All posts tagged: seasonal

Baked Pumpkin Fondue

Starting with Halloween and ending on New Year’s Day, the Holidays are a whirlwind of feasts and gatherings. I recently attended a Halloween Potluck Pumpkin Carving hosted by the best hostess and foodie, the lovely Hayley McCarthy (who was previously featured over the summer in my camp cooking article with her delicious gluten-free Banana Fritters recipe: HERE). For this festive gathering of costumed guests ready to show off their pumpkin carving skills, Hayley baked the most perfect, comforting and gorgeous Holiday dish I had ever seen! As she stepped out of the kitchen dressed in true Halloween fashion as Rosie the Riveter, her Baked Pumpkin Fondue was greeted with oohs and aahs and tasted even better than it looked–if that is even possible. Hayley made this special dish gluten-free to make sure I could partake. As soon as I tasted it, I could not wait to share this recipe with you! It’s absolutely the perfect Holiday dish and a wonderful way to use those leftover pumpkins you have been using for your fall decor. I’m so happy to feature this recipe share from …

Sierra Fall Colors ~ June Lake Loop, CA

October in Southern California. That exciting time of year when pumpkin patch corn mazes start popping up around town, the smell of autumn candles wafts through the air, thoughts of warm apple pies baking in the oven fill your mind and the internet explodes with #pumpkinspice mania. A deep primal need to pull on a sweater, snuggle by a fire and see trees bursting with fall colors begins to take over. Until you realize it’s 90° outside and we’re still stuck between our two seasons of green and greener, warm and insanely hot. Growing up in LA, we only got to experience “real fall” by hopping on a plane to visit our family on the East Coast once in a while. New England always seemed to hold the title for Best Fall Colors in the country. Clearly the Charles Wysocki puzzles I diligently put together fireside on my sunny-and-clear 75° holidays would back that up. I would place each little puzzle piece of bright orange, red and yellow trees next to mini Americana homes with …

Italian Vegetable Stew ~ (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

As summer ends and we step into fall, I can think of nothing more satisfying than a piping-hot, hearty bowl of homemade stew!  The seasonal changes are sometimes subtle here in California but it allows for fresh produce year round.  I love that we can easily get seasonal, organic produce from our local farmer’s market throughout the week or even grow it in our own home garden. At a recent Sirens & Scoundrels trip to Northern California, my friends generously shared their backyard harvest with me and I couldn’t wait to start experimenting in the kitchen! These were some of the best tomatoes I have ever eaten and the beautiful bounty of squash, zucchini and basil ran rampant in their garden. My Italian Vegetable Stew began as an experiment inspired by our farm-to-table experience and became an instant hit! It’s so easy, healthy and delicious (plus it’s vegan and gluten free)!  This crave-worthy, comfort bowl is so rich in flavor because of the quality of the produce. I highly encourage you to use organic ingredients, especially the tomatoes, when making this stew. I’m so happy …

Nectarine Crisp ~ (Gluten Free & Vegan Option)

When I first moved to LA thirteen years ago, one of my first jobs was manning a stall at four different farmer’s markets selling raw cheddar. It was a fairytale of a summer. On Sunday mornings, I was flanked between the fig/berry stand and the peach farmer directly across from a live bluegrass band. As we sat back and listened to some toe-tapping tunes, we snacked on fresh fruit and chatted about life. Now my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning is jumping out of bed, lacing up my Converse and heading down the block to my neighborhood farmer’s market. I head straight to the organic white tent to see what is in season at the moment. As the days turn longer, I know that peaches, nectarines & plums will be aplenty. Leading into summer, my favorite harvest is stone fruit season. Although eating a RAW, ripe, organic sweet nectarine is so decadent and delicious, when I bake, I love to cook fruit into my desserts. I find that fresh organic fruit is so naturally sweet …

Chia Pudding

The first time I saw chia pudding was a few years ago in San Francisco. My friend had ordered it at a brunch and when it arrived, it was as if a work of art had been presented in the middle of our farm table. The black and white chia pudding with apricot compote and rough chopped almonds looked like a mosaic masterpiece. Once I found out how simple it was to make, it’s been a staple in my refrigerator as a quick breakfast, an easy snack or a decadent dessert ever since. Not only is chia pudding gluten-free and can be made vegan & sugar-free, it is packed full of anti-oxidants, fiber, protein and has more Omega-3s than eating salmon. Because this super food is just hitting the mainstream, so far it is a non-GMO, usually organic, whole grain that has calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B1, B2 & B3! I love the versatility of chia. It soaks up the flavor of whatever you add to it. My recipe for chia …

Say Cheese! ~Your Self-Help Guide to Cheese Pairings

This one is for all you cheese lovers out there. Spoiler Alert: This article may trigger impulsive behavior. It may induce intense cheese board fantasies–forcing you to go buy large chunks of cheese, then gather all your friends to eat said cheese while enjoying the best day of your adult lives. Because what’s up with being an adult if you can’t eat as much cheese as you want, whenever you want to? Maybe that’s why I like to create moments that make me feel as if I’m living a life of leisure: lounging in a farmhouse…on a vineyard…in the south of France (where they supposedly have 452 official kinds of different cheese). My favorite thing in the world is sitting down with friends at sunset over a cheese board and a glass of Rosé. Because really, cheese just makes everything better. I want to take your taste buds on an adventure. In solidarity over our mutual cheese obsession, we’ll learn the nitty-gritty about what makes a good cheese pairing. And what could be better than enticing your friends into the …