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Posts from the ‘Life’ Category

The next thing

Hello from Seattle! (More on that in a moment.) It’s been a long time since I’ve been here on this site, and I apologize for that – it was a very long and tiring spring, and the other side is long and tiring for plenty of other reasons, involving moving boxes and homeownership and starting preschool and all sorts of other things that come along with moving across the country. But I want to check in, give an update, and pass along a few recipe recommendations.

We moved to Seattle! We’ve spent most of 2017 thus far focusing on an impending move and all the details associated with it, and we’re very happy to say we’ve ended up back in the Pacific Northwest. We have two full salmon in our freezer and a raspberry bush in the backyard, and on the way back from camping last weekend we casually stopped at a oyster farm for lunch. Needless to say, it feels good to be back.

We’re settling into a new house in West Seattle and Aldo’s started part-time preschool, and I’m focusing on doing some communications freelancing and perhaps a bit of personal chef work. That’s right, no more cooking classes! I love teaching, but evening and weekend work is difficult with little kids at home and a partner commuting and working full-time, and to be honest I was ready to explore some different things (lugging pots and pans and massive bags of groceries around town is no walk in the park). I’ve been doing communications work – writing, editing, graphics – for my entire career, and I’m excited to help small businesses and organizations tell their stories. I’m still working on finalizing a website and other materials, but a basic web portfolio of my work is up here and I work with clients all over, so get in touch if you’re in need of writing, design, editing, or culinary development work.

If I’m totally honest, I’m not sure what will happen with this space – I’m planning to keep cataloging and sharing the things I make that I love, it just might not happen as often as it once did. But I’m still here!

In the meantime, here are some recent hits:

Sarah’s mapo eggplant

Squash, greens, and quinoa fritters – I doubled the eggs to get all that fluffy chopped kale to stay in line

Pulled pork for Aldo’s second birthday party

Pork and shiitake udon – we used non-instant udon and both pork and shitake, and it was one of the best things we’ve made in months

Miso sweet potato and broccoli bowl with farro or quinoa

Curried coconut red lentils, which is a very frequently used recipe in our house

Tomato and watermelon salad, which you could probably make once or twice more before summer slips away

Cucumber-mint agua fresca PLUS: Whisk is here!

Remember way back in February when I announced my official collaboration with Things I Made Today and Wisconsin From Scratch? We’re back with more developments. Developments that might even include you! We’ve been gradually working on this behind the scenes for over half a year now, and today we’re excited to make some major new announcements! Together the three of us have formed Whisk, a collaborative project for Wisconsin-based food bloggers and other media folks. We have a lot of long-term plans to grow this community, helping us support each other and build new skills and offering opportunities to partner with local producers and businesses.

For now? The most exciting part of this announcement is that we are accepting member blogs as of TODAY! If you’re interested, head over to our website, see what we’re offering, submit your info, and we’ll be in touch soon. Whether you send us your info or not, we’re also hosting our first meet-up on Thursday, September 3 from 5-7 p.m. (location tbd). Join us to chat with other local food bloggers and hear what Whisk is all about! (The sad news it that it’s fairly unlikely that I’ll actually be there, since that’s nearly two weeks after my due date … but Vicky and Sarah will host you excellently.) We’ll post more details on our website and on our respective social media sites as more details come together.


In celebration of this launch, we recently hosted a little picnic for ourselves featuring a collaborative summer menu perfect for all your remaining summer picnic plans (even our amazing intern Alice got in on the action – that’s her delicious kale salad with crispy chickpeas you see in some of the photos).

Want to picnic with Whisk? Here’s what you’re in for:

TIMT-falafelFava bean falafel w. mint-yogurt sauce

Lebanese-style falafel, packed with chickpeas and fava beans, and paired with a cooling mint-yogurt sauce. 

Full recipe at Things I Made Today


Cucumber-mint-agua-fresca2Cucumber mint agua fresca

A pitcher-worthy cooler packed with garden-fresh cucumber and mint.

See recipe below



WFS-peachalmondcakesMini peach almond cakes

Handheld sweets packed with fresh peaches make sharing easy!

Full recipe at Wisconsin From Scratch



I chose to contribute a beverage for the event as somewhat of a challenge to myself, struggling to get excited about fun summery beverages that are non-alcoholic. As cucumbers flood into gardens and farmers’ markets this time of year, this is a perfect one to bring to your next picnic or party or to have stashed in a big jug in the fridge. (And if you wanted to add a splash of gin or vodka, heavens knows I wouldn’t stop you … I have it on good authority that it’s delicious.) Read more

New classes, new email newsletter, and a few mixed links


Summer’s starting to slip away at a somewhat alarming rate, putting a bit of pressure on the to-do list I set for myself a few months back. (Let it be noted that I am not very good at that whole “quiet, slow, relaxing summer” thing.) But: here I am! Getting things done! Here are two important things I’d like to pass along to you:

Registration is open for the rest of my summer classes. There are three classes offered in my home kitchen and my first class at the Madison Whole Foods Market (exciting!). I’m in talks with a few other venues to start teaching in the fall, so stay tuned!

I’ll soon be sending out the first edition of the Bowen Appétit email newsletter! Approximately each month, these emails will drop in your inbox with an updated class schedule, a fun recipe, special offers, kitchen tips, and more. Woo hoo! SIGN UP HERE

AND: The first 15 people who sign up for the email newsletter will receive a $5 discount on a future Bowen Appétit class (or a $10 discount on two registrations!).

Just a few other notes of interest:

If you’re as firmly embedded in picnic season as I am, you might find some fun ideas in the picnic post I wrote for The Kitchen Gallery’s blog.

We’re having one of our rare at-home weekends this summer, and just enjoyed a leisurely brunch of these waffles, perfect for when you didn’t plan for my all-time favorite overnight yeasted waffles.

It’s not really chocolate chip cookie season, but this is an incredible read.

I’m seriously behind on my plans to grill fruit for cocktails.

When I can get it

Our daily schedule here in Madison is in some ways quite different than the one we had in California, and one of the unfortunate differences is that six days of the week I’m out of the house within 15 minutes of waking up, packing a breakfast that needs to sit for two hours at room temperature before I eat it. For the most part this means nothing warm, nothing toasted, nothing prepared much at all, which eliminates much of what I like to eat in the mornings. I get by with granola and milk or baked goods or peanut butter sandwiches, but I really miss my breakfasts of fresh bread with butter and honey, or eggs and toast, or steaming hot oats with fruit and cold milk, and not having a chance to be in the house in the mornings has been leaving me feeling a little burned out on these cold and blustery days.

But that one morning each week when I have time to eat at home in the morning is something I look forward to all week. It’s not an elaborate breakfast but generally the most simple that I want the most; something fitting for a leisurely morning at the dining room table with a cup of coffee or a few shots of espresso or some sweet, milky tea, with the curtains open to let the light in and plenty of time for Brett and I to sit at one end of the table together and quietly eat and read or write or work on whatever needs our attention. On these cold winter days in particular, my quiet and slow mornings are a very needed opportunity to recover from the rest of the week.



This isn’t so much a recipe to write about as it is a way of thinking of these meals – as long as there’s eggs and bread (or tortillas, or barely-sweet scones, or some other good base) in the house, the other bits and pieces we pull together have a knack of making exactly the meal I needed. There’s a lot you can put between a slice of bread and a cooked egg, and in my experience almost all options are good ones. In this case it was caramelized onions and the last scraps of a block of Otter Creek Summer Cheddar, boosting up our favorite eggs from Pecatonica Valley Farm and slices of Batch Bakehouse‘s cracked wheat loaf, all followed by more slices of bread spread with cold butter and drizzled generously with vanilla-infused honey. I played some of my favorite studying albums from college, and we sat at the table for the rest of the morning, quietly working and catching up on reading. We managed to spread it out until it was time to transition into a quick lunch of leftovers before I headed to a work event, and the pace of the morning kept me sane through a scurrying afternoon and evening.

I never thought of myself as a person who enjoyed a slow, quiet morning – always wanting to get a jump start on the work and activity for the day – and perhaps if all of them were this way I wouldn’t appreciate it nearly so much, but for now, the ones I have are exactly what I need.

Not for lack of effort or good intentions

Has it really been three weeks since I’ve posted? This full-on descent into winter has been quickly passing me by, full of holiday preparations and enjoying the new weather, six days spent bed-ridden with the worst cold I can remember, and, most notably for this venue, a sustained spell of culinary disappointments. Often when I don’t post for a while I add an assurance that there has been plenty to share and write about, just no time to do it – but not this time. This evening all I have to report is three weeks of strange, underwhelming, and/or otherwise unsharable adventures in the kitchen.


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