.  When the tomatoes are cool peel the skin off the tomatoes!
  • **the amount of time your tomatoes will need in the boiling water will vary based on how fresh your tomato is, about 10 seconds for a super ripe farmers market tomato almost about to be overripe to around 60 seconds for your average grocery store tomato that is not quite as fresh



Food 52 Guacamole 003

I absolutely love fresh guacamole.  I was excited to check out the Food 52 Genius cookbook from the library and decided to give this recipe a whirl.  Finely chopping the ingredients and using a mortar and pestle are the main differences that help to elevate this guacamole.  I never had jalapeno as called for in the original recipe, it was tasty without but if you have jalapeno on hand then I would add it in!

The method I learned here for removing the avocado in chunks it my new favorite way to quickly add avocado to my favorite salads, sandwiches etc in addition to using it in this guacamole.

Food 52’s Guacamole

Adapted slightly from Food 52


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  • squeeze of lime
  • optional** 1 Tbsp minced fresh serrano or jalapeno chile (including seeds if you want your guacamole more spicy)


  1. Mash the onion,salt and half of the cilantro to a paste in a mortar (and chile if using).
  2. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern (do not go through the skin) with a knife and then scoop it with a spoon into the bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the cilantro and lime juice and mash the avocados, leaving some larger pieces with a fork.
  4. Add additional salt and/or chile to taste.

April Bloomfield’s Kale Polenta

heApril Bloomfield Kale Polenta 3

I was browsing the cookbooks in my favorite technical bookstore in Seattle when I ran across A Girl and Her Greens by April Bloomfield.  I was intrigued by the wonderful colors and recipes featuring vegetables.  I went home and reserved the cookbook from the library and ultimately decided to try out the kale polenta.  This was my first time making polenta and it was delightfully warm and creamy.

April Bloomfield Kale Polenta 1

Treat yourself to something special and try this out tonight!

Kale Polenta Recipe

April Bloomfield’s Website


Mascarpone Hazelnut Meyer Lemon Pasta

Kitchn Mascarpone Cheese Pasta 2

I had extra mascarpone cheese from polenta I made earlier in the week so I began searching for other savory ways to use it.  I came across this recipe on The Kitchn and decided it was a great way to try out meyer lemons for the first time.  I have never cooked with meyer lemon before but this recipe made me eager to try it out more often!
I also splurged and bought fresh pasta in the refrigerator section and would say that it elevated this dish to transcendent.  If you have never branched away from boxed pasta let this be an excuse to do so.  Fresh pasta cooks in about 2-3 minutes and is soft, tender, and well worth the extra price.
*I used fresh pasta instead of boxed spaghetti