On Sunday, I taught my last class before starting my summer hiatus. We have grand travel plans this summer, and who wants to be in a hot kitchen on a beautiful summer evening, anyway? Thinking about summer brings back memories of waddling around a kitchen last summer, hugely pregnant, teaching from a stool and trying to avoid picking up my heavy tubs of equipment and groceries. Ha! So glad that’s not me this time around. Instead, I’ll be cooking over a camp stove, eating dinner from a picnic table, and happily lugging around 22+ pounds of purely adorable baby chub in a hiking pack.
Before we head out on our adventure, I want to share with you a perfect summer recipe from this last class – it doesn’t require any heat, and packs perfectly for picnics or lunches or backyard barbecues. The class was a collaboration with my friends over at Table Wine, with special gifts from the French jar company Le Parfait. We put together a beautiful, summery salad of farmers’ market snap peas and radishes with torn fresh mozzarella, dressed with lemon and sesame and garnished with chive blossoms from Vitruvian Farms, and paired it with a lovely Italian white wine (more on that, below). Read more
Hello there, all the way from over here in Maternity Leave Land! I left my job at REAP just over a week ago now, leaving myself a few weeks (maybe – turns out babies come on their own schedule) to rest, to avoid much of our August heat and humidity, and to make final baby preparations. I’ve been joking about how I might not get dressed on a daily basis, but that isn’t actually much of a joke – you try finding suitable clean clothes to wear day after day when you’re 8.5+ months pregnant. It’s exhausting enough to require a nap.
In any case – the really exciting part of this whole maternity leave business is that when it’s all done, Bowen Appétit will be my main gig. I’m not going back to REAP after babe arrives, and I’m very excited that in the fall I’ll be able to focus more on offering more and a bigger variety of classes in new locations. I’ll be scheduling quite a few private parties and classes over the holiday season (for those folks who like planning ahead, feel free to get in touch now!), and as with last year I’ll be offering gift certificates for private classes and class registrations. If you have any thoughts or ideas, definitely get in touch. And make sure you’re signed up for our monthly email newsletter (also on leave until the fall) to be the first to hear about classes and other fun announcements.
That said, I have a pretty great summery recipe for you today, one that was part of my celebration dinner last week on the night of my last day of work. I make a lot of fresh corn salads in the summer, though usually I throw in whatever haphazard mix of vegetables, herbs, and other things I can find roaming around the fridge. In this case I had a pretty specific vision, the result of which is the beauty below:
If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve probably noticed I like to use pumpkin seeds quite a bit (like with sunchokes, on free-form salads, with roasted vegetables, in muffins, always in my go-to granola, in chewy granola bars, in cookies). They’re the best substitute I can think of for nuts, which I can’t eat, and in their raw and unsalted form they’re easy to add just about anything for a little extra roughage, protein, and nutty flavor.
But these are no everyday pumpkin seeds. I mean, sure, you could eat them every day, and they’re by no means difficult to make. But these are are pumpkin seeds gone luxury, coated in a sweet and spicy mixture of brown sugar, butter, and spices and baked until toasted and caramelized. They emerge from the oven crunchy, buttery, sweet, and spicy, and completely addictive. I made this batch to put on a salad for a dinner party at a friend’s house, and together with leaf lettuce, roasted carrots, vinegar-soaked red onion, sugar snap peas, and a mish-mash of herbs from my mother-in-law’s garden they were perfect. Read more
I’ve never been a big salad person – I rarely order them at restaurants, and we rarely (very rarely) eat one as a main dish at home (exceptions: add some roasted chicken and some lovely fresh croutons, and I’ll be there). I don’t entirely know why this is; I guess I’ve always just found salads kind of boring, or maybe I’m just not that excited by cold and crunchy things. I guess I’m more of a warm and/or soft sort of person.
(That might be in the running for the best sentence on this site.) Read more
Vegetables and whole grains. Vegetables and whole grains. Vegetables and whole grains.
It started like a whisper, maybe on December 27th or so. It got louder, when we went to McMenamins for pints and burgers. It got louder, when we stopped at Eugene City Bakery to get pastries for the train ride. It got louder, when I couldn’t decide between Swedish Fish and Raisinets at the movie theater so got both. It started screaming by the time we went to Burgerville for lunch, and I could barely hear anything else as I ate my Grand Central Bakery cinnamon roll waiting for our plane back home. And then I spent two days celebrating new years and watching football (i.e. drinking champagne and sausage risotto, and eating pulled pork and drinking beer), and my body said “my god, I give up.”
So tonight we had this for dinner.