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Today I’m cooking with one of my favorite spirits, Pernod Classic. I’ve had a bottle in my cupboard for as long as I can remember, and it usually found its way into brothy concoctions of herbs, butter, and shellfish. I splash it in soups, whip it into my aioli, and sometimes even my whip cream.

So, when they reached out and asked me to develop some recipes, I was very excited to partner with them. This menu is the result: a creamy fennel & anise scented soup; a saffron, Pernod Classic, and orange infused Bouillabaisse with garlicky saffron aioli (crusty bread required); and a decadent chocolate flourless cake with a Pernod Classic infused whipped cream.

If you aren’t familiar Pernod Classic is a versatile anise & fennel scented liqueur with hints of chamomile & honey that works in both cooking and cocktailing. It’s made in France and conjures up images of both Moulin Rouge era bohemians drinking on Haussmannian rooftops, old men sipping it with a splash of water during the Provence summer surrounded by fields of lavender, and large pots of bouillabaisse simmering in the port town of Marseilles.

It’s a novel in a bottle, and if a cook is only as good as their ingredients (spoiler alert: they are), then this can take your recipes from ordinary to elegant, from everyday to transformative. I think one of the biggest guiding principles in how I develop and think about recipes is: do these flavors tell a story? Do they whisk me away? Is there something unexpected I can take away from eating this? And, of course, is it delicious?

For a recipe to make it, it has to tick all those boxes. And these do. Mix up a cocktail with Pernod Classic (or enjoy it simply on ice with a splash of water), and you have an elegant evening at home from plate to pour that will whisk you away to France with each bite.

I recommend taking care to source the absolute best seafood you can find for your Bouillabaisse—it doesn’t matter so much what seafood mix you use, but more that it’s high quality. Firm white fish, crustaceans, and mollusks all do very well in it. For the soup, make sure it’s very well blended, and for a more refined texture you can even strain it by pushing it through a fine sieve with the back of a ladle. Lastly, make sure you only lightly whip the cream for the dessert, it should be soft, not stiff.

Flourless Chocolate Pernod Classic Cake (serves 8-10)

10 tablespoons plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp, divided
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tablespoon for dusting
10 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (67%)
1/4 cup Pernod Classic
5 large eggs, separated
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cold Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoon Pernod Classic

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and put a rack in the center.
  2. Prepare a 9″ spring form pan. Spread 1 tablespoon of the softened butter over the bottom and sides the pan and sprinkle with enough cocoa to lightly coat it. Shake the pan around in a circle to make sure the cocoa powder is evenly coating the entirety of the pan, tossing out any excess.
  3. Place the remaining butter and the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, whisking constantly until shiny, melted, and smooth. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes until the chocolate is warm, but not hot.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture. Sift in the remaining cocoa powder (I just pass it through a sieve) and salt. Add the vanilla extract and Pernod Classic and whisk until completely combined.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at low to medium speed for about 15 to 20 seconds until foamy.
  6. Add the cream of tartar and beat at medium speed, for about 1 minute, until the whites form soft peaks.
  7. With the mixer still at medium speed, gradually add the sugar and beat until you’ve created glossy, stiff peaks that stand by themselves when you lift the beaters slightly, 1 to 2 more minutes.
  8. Stir about a quarter of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, with a baking spatula, gently scoop the remaining egg whites into the batter. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture by pulling the spatula toward you from the center of the bowl and then turning the batter over on itself and rotating the bowl as you do so. Continue to do this to incorporate the egg whites without losing volume.

Bake the cake:

  1. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake has risen ever-so-slightly in the center and is set enough in the center that it will not jiggle when the pan moves. If it pulls away from the sides of the pan, it’s overcooked, though it should pull away as it cools. Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the side of the pan and serve with the Pernod Classic whipped cream.
  3. While the cake bakes, make the whipped cream. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the Pernod Classic, heavy cream, and sugar until just thickened. Be very careful to not over beat! It should be soft and just barely set up.
Pernod Classic Roast Fennel & Cauliflower Cream Soup (serve 6 as a starter)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided in half
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 large fennel bulb, fronds removes & reserved, chopped into 1″ pieces
1 medium leek
1 small shallot
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground to a powder
1 teaspoon sugar
6 cups of vegetable stock
juice of a lemon
1/3 cup Pernod Classic
1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 450. Toss cauliflower and fennel with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast for 30 minutes until starting to blacken and brown.
  2. In a heavy soup pot, heat the other tablespoon olive oil until shimmering.
  3. Add the leeks and shallot and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to brown.
  4. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and coriander and cook 1 minute more.
  5. Add the roasted cauliflower & fennel, stock, lemon, sugar, and Pernod Classic.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes to meld the flavors. Transfer to a vitamix or blender, blend until completely smooth, and return to the pot through a sieve for an extra refined texture or don’t sieve for a more rustic texture. If the soup is too thick, thin with additional stock.
  7. Stir in the cream until combined.
  8. Season to taste with salt, sugar, and lemon juice.
  9. Serve hot with fennel fronds and a drizzle of cream.

Pernod Classic & Saffron Bouillabaisse Recipe

Serving Size: 8-12 People

Ingredients

    For Broth
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 small yellow Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 lb canned whole tomatoes (unsalted), roughly chopped or crushed with the back of a spoon in the pot
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 fennel bulbs, green tops removed, fronds reserved, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 big pinches saffron
  • Peel of one orange, pith removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or 3 sprigs fresh
  • 2 lb fish bones
  • shells from 1 lb shrimp
  • 1/4 cup Pernod Classic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 quarts water
  • For Rouille
  • 3 egg yolk
  • 1 large clove garlic minced into a paste with a 3 finger pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • juice of half a lemon (or more to taste)
  • 1 T luke warm Pernod Classic
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • For Soup
  • 4 medium yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 1" chunks
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, chopped into 1" chunks
  • 3 lbs assorted of the best white fish available
  • 1/2 lb mussels
  • 1/2 lb clams
  • 1 lb shrimp or langoustine, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • Bread for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a stock pot until just shimmering and add the onion and leek.
  2. Cook over med-low until translucent and fragrant but do not brown, 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the tomatoes and garlic, cook 5 more minutes.
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Give a stir, and simmer gently 30 minutes. Strain well, pressing solids to release liquid with back of a ladle.
  5. Season to taste with the juice of half a lemon and additional salt if desired. It should be delicious enough to eat on it's own at this point. Set aside.
  6. While the broth simmers, make the rouille.
  7. Combine the two oils in a pourable measuring cup.
  8. In a bowl set on a wet towel to keep it from sliding, whisk the egg yolk with the mashed garlic clove & salt and cayenne.
  9. Add the tablespoon of Pernod Classic and whisk to combine.
  10. Slowly, drop by drop, add the oils to the mixture until an emulsion forms.
  11. Once an emulsion forms, you can slowly add the oil in a thin stream, periodically whisking in some of the lemon juice until it's all combined. Alternately, it can be made in a blender following the machine's instructions for a mayonnaise.
  12. To assemble the soup, bring the broth back to a simmer in the stock pot.
  13. Add the potatoes and fennel. Simmer 5 minutes.
  14. Add the white fish and simmer another 5 minutes.
  15. Add the mollusks, the clams and mussels, cover and cook until JUST open, about 3 minutes.
  16. Add the scallop and shrimp, turn off the heat, and allow to cook through (3-6 minutes).
  17. Top with fennel fronds and serve with toasted baguette slathered with the saffron rouille and serve immediately with additional rouille and bread on the table.
  18. Instructions For Mayo In a Vitamix:
  19. Combine the two oils in a pourable measuring cup.
  20. Place egg yolk, mustard powder, salt mashed garlic, saffron, cayenne, lemon juice, and Pernod Classic into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  21. Select Variable 1.
  22. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High. Blend for 10 seconds.
  23. Reduce speed to Variable 8.
  24. While machine is running, remove the lid plug and pour in the oil in a thin, steady stream through the lid plug opening until completely used and mixture thickens (about 30 seconds). If mixture appears to be getting to thick, sprinkle a tiny bit of the warm water in.
  25. Stop machine and stir in any oil sitting on top.
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Miso Glazed Slow Roasted Salmon with Blood Orange, Fennel, & Burnt Citrus Vinaigrette

Winter is still lingering in pockets, while in others (my own) there was a sunshine burst of near 80 degree weather last week! But citrus is still lining the market stalls, so here’s a bright winter rainbow bowl bursting with caramelized fennel & wintery roots, charred citrus, umami miso, succulent slow roasted salmon, and hints of fresh herbs. It’s winter produce with summer vibes. And like virtually all of my recipes now that I’m a working mom, it’s easy and adaptable. First burn some citrus in a skillet, then stir dressing up in a bowl, throw some haphazardly chopped veg on a sheet tray, roast a salmon filet on low for about 15 minutes (or omit it to make this a beautiful vegan rainbow bowl which we do often!), and boil some farro like pasta. Done and done. AND the leftovers are killer with an egg on top. Which is kind of our M.O. in this house. Eggs and avo on #allthethings. We’re not sorry about it.

I’m not ready to let go of winter and my big sweater coat just yet, not ready to trade in my clicky heeled black leather boots for sandals. But this recipe, this recipe spans seasons. This slow roasted salmon rainbow bowl has an almost tropical vibe, which would absolutely put me off of making this it if I read that. But really, in the best possible way.

Slow roasting salmon or raw salmon at my favorite sushi bar are the only two ways I can abide salmon. I hate the weird white stuff (okay, fat) that oozes out of it, the chalky dry texture…just no. I am NOT a salmon fan. Well, I wasn’t. Until I discovered this method a few years back. Low and slow and salmon make great friends. And slow is relative…it still only take a few minutes!

I also usually make a big batch of farro, a big batch of dressing, and a big batch of roasted veg & citrus to use throughout the week so that this doesn’t just feed us once. I’m a BIG advocate of the sheet pan all the things roast. So, don’t feel married to the specific veggies I used here. These are just some of our favorites, so we tend to have them lingering in the fridge. You could use carrots, celery root, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, and anything else that would roast well. And if you don’t have blood oranges? Yeah, just use regular ones! No sweat. No Meyer lemon? Lemon lemons work too.

And a note, if I can’t source GREAT salmon, I tend to omit it or substitute tofu, tempeh, or eggs. It’s a treat. If I can’t find high quality, it won’t be a yummy ingredient, and it isn’t doing the world any favors either. I look for wild Alaskan salmon because the fisheries there are healthy & plentiful. For the sake of the dish and the sake of the fish, be mindful where your seafood is hailing from, how fresh it is, and the methods with which it was caught! Okay, PSA over.

If you can get you hands on some beautiful salmon…this is totally what you should do with it!

Miso Slow Roasted Salmon Bowl + Blood Orange & Fennel

Yield: serves 2 hungry people or 4 as a smaller dish

Slow roasting the salmon renders the fat between the layers and yields moist, pink salmon instead of the dry chalky stuff you get when you roast it on higher heat. And don't feel married to the veggies we have here! I do love the anise scented fennel, sweet beets, cabbage, and radish roasted together, but you can use any winter roots like celery root, parsnips, carrot, or turnips. You can really mix this up and make it your own to use what you have on hand.

Ingredients

    For Miso Dressing
  • 2 tablespoon white miso (can sub red miso)
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (we used untoasted sesame but you can use grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (if you need to omit, slightly increase the maple syrup or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (can sub honey or cane sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons shoyu or tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (can sub whatever good vinegar you have on hand but I'd stay away from balsamic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • juice of 1/2 blood orange
  • juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • For Roasting
  • 1 8-12 ounce piece of awesome salmon ( preferably center cut)
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored & quartered, cut into 1/2" wedges (reserve fronds for garnish!)
  • 1/2 blood orange, sliced
  • 1/2 Meyer lemon, sliced
  • 1-2 golden beets (can sub regular), cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/4 red cabbage, cored & sliced 1/2" thick
  • 1-2 watermelon radishes (can sub any other kind of radish), cut into 1" pieces
  • For the Salad
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • a sprig or two of chopped fresh mint (optional)
  • 1 blood orange, supremed
  • 1 shallot, thinly shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1 small handful chopped roasted, unsalted pistachios (optional, can omit or sub another nut or dukkah!)
  • raw watermelon radish shaved or sliced thin (optional, but great for crunch!)
  • fennel frond

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 250 F.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: heat a nonstick skillet or a skillet with a little bit of oil until it's VERY hot. Quarter a meyer lemon and one of the two blood oranges you should have. Put two quarters of the lemon and two quarters of the blood orange in the crazy hot skillet and char well, reserving the other halves for the salad.The charred pieces should be nice and burnt for maximum flavor!
  3. In a bowl whisk together the all of the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  4. Cook the salmon: season the skin of the salmon with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, and then place the salmon in a parchment lined sheet tray or oven proof skillet skin side down. Spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing over the flesh of the salmon and roast at 275 for 10-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. Slow roasting renders the fat, and the salmon should stay relatively pink instead of getting chalky. It almost looks raw, but it's cooked! If it flakes easily with a fork, it's done regardless of color. It should be tender and moist. I like to crisp the skin in a VERY hot skillet for about 20-30 seconds after roasting because I like crispy skin, but this step is optional.
  5. Prepare the roasted veggies: While the salmon roasts, slice the remaining half of the blood orange and remaining half a meyer lemon in 1/4"-1/2" thick slices, and toss them along with the fennel, beets, cabbage, and radish on a sheet tray with a glug of olive oil and two three finger pinches of flaky salt like kosher or sea salt.
  6. Roast the veggies: Once you've removed the salmon from the oven, crank up the heat to 450 F. Once it comes to temperature, place the sheet tray with the citrus and veggies on it and roast them for 20-30 minutes until tender and caramelized.
  7. Prepare the Salad: While the veggies roast, boil farro in a pot of salted water (you want it salty to season the farro!) until chewy but tender about 10-15 minutes. You don't want it mushy! Farro should have some bite left to it. While the farro cooks, supreme the remaining blood orange by cutting off the peel and pith with a sharp knife and then cutting out the segments.
  8. Assemble the Salad: Place 1/4-1/2 cup cooked farro in each bowl. Top with roasted veggies and torn roasted salmon. Divide mint, supremed blood orange, shallot, avocado, pistachios, shaved radish, and fennel frond evenly among the bowls. Top with the miso dressing and a sprinkling of sea salt if desired. Enjoy the rainbow!
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the essential Paris travel guide & map

Finally the essential Paris travel guide & map are here! Two years ago Matt & I came to Paris. Fast forward to now, and we’ve fallen in love with the city, rented an apartment, and call Paris home 6 months out of the year. Eula took her first bite of food here, her first steps here, and celebrated her first birthday here. It’s become our second home. And I’ve gotten to know it so well, though it’s forever full of surprises. Below I’ve given you my Paris travel tips for the first timer along with my favorite stays, coffee, eats, drinks, and shops. And I’ve included a free map of the most Instagrammable photography spots in Paris….cause I miiiiight know a thing or two about that! The map also has my favorite eats & shops on it, and you can use it on your phone! It’s the perfect companion to a trip to Paris or planning one!

When people ask me “Why Paris?”, all I can really say is because when I look up, it makes me happy. Because my daily errands are more beautiful. Because I can buy a real époisses. Because when I’m surrounded by iron street lamps and Haussmannian rooftops and toy chimneys, I am, it seems, a little lighter. And I am not, by nature, light. I’m, if left to my own devices, an anxious person. And while I subscribe to the old adage, “It’s not where you are, it’s who you are”, I do find where I am can be the icing on the cake provided I’m doing well.

Given the wrong mind set, I can be miserable in Paris or paradise. We all could. But given that I am, on the whole these days, content & ever striving towards a reasonable assessment of the fear & sense of urgency that plague me regardless of circumstance, I find myself generally happy here in our fourth floor walk up come heat wave or snow, both of which we’ve been here for. I prefer the snow.

Paris, I think, is a mirror. If you’re young and wild, she’ll be young and wild. If you’re old and stodgy, she can meet you there as well. If you’re like me and decidedly (one hopes) neither, there’s that too. I spend most of my time in the admittedly bourgie neighborhood of the Marais where we live or working at a co-working space nearby. I rarely adventure to the left bank, though I’ve nothing against it. In the spring I look forward to taking Eula to Luxembourg Gardens to rent a toy sailboat to float on the Grand Bassin duck pond.

My favorite moments thus far have been spent tucked in some cozy café/bar/bistro with my husband or a dear friend, walking along or over the Seine, finding myself near the Louvre and glimpsing it without stopping while buying a power cord one day, magic hour when the streets glow, my morning walk to coffee, and buying flowers & vegetables at the market for supper.

For those wondering, we don’t have a visa, and because we travel so much, we don’t need one. If we ever walk down that road, I’ll be sure to share all about it! As it stands, we spend 3 months here every 6 months, which is how much we are allowed to be in Schengen as Americans. For us & our weird life we crafted, it works perfectly!

Paris Travel Tips
  1. Learn the basics. Most Parisians do speak a little English, but you’re going to get a much warmer welcome if you make an attempt with French. Just being able to say “hello”, “goodbye”, “please”, “excuse me”, “do you speak, English?”, and “thank you” is better than nothing! English has become the international language, especially in capital cities like Paris. You can use it, but don’t be a jerk about it or assume everyone speaks it.
  2. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You’re going to do a LOT of walking if you’re doing it right. Be sensible and chic a la the Parisians and opt for a leather ankle boot…or some good looking trainers! Americans aren’t the only ones sporting sneakers these days.
  3. Carry cash. A few places are cash only, so don’t get caught empty handed!
  4. Keep your wits about you in the metro. There are pick pockets, so stay aware of your surroundings especially late at night. I’ve never had a problem, but I know people who’ve had run ins.
  5. Don’t bust out your laptop at a café, especially on the weekend, instead look for “co-working” spaces if you plan to sit and work. You pay buy the hour but the drinks are free.
  6. Tipping isn’t much of a thing but there’s nothing wrong with a small tip or throwing your change in a tip jar at a coffee shop.
  7. Not all restaurants are child friendly though most are. Call or email ahead if you’re unsure.
  8. Just because they aren’t smiling and hugging doesn’t mean they hate you. Okay, they might hate you, but even friendly Parisians aren’t usually effusive (unless they’re from elsewhere…which many of them are!) And they can be very direct. Don’t take it personally. We’ve found it to be, generally, a very friendly city!
  9. French schedules are weird. Always double check hours online. And even if it says they’re open, don’t be shocked if they’re closed.
  10. The entire city shuts down in August for les vacances. It’s not the best time to visit unless you want quiet and don’t care if a lot of places are closed.

Places to Stay in Paris
  1. Apartments Actually
  2. Hotel Paradis
  3. Hotel Henriette
  4. Hotel Emile
  5. AirBnB – We love le Marais!
  6. Le Citizen
  7. Hotel Particulier 
The Best Specialty Coffee in Paris
  1. Fragments Cafe – beautiful craft coffee and avo toast that’s the stuff of legends. Also, their chocolate cookie. If you’re looking to run into people you know (or know of!), Fragments is the place. Open 7 days a week, Monday-Friday 8 AM – 6 PM & Saturday and Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM.
  2. Boot Cafe – an instagrammable storefront favorite, they also boast craft coffee (no Illy here!) A great place to grab a quick cup (and snap a photo!) a emporter as you explore the Marais.
  3. Loustic – our neighborhood favorite for craft coffee. I’ve been here at least three times this week—the food is as good as the coffee. AND if you’re lucky, catch them on Saturday’s for a breakfast burrito. Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 6 PM, Saturday 9:30 AM – 6 pm, Sunday 10 AM – 6PM.
  4. Neighbours – a small little café with delicious espresso drinks and small bites. I’m obsessed with the granola bowl. Open seven days a week, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 6PM & Saturday-Sunday, 9:30 AM – 6 PM.
  5. Radio Days – a quiet, calm little café with beautiful craft coffee. Open Monday, Wednesday-Friday 8:30 AM – 5 PM, Saturday-Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM. Closed on Tuesdays!
  6. Telescope – another specialty coffee purveyor in Paris. If you take your brews seriously, this is another stop for you. Monday-Friday 8:30 AM – 5 PM, Saturday 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM. Closed on Sundays!
Best Eats in Paris – Breakfast / Brunch  / Juice Bar / Lunch
  1. Holybelly – wildly popular brunch spot—arrive early or at off hours if you aren’t prepared to wait in a line! Also known for having real, great coffee. Open 7 days a week, 9 AM – 5 PM with the last orders taken at 4 PM. No reservations.
  2. Candelaria – Candelaria is many things, but they also happen to have a killer Sunday brunch. Grab some huevos rancheros and a slushy margarita for a departure from the classic croissant & café. Open daily. Taqueria is open 12 PM – 10:30 PM Sunday-Wednesday, 12 PM-11:30 PM Thursday-Saturday, bar open 6 PM – 2 AM. Reservations recommended for a table in the bar and for a table for Sunday brunch.
  3. Le Petit Marcel – a classic little brasserie with a lovely skillet of eggs & bacon, delicious pastries, and very traditional coffees (i.e. not specialty), also open for lunch and dinner. Open 8:30 AM – 12:15 AM daily. No reservations.
  4. Buvette – the sister location of Buvette NYC and Tokyo, this is one of the most beautiful brunches in Paris—piles of fluffy scrambled eggs & thinly shaved ham, a croque madame to die for, and all manner of other deliciousness. Open 8 AM – 12 AM Monday – Friday and 10 AM – 12 AM Saturday & Sunday. No reservations.
  5. Ellsworth – A classy little Sunday brunch spot that also does lunch and dinner (see below) Sunday Brunch 11:30 AM to 3 PM
  6. Frenchie to Go– satisfying brunch classics like Eggs Benedict and killer takes on American treats like pulled pork sandwich, ruebens, and a lobster roll.  Breakfast/brunch until 11:30 AM only. Open daily: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  7. Ob-la-di – a photogenic little tea shop in the heart of the Marais. Opens 8 AM – 5 PM Monday – Friday and 9 AM – 5 PM Saturday & Sunday
  8. Season  – a juice serving, moringa pancake slinging healthyish diner style café. Open Monday-Saturday: 8:30 AM – 1 AM, Sunday 8:30 AM – 7 PM. The kitchen closes at 4 PM on Sundays.
  9. Wild & The Moon-  One of our favorite cold press juice & vegan food joints. A healthyish favorite for sure. I’m obsessed with their
  10. Otium – a gorgeous cold press juice bar in the 9th. Tuesday – Saturday 9:30am – 6pm
  11. Miznon – the best pita of your life—a MUST eat, don’t miss the famous whole roasted cauliflower Sunday –  Thursday 12 PM – 11 PM, Friday 12 PM – 3:30 Pm, Closed Saturdays
Best Restaurants In Paris – Dinner
  1. Au Passage – Rock & roll vibes, small plates, modern food, creative & delicious flavor pairings. Order the things you might normally be afraid of (like duck heart or tripe) because you’ll love it here. Also a good spot for natural wine. Reservation recommended. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 7 PM – 1:30 AM. Closed Monday and Sunday.
  2. Septime – one of our all time favorite meals. A reservation is a must & should be made far in advance. Wine pairing is a must if you’re a wine lover. Open Monday 7:30 Pm – 10 PM, Tuesday-Friday 12:15 PM – 2 PM & 7:30 PM – 10 PM, and closed Saturday and Sunday!
  3. Clamato – seafood lovers heaven, owned by the same group that does Septime. Love this spot for dinner or pre-dinner oysters and something refreshing to drink. Wednesday-Friday 7 PM – 11 PM, Saturday and Sunday 12 PM – 11 PM, Closed Monday and Tuesday!
  4. Verjus – a modern bistro with fresh, creative tasting menus. Reservations required.  Monday-Friday 7 PM – 11 PM, Closed Saturday and Sunday!
  5. Frenchie – Another beautiful, modern bistro. Reservations required. Open Monday-Friday 6:30 PM – 10 PM, and 12 PM – 2 PM also on Thursday and Friday!
  6. Frenchie Wine Bar – the casual sister to Frenchie serving up addictive, high brow comfort food like pastas. Open 7 days a week 6:30 PM until 11 PM! No reservations needed.
  7. Shu – A taste of Japan in Paris. Like being transported to Kyoto. Open Monday-Saturday 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM. Closed on Sundays. Reservations recommended!
  8. Ellsworth – Modern bistro fare in a cozy setting. Open Monday 7 PM – 10:30 PM, Tuesday-Saturday 12:30 PM- 2:30 PM & 7 PM – 10:30 PM, and Sundays 11:30 AM – 3 PM! Reservations recommended!
  9. Le Grand Bain – Hip, small plates bistro in the 19th from a former chef of Au Passage. Don’t miss the panisse & a bottle of natural wine. One of our favorite date night spots—tell Ed hi! Open 7 days a week from 7 PM – 11:30 PM!
  10. Le Mary Celeste – Another cool, modern spot best enjoyed by ordering sundries and sharing them with friends. Open 7 days a week from 6 PM – 2 AM! Reservations recommended!
  11. Le Petit Celestin – The place to go for classic dishes like boeuf bourguignon and a super energetic vibe. Closed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday-Friday 8 AM- 12 AM, Saturday & Sunday 10 AM – 2 AM
  12. Chez L’Ami Jean – Another classic spot serving up traditional French fare. Open Tuesday-Saturday 12 PM – 2 PM, 7 PM – 11 PM. Closed Monday and Sunday.
  13. Les Philosophes – my favorite French Onion soup in the city. Open 7 days a week 9 AM – 2 AM
  14. Robert et Louise – meat and potatoes, Paris style. Come here for the blazing hearth (where the meat is cooked), and don’t miss the escargot! It’s my favorite. Closed Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesday 7 PM – 11 PM, Thursday and Friday 12 PM – 3 Pm & 7 PM – 11 PM, Saturday 12 PM – 3 PM & 6 PM – 11 PM, and Sunday 12 PM – 11 PM.
  15. Dersou – Japanese French food in the heart of Paris with a sophisticated cocktail pairing. Open Tuesday-Friday 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM, Saturday 12 PM – 3 PM & 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM, and Sunday 12 PM – 3 PM.
  16. Buvette – Beautiful food in a cozy atmosphere be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 12 AM & Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM – 12 AM
  17. Candelaria – TACOS. No Reservations needed! Open 7 days a week 12 PM – 11 PM & Friday and Saturday 12 PM – 12 AM.
Best Places to Get a Drink in Paris
  1. Candelaria – Push through the kitchen door of the taco joint to find one of the best mezcal bars in the world. Reservations sometimes needed for a table in the bar. Open 7 days a week 12 PM – 11 PM & Friday and Saturday 12 PM – 12 AM.
  2. Sherry Butts – Chic craft cocktail bar near the Place des Vosges. Open 7 days a week! Tuesday-Saturday 6 PM – 2 AM & Sunday and Monday 8 PM -2 AM.
  3. Septime La Cave – Best wine bar in the city…it can get pretty packed! Open 7 days a week 4 PM – 11 PM!
  4. La Fine Mousse – For the beer lovers. Get your lambic & gueze on. Open 7 days a week 5 PM – 2 AM!
Where to Shop in Paris
  1. Merci  – a lovely cafe with a dream store behind it, great for brunch and a shop. I buy ALL the linens here.
  2. Frederick Gautier Ceramics – small studio, Kyoto inspired ceramic artist
  3. Marché aux Enfants Rouge – Saturday Morning farmer’s market
  4. ZOE LEE – quirky, boutique shoe shop in the Marais
  5. Paul Bert Serpette – my favorite section of the weekend flea markets. Check their website for hours.
  6. La Trésorerie – beautiful, minimalist home goods store
  7. E.DEHILLERIN – reputedly Julia Child’s favorite kitchenware store, a classic not to be missed
  8. Terroirs d’Avenir – A collection of market shops on Rue du Nil—the most gorgeous produce stand, butcher, fish monger, and little bakery
  9. Centre Commercial Kids – A super cute children’s clothing & toy store near Du Pain et Des Idees. They carry Bobo Choses & a few of my other favorite brands.
  10. BONTON – Children’s clothing mecca. Half of Eula’s clothes come from here. Maybe more.
  11. Epices Roellinger Paris – A beautiful spice shop that’s excellent for stocking your pantry or gifts.
  12. Boutique Noë – Japan inspired fashion made in France. Beautiful woven leather bags & comfortable, free form clothing.
  13. Smallable – One more kid’s store! A concept store featuring children’s clothing, toys, home goods, and more!
  14. Le Marais – Okay, this isn’t a shop, but rather a neighborhood filled with shops. Great for a wander if you’re looking to do some shopping.
  15. La Galerie de L’instant – A vintage photography gallery and shop featuring iconic musicians. One day I’m going to get a photograph of Serge Gainsbourg here.
Best Pastries, Bread, Chocolate, and Sweets in Paris
  1. Du Pain et Des Idees – my all time favorite bakery in Paris. Open Monday-Friday 6:30 am – 8 PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday!
  2. Poilane – an iconic bread bakery. Ina Garten has been known to stop in here. Monday – Saturday 8:00 AM – 7:30 PM & Sunday 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
  3. Jacques Genin – delicious caramels & pate de fruit! Open Tuesday-Sunday 11 AM – 7 PM. Closes at 7:30 PM on Saturdays and closed on Mondays
  4. Le Chocolate Alain Ducasse – Ducasse does chocolate…enough said? Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30 AM – 7:00 PM.
  5. Paris Ladurée Royale – A classic. There are locations all over the city…so if you happen to be near one, grab a box of treats!

And that friends is IT! It was a labor of love for both you guys & the city to put this guide together, and it truly has ALL of my favorites on it. If you’re traveling to the city make sure you don’t miss the map! You can use it via google maps on your phone so it’s super handy to have on the go! It has some of my favorite walking routes, eats, shops, and allllll the good Instagram & photography spots!

And if you want to see A BUNCH of photos of Paris (hopefully to get you inspired to GO!), keep scrolling. There were so many, and I just couldn’t choose.

cour damoyepark buttes chaumont

place des vosges

passage du grand cerf

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turmeric coconut cauliflower soup

Let’s talk turmeric. The “Queen of Spices”, so called because turmeric, due to the active ingredient curcumin, has powerful healing properties. It helps maintain and support the relief of occasional joint pain and so much more.* Since oxidation and inflammation play such a key role in so many Western diseases and maladies (virtually all of them), turmeric is a easy way to support my overall health. Which is to say, adding it into my daily routines, recipes, and rituals was something of a no brainer.

I’ve been drinking a turmeric, black pepper, lemon, and ginger elixir in the morning for over a year now as the first thing I rehydrate with after sleep, you may have seen me mention it in my slow morning routine guide. A month ago, I started taking Nature’s Way Turmeric Powder dietary supplement and adding it to my elixir instead of chopped root for a few reasons. For one, it’s a certified vegetarian premium extract with 95% curcuminoids with no gluten, soy, sugar, salt, dairy products, or artificial colors & flavors that comes in a BPA free container. And I can throw it in my bag when I travel so I can have my ritual on the go.

As someone who deeply values her routines and comforts both at home and on the road, it’s a switch I won’t be going back from. I just stir ½ teaspoon of the dietary supplement into a big mug of hot water with some freshly cracked black pepper, juice of half a lemon, and a generous amount of grated fresh ginger. I let it steep five minutes, give it a good stir, strain out the solids, and enjoy. That said, it’s a pretty strong potion and not for everyone. So, I didn’t stop there! There are so many other opportunities to incorporate your daily dose of this supplement!

Because it’s so easy to stir into virtually anything, I’ve tried adding Nature’s Way Turmeric dietary supplement to bliss balls, golden milk, granola, stir fries, and this warming soup (I don’t know about you but it’s COLD here!) This golden milk inspired cauliflower soup is a really lovely way to take your daily dose of turmeric, and it’s low carb & plant based yet luxurious & velvety due to the use of coconut milk. It’s compliant with Keto, Paleo, and Whole 30 diets if you’re doing a new year, new you cleanse or living that lifestyle!

And the best part of using the turmeric supplement powder is it’s quick and easy, which I highly value. Slow living isn’t all tea cups & long walks. I’m a full time working mom building a community & business while also working out 5 days a week, writing a cookbook, and traveling the world teaching, writing, and photographing! Not to mention being a wife, friend, and daughter! It’s a beautiful life, but a life this full requires mindfulness and intentional eating to maintain the clarity, health, and energy necessary for me to run on all cylinders. So a dietary supplement I can stir into a simple soup or a cup of lemon tea is a big win.

We have to remember, wellness doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Our lives are complex webs woven of our bodies, the environment, the compounds we eat, the thoughts we think, the people in our lives, what we spend our days doing. When I’m looking to heal or maintain health, diet and thoughts are the first places I look to make changes. But I start with diet. Because our brains, our very atoms, and in some sense our thoughts themselves are products of what we take in. I know that may sound far fetched, but mood and health are inextricably linked to diet. Our diet isn’t just what fuels our body, it’s what it’s made of. We are quite literally what we ingest.

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

turmeric coconut cauliflower soup

Prep Time: 10 hours

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 side or starter servings

This creamy, golden milk inspired soup is designed to be low carb friendly, vegan, and easy to make while still being beautiful, life-giving, and delicious. Here at Local Milk, we believe you don't have to choose between your pleasure and your health. And this soup is a testament to that. It's a great way to get your daily turmeric supplement in, yet sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, skins left on
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 shallot or small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (no need to peel it!)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw honey (can substitute regular no problem!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • Optional Toppings
  • fresh herbs
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • chopped nuts or dukkah
  • drizzle of coconut cream
  • reserved pieces of roasted cauliflower

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 450°. Cut cauliflower into florets.
  2. Toss the florets and the garlic cloves with the salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a sheet pan.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes until golden and starting to blacken in some places. Remove from oven, and when they're cool enough to handle, pop the roasted garlic out of its skin.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the additional teaspoon of oil in a soup pot and cook the shallot or onion until translucent and fragrant but not brown.
  5. Add in the coconut milk, water or broth, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, honey, ginger, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and then dissolve the miso in about one ladle of the broth and add it back in along with the roasted cauliflower (reserve a few pieces for garnish), and roasted garlic. Simmer for about 10 minutes to meld the flavors.
  6. Puree in a blender, adding additional water or broth to reach your desired consistency if it's too thick.
  7. Return to a clean pot, season to taste with salt, lemon, and honey if desired. Serve with optional garnishes such as fresh herbs, toasted coconut flakes, chopped nuts or dukkah, a drizzle of coconut cream, and a few reserved pieces of roasted cauliflower.
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This post was sponsored by Nature’s Way, a company I’m super proud and excited to work with because they share my passion for herbs and natural healing. All opinions, recipes, and photos are my own!

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Adaptogen Coconut Cacao Bliss Balls

Meet the magical Adaptogen Coconut Cacao Bliss Ball with Reishi & He Shou Wu. I wasn’t always a lover of the so-called “bliss ball”. The one’s I had to be unpleasantly sweet and sticky and chunky, a poor substitute for my sweet vices (namely Haribo gummis of all kinds…). But I couldn’t shake the idea of pretty little balls of energy filled with nutritional bliss. I shelved the idea for ages, but since I started making my own coconut milk for my coconut matcha lattes, I’ve found myself in possession of a lot of coconut pulp that I can’t bring myself to toss. I really wanted to call them Calming Immortality Beauty Bliss Balls. But that’s a bit over the top. And “balls” kinda makes everything funny. Calming Immortality Beauty Bliss Truffles? Eh, we’ll stick with adaptogen coconut cacao bliss balls. Read on to learn more about the magic ingredients!

I make raw vegan chocolate truffles (a luxurious, addictive cousin of the bliss ball), and my surplus of coconut pulp + my vegan truffle recipe + my passion for adaptogens & tonic herbs came together to form the inspiration for this ethereal recipe for adaptogen coconut cacao bliss balls. These are legit magic! They’re truly the best of both worlds: delicious + life-giving. Oh right, aaaand they’re insanely easy to throw together! Clutch.

So, theses contain reishi mushroom powder and he shou wu. Let’s just start by saying if you’re like “he did what?”, these ingredients are super simple to procure online—you can get them all on Amazon! BUT if you don’t have the time, money, or interest….just leave them out!

These are still awesome without the more esoteric ingredients. I think they add the extra magic, but they’re by no means a deal breaker. So don’t let them put you off this recipe for adaptogen coconut cacao bliss balls! If all you can get your hands on is almonds, dates, and coconut flakes, you’re well on your way to making these decadent adaptogen coconut cacao bliss balls—they’re snack time heroes. Eula, at 17 months old, loves them!

That said, if you do decide to dive in and give the adaptogens a try or you’re already a die hard herbal believer, let’s talk a little bit about those two ingredients. First off…

These are both herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. In TCM herbs are classified as either yin (spirit, feminine, cooling, watery, calming), yang (physical, masculine, warm, earthy, energizing), or balanced meaning they’re more towards the middle. Both of these are yin herbs, though reishi leans more towards the middle. They’re also both classed as “adaptogenic herbs”, which simply means they help the body deal with the negative effects of stress if taken consistently over time. For the full benefit of adaptogens, it’s best to take a dose daily. You can find a primer we did on adaptogens here.

Reishi Mushroom

Benefits
A yin herb nicknamed the “King of Mushrooms”, this medicinal mushroom is associated with spiritual power and immortality, and it’s linked to success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. It’s antioxidant, mood supporting (a great addition if you suffer from anxiety or depression), immune supporting, histamine reducing (good if you have allergies), supports heart health, anticarcinogenic (helps prevent cancer), promotes healthy sleep, promotes liver & kidney health, aids brain function, and maintains gut health. ‘Nuf said.

He Shou Wu

Benefits
This mysterious Chinese herb, also known as Fo-Ti, is especially known for it’s anti-aging properties, the name literally translates to “old black haired”, a reference to a legend of a man taking he shou wu and his hair turning from grey back to black. It’s a powerful antioxidant that promotes longevity as well as a known aphrodisiac. We’ll call it relationship promoting, yeah? Okay! It’s also blood toning, anti-inflammatory, stress reducing (as adaptogens generally are), As a strong yin herb it’s also been said to promote spiritual receptiveness, creativity, and inspiration making it a great choice for mystics and artists. If you’re a mystic artist…then this is definitely an herb you should add to your pantry!

Coconut Cacao Bliss Balls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

The glow inducing cousin of the chocolate truffle, these adaptogen coconut cacao bliss balls are an awesome use for leftover coconut pulp from making coconut milk. These addictive, rich bites will fuel you through a busy day, and while they taste indulgent, they're packed with high quality fat, protein, and healing herbs. The reishi and he shou wu are totally optional, and you can even replace them with other herbs or adaptogens of your choice like maca, ashwaganda, or astragalus. While they definitely add the magic, don't feel like you can't make these without them...you totally can! And I speak from experience: you can totally pass these off as candy to your kids!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut pulp (leftover from making coconut milk, can sub almond pulp or other nut pulp)
  • 1 cup (130 grams) of pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted at room temp
  • 1 tablespoon reishi powder (optional, can sub adaptogen of choice or omit)
  • 1 tablespoon he shou wu (optional, can sub adaptogen of choice or omit)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
  • optional toppings: crushed freeze dried raspberries (my fave!), pistachios, rose petals, flaky salt, dark chocolate, cacao powder, coconut dust, toasted coconut flakes, bee pollen

Instructions

  1. Throw the almonds into a Vitamix, blender, or food processor. All will work, though I prefer the Vitamix. Pulse on medium speed about five times to chop them roughly, and then add the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Pulse on medium another five times to bring it all together, using the tamper to help if using a Vitamix or blender, and then blend on high, mixing well with the tamper as you blend, briefly until combined. I usually turn it off to give the blender a rest, and then give it one more good go. Having a few almond chunks is normal (and yummy!)
  3. Scrape into a bowl and chill for about 30 minutes before forming into balls. Using your hands, form into balls. I used heaping tablespoon sized portions.
  4. To finish, dust with fun stuff like toasted coconut, bee pollen, cacao nibs, flower petals, crushed freeze dried raspberries, and flaky salt. You can even dip them in melted dark chocolate for an extra indulgent treat. My favorite by far is rolling them in the crushed freeze dried raspberries! Store covered in the fridge for up to one week.
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Full dislcosure: we call this the Matt Salad. Or Malad for short. My husband whipped this up for our little team one afternoon while we were working at the Local Milk Studio (a.k.a. my house), and we were like “damn son!” And so we tested it, codified it, stylified it, photofied it, and here it is! It’s a great little detox salad for the new year full of whole, healthy ingredients, and it’s ridiculously quick & easy to make. We’re talking ten minutes flat. Five if you’re a savvy meal planning babe with grains and legumes precooked on the ready.

So let me wax nutritional awesomeness about this salad for a minute:It’s got hellah healthy fats from the avo & flax seed oil in the dressing (though you can use olive oil too…no need to go buy flax seed oil just for this is if isn’t something you’d use on the reg!); loads of protein from tempeh, white beans, and quinoa; and the lovely array of vitamins in minerals in our old friend, kale. Kale might not be sexy, but it sure is ubiquitous & nutritious. So maybe the best part of this salad is that it brings kale’s sexy back.

You could drop the quinoa and white beans to make it keto/paleo/whole 30 friendly if that’s your January jam. It’s vegan, dairy free, and gluten free too. It’s a versatile little salad, so if you don’t have white beans, you could use chickpeas, black beans, or your legume of choice instead. Same goes for the greens? Still not buying the idea that kale could every be sexy? Try collards, chard, or any other leathery green. The greens get a quick massage in the dressing to help break them down and make them tender so they aren’t a rubbery mess. Out of quinoa? Hate quinoa? No problem. Substitute the whole grain of your choice or skip it entirely!

Best part? Make a big ol’ bowl (I usually leave the avo off and add it last minute if I’m doing this) and dish it up for lunch for a few days in different ways

5 Ideas for Repurposing Kale & White Bean Salad:
  1. Put it in a wrap with some vegan or non-vegan sour cream or cheese.
  2. Sizzle it in a skillet for a few minutes and top with a fried egg for a healthy breakfast hash.
  3. Turn it into a soup by simmering it in a veggie broth or even water. Try adding some good canned tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, and lemon to taste. Maybe some chili flakes for good measure!
  4. Cook the salad in a skillet and toss with pasta and plenty of lemon.
  5. Put it in a frittata!

Also, if you want to make sure you don’t miss any of the recipes we have coming up (a crazy good turmeric coconut cauliflower soup with miso, beauty bliss balls, and more!) make sure to drop your name and email in the box at the end of this post and subscribe. But what a lot of people don’t know that read this blog is I also send out freebies like tutorials & guides as well as a monthly newsletter called The Art of Slow Living all about work, life, and making your dream life a reality. So if you join the community, there’s a lot more in it for you that just blog posts! We’re even thinking about starting a podcast! If that’s something you’d be interested in, let me know what you’d like to hear us talk about in the comments….I’m wracking my brain for ideas! I have SO many! I would love your feedback.

lemony kale & white bean detox salad with charred tempeh

This recipe serves 4 as a light lunch or 2 really hungry people. You can scale up the recipe as much as you'd like or scale it back to suit your needs. I like to double the recipe so that there are plenty of leftovers to use in other things like soup, wraps, and my favorite thing to do with leftovers is fry them up in a skillet with a little olive oil and top them with a fried egg.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups raw kale, torn or sliced (can sub an other leathery green)
  • 1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed (can sub pulse of your choice)
  • 1 whole Avocado, diced or sliced
  • 4 oz tempeh (half a package, usually), seared in a hot skillet with olive oil and 1/2 inch diced (can substitute seared tofu)
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black or regular sesame seeds
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • For Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Flax Oil (you can omit this and just double the olive oil!)
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  2. Place the kale in a large mixing bowl and top with a tablespoon of the dressing. Massage the kale until slightly wilted.
  3. Add the rest of the salad ingredients, toss to combine. If slicing the avocado, reserve it until you're done tossing and top the salad with it. Top with an extra squeeze of lemon and season to taste with salt as needed.
  4. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They'll last 5-7 days.
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Meet the latest addition to my morning routine, an herb spiked coconut matcha latte full of superfood goodness that I developed with my friend Lauren of Wooden Spoon Herbs in honor of the new year. Intentions have been set. The beast that was 2017 has been reviewed, learned from, and let go. And of my intentions for the new year, prioritizing my morning routine is one of the biggest. It’s easy to say “put on your own oxygen mask first”, but then we all go around acting like we can just hold our breath forever. You can’t. I can’t. No one can.

Self-care is the opposite of self-indulgence. It’s self-discipline, and it’s necessary for caring for anything else be it others, your home, your career, or your business. If you’ve read my blog over the years, then you might be aware of the fact that I’m NOT a morning person. I’m also not a routine person. I like to stay up late, sleep in, and do what I want when I feel like doing it no matter what anyone else or even myself wishes I would do. That’s the hand I was dealt. And it’s a BIG part of why I started my business and decided that working for myself was best. I’m not a good employee for anyone other than me (and frankly not even that sometimes).

I lived most of my life as a night owl, and I thoroughly believe that night owl vs. morning bird status is pretty much physiologically hardwired. My husband is a case study in the latter, me in the former. But I’m a mom now. I run a business full time. I’m writing a book. I’m a grown up. And so, I wake up in the morning. My routine makes this much less painful. It actually gives me something to look forward to in the morning, like this coconut matcha latte, key for getting someone like me out of bed.

But more than that, my morning routine was carefully cultivated from reading and studying the habits of highly effective people. There are certain commonalities that can’t be ignored. And so I slowly but surely found versions of those habits that work for me. I credit these morning habits for a lot of my current success, vision, productivity, and peace during the day. I have 8 incredibly simple habits that help calm the chaos. They tune up my brain and body before the day starts, and help me be efficient, focused, and thoughtful instead of scattered and reactionary. When you have a lot going on but are still trying to live slow, focus is key. This coconut matcha latte helps immensely with my focus. Coffee make me feel insane, and this is just the right amount of clean feeling energy. If you bounce through your day reacting to every little thing that comes your way, you’ll stay forever in the busy trap. These morning habits have helped me reclaim my time and live more peacefully as a full time working mom. No easy feat.

If you’d like to know the Slow Morning Routine I developed and the habits that help me win my days, you can get the free guide I made here!

So, about this coconut matcha latte! It features Wooden Spoon Herbs Super Green Protein Powder—a blend of nettle, oatstraw, and moringa. I put the powder in my post-workout smoothie as well—more about my new workout routine in another post! Elixirs, potions, and brews of all sorts have long been part of my morning rituals as they’ve evolved over the years, and this is my current favorite. When I first wake up I drink hot lemon water with ginger and turmeric, and I drink the coconut matcha latte with my breakfast. In Lauren’s words, because I couldn’t say it better myself because “nutrient dense AF” and “restores juiciness” are too good:

“This matcha potion is super high in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Nettle and oatstraw are highly alkalizing, high in calcium and magnesium too. Nettle is nutrient-dense AF, making it energizing and potently nourishing. It’s high in protein as well as vitamins A, K and many B vitamins, too. Oatstraw, when consumed on a daily basis restores the tissues of the nervous system and is acutely calming. It restores juiciness to all of the body’s tissues, is super high in protein, and contains many B vitamins. Moringa is the secret weapon in my protein powder. It has more antioxidants than blueberries, more fiber than a bowl of oatmeal, and is a complete protein as well as a plant-based source of vitamin B12.”

This coconut matcha latte takes a minute to whip up (critical for anything that’s included in my morning routine!), and even if you make your coconut milk from scratch right then and there it would only take 5-10 minutes. You can make this with water, a mix of water and coconut milk, or 100% coconut milk (or any other milk of your choice!) You can also vary the sweetner or omit it entirely (for an admittedly “earthier” taste…) to suit your preferences and dietary requirements. I usually sweeten with a monkfruit sweetener or maple syrup. Sometimes honey, but I find the taste a little distinctive and prefer to taste the matcha and coconut. But if you love honey, it would be great! Can’t wait to share more potions, elixirs, and brews with you guys in 2018! If you aren’t already subscribed, make sure you hop on the mailing list in the sidebar or pop up to make sure you never miss a recipe + you’ll get looped in on my straight talk (i.e. it’s written like I speak, not quite as poetic as the blog can be sometimes!) newsletter all about building a life & creative business you love!

coconut matcha latte

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings

This vegan matcha latte is rich, creamy, and packed with magical superfoods & herbs to energize your day without the harsh edge of coffee.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (340 grams) hot full fat coconut milk (can sub milk of your choice, hot water, or half warm milk/half hot water)
  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup, monkfruit sweetener, or raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp Super Green Protein Powder (can sub nettle or moringa powder)
  • 1/2 tsp MCT oil (can sub coconut butter or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (if using paste omit sweetener unless you like it sweet, which I do! I use monkfruit sweetener and Nielson Massey Vanilla Bean Paste in mine)
  • dash of cinnamon (I do a two finger pinch)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high power blender or a pot.
  2. Whisk vigorously with a matcha whisk or blend on high for 1 minute until frothy. I prefer to use my Vitamix because I get a level of froth I don't get with the whisk, but both methods work perfectly well.
  3. Pour into cups & drink immediately. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired!
3.1

 

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The goal with this pie was to create a new holiday tradition. I’m southern, and nothing says Thanksgiving like pie, but they’re usually sweet pies. This works as both a meat free Thanksgiving main for those in need of a turkey stand in, but works just as well as a sumptuous side for the classic bird lovers. I wanted to create a recipe that would please everyone. And this, friends, is IT. Made extra creamy by a  milk & Camembert sauce, this is magic food. I can imagine this golden pie steaming on the table of some hobbit home carved out of the trunk of a 1,000 year old tree in a mossy forest populated by fantastical flora and fauna, faeries and all manner of magical beasts. Mr. Tumnus would make this for you if you dropped by. Okay, maybe I just got carried away. But the point remains: this is true feast day food worthy of any holiday table. So, without further ado, meet your new favorite tradition. Trust me.

I differentiate between daily food and feast day food. I have daily routines, and I have holiday traditions. And I use real, wholesome ingredients in both: fresh veggies & fruit, milk, farm eggs, grains, and legumes mostly. The beauty of using fresh, whole ingredients is that I don’t feel I have to choose between the two types of food. I get my light daily food, and I get to have my rich, special food too. I do this because I personally don’t want to live in a world without proper cake, the kind with milk & butter & eggs, or without creamy melted cheese. There really is no substitute for certain ingredients. For instance, in this pie, substituting the whole milk would yield a very, very different result that wouldn’t be comparable—it would affect the texture, flavor, and consistency of the recipe. Besides being a simple way to add protein to the recipe, it’s also key to the texture of the sauce. When I save super rich things like buttery pastry for special occasions, I’ve been able to enjoy them even more, truly use food to celebrate, and stay healthy all at the same time. If I indulge daily, food loses its power to make a day special for me.

I believe in feast day food traditions: birthday cake, Christmas cookies, and Thanksgiving pie. I believe these special foods are made even more special, more delicious, by the fact that they aren’t an everyday affair. That isn’t to say that it has to be an official holiday to feast, there’s a million other reasons to feast: to celebrate, to remember, to inspire, to comfort. Whatever your occasion, this recipe is a welcome addition to any celebration, particularly if it’s chilly out: buttery, flaky puff pastry atop thyme, mushrooms, & sweet fennel in a creamy camembert milk gravy. It’s addictive.

The best part is that while yes, the cheese and pastry make it rich, it’s homemade and uses nutritious ingredients like milk and vegetables. Milk is a simple, wholesome way to help your little one & family get natural protein and a balanced nutrition. All milk is an excellent source of calcium, and serves up other essential nutrients including: high quality protein for lean muscle, vitamin A for a healthy immune system, B vitamins for energy, and bone building nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. Whether you make this your meat free Thanksgiving main or whether it merely threatens to upstage the beloved bird, you need this on your Thanksgiving table. And maybe your Christmas table too. Or just your dinner table if it’s a particularly frigid night, and you’re in need of some serious comfort food. Warmed in the oven and topped with a fried egg, the leftovers are the stuff of brunch legends. It works great with homemade rough puff pastry, but if you need to save a second a high quality store bought puff pastry works great!

mushroom, fennel, & camembert pot pie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 3 medium cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 kg / 1.5 lbs mixed mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, & roughly chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup mushroom or veg broth (low sodium, ideally—if not add the broth then salt to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces camembert or brie (brie will have a milder flavor), rind removed, cut into cubes
  • 1 14 ounce sheet of frozen puff pastry or one recipe of homemade rough puff pastry
  • 1 whole egg, lightly whisked, for brushing
  • Chunky for sprinkling the top of the pastry
  • Thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 F/200 C.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook thyme, shallot, garlic, mushrooms, and fennel with the salt and pepper until the mushrooms just start to release their liquid, about 5-10 minutes. Add sherry, cook until almost all of it evaporates. Stir in the mustard. Add the flour, and stir until none is visible. Whisk in the milk & broth. Simmer until it starts to thicken, then whisk in the cheese until melted.
  3. Pour the mushroom mixture into a 2 quart shallow oval bakin gdish or an 8" square baking dish. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile roll out the pastry to fit your dish. Once cool, top the dish with the pastry and trim to a 1" overhang. Tuck the overhand in, crimping if desired. Cut a vent in the stop, brush with egg, and sprinkle lightly with chunky salt.
  5. Bake on a sheet tray (to catch any sauce that bubbles over) 30 minutes or until puffed, deep golden brown, and pastry is completely cooked through.
  6. Note: You can make this ahead the day before. Simply top with the pastry and then cover. Do not brush with the egg wash until right before baking. It can also be made in about 8 individual 1 cup ramekins.
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This post was created in partnership with Milk Life. All opinions and recipe are my own!

The post wild mushroom, fennel, & camembert pot pie appeared first on Local Milk Blog.

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Meet one of my favorite breakfasts: tamago kake gohan. A traditional, Japanese breakfast dish, tamago kake gohan is a rice and egg bowl that’s quick, easy, and comforting. Seasoned with a bit of shoyu & mirin + topped with furikake, it’s completely addictive. The final bowl is creamy, luscious, umami perfection. I know the raw egg might seem weird, but it cooks, and it’s SO good. Please trust me and try this ASAP. I’ve had it every morning for the past…I don’t even know how many days. You can top it with all kinds of things like scallion, greens, or even raw or cooked salmon or other fish.

We’re currently in Kyoto pretending we’re local for a short two weeks in a little machiya, and I’m feeling so peaceful. Maybe it’s the Buddhist and Shinto energy—there are over 1600 temples and 400 shrines in the city. We wake up early every morning, the whole family up by 6 AM. We take our showers & baths, straighten up, brew a pot of sen-cha, make this breakfast, and then walk to get a morning coffee—a cappuccino for me, filter coffee for dad, and a “babycino” (steamed milk) for Eula. After that we grab groceries on the way home if we need them, and then by 9 we’re settled in for work. I found a derelict machiya (traditional house) for sale for a pittance, and, as I am wont to do, am fantasizing about restoring it and living here part time. My dreams of nesting all over the world are my favorite past time. We call it “hypothetical real estate”.

Lately we’ve been eating this tomago kake gohan, which is as ridiculously simple as it sounds, every morning. I top it with furikake (find it a Japanese grocery, make your own, or order it online!) and serve it alongside a simple yuzu miso soup filled with whatever we have on hand (currently cabbage, mushroom, green bean, and fresh tofu with a scattering of scallion and herbs/sprouts) with tsukemono (Japanese pickles) on the side. And natto, fermented soybeans, for Matt & Eula. Try it: you’ll either love it or hate it. They love it. I…don’t. But wish I did! It’s incredibly good for you.

And TWO quick announcements! If you follow on Instagram, then you probably already know about both of them, but in case you missed it a) I recently released my very first collection of Lightroom presets! What that means is you can have access to my editing in one click! These are the presets I use daily + created from years of what you miiiiight call obsessive photo editing. I hope these can save you some much needed time & take your photos to the next level! Tweak them away to make them your own or just use them as is—they work on everything from food to travel to lifestyle shots. To make them work on ANY photo (they’ll look different on different photos because all light is different), just tweak the white balance until it’s right for your photo and your style!

You can purchase the presets HERE. And as an added bonus you can get a 15% discount code HERE! So grab your discount & then go make them yours! Aaaand second announcement—I’ll keep it quick!—I’m teaching a 4 week intensive E-Course, The Art of Food Photography, this coming January! So if you’re ready to invest in yourself & power level your food photography find ALL the details & register here! Registration will only be open for the next 4 weeks so don’t miss out! If you have questions after reading the description, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

tamago kake gohan (japanese rice and egg bowl)

Ingredients

    for tamago gohan
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked, hot Japanese rice per person
  • 1 egg per person
  • 1 teaspoon mirin per person
  • 1 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce) per person
  • topping ideas
  • sliced scallion (spring onion / tokyo negi)
  • furikake (a must!)
  • cooked or sushi grade raw salmon, tuna, or hamachi
  • ume plums
  • japanese pickles
  • avocado

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or according the the package instructions in a pot or donabe.
  2. In a separate cup combine the raw egg, shoyu, and mirin. Mix well with chopsticks or a fork. Add to the rice and mix well to completely combine with the rice. Alternately, you can make a well in the rice and add it directly to the bowl, mix it well, and then mix it into the rice.
  3. Let sit 5-10 minutes until thickened and you can eat it with chopsticks. Top with desired toppings and dig in! If you want to heat it back up, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then throw on your toppings!
  4. Best served with a simple miso soup on the side for a truly authentic Japanese breakfast experience!
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The post tamago kake gohana simple, quick japanese breakfast appeared first on Local Milk Blog.

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It’s pumpkin season. And that demands PUMPKIN EVERYTHING, amirite? It’s also oatmeal season. So! Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal: my standard breakfast oatmeal pumpkin-ified. Because I wanted to give you some real food for real days, not a big layer cake or a pie recipe that only has any business being made 1 or 2 days out of the year. Nothing wrong with those—I love feast day food & have a couple of really luscious Thanksgiving recipes in the works! But I’m in a practical mood these days. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom now, and that’s how that (vegan, whole grain) cookie crumbles. Haha. So go build a fire, put on a cozy sweater and cable-knit socks, jump in a pile of burnished leaves, fill every corner of your home with decorative heirloom gourds, and put it all on Instagram. But eat this before you do. Cause it’s #fallyall, and that gives us all permission to get a little basic.

I make oatmeal a lot. Like, a LOT. Especially as the weather cools, it starts to take the place of my other stand by eats: yogurt + granola or avo toast + egg. Usually I make mine with homemade mylk (I like almond, hazelnut, and coconut the best), a little sea salt, a little maple syrup or honey, a pinch of whatever spice I’m feeling (usually nutmeg, maybe cinnamon too), maybe a dash of rose water or orange blossom water if I’m feeling fancy, and a swirl of jam (I like raspberry). For crunch I usually throw on a bit of homemade granola (oat on oat action) or some of my “crunchy morning magic” which is just a mix of bee pollen, cacao nibs, super seeds like chia & hemp, and a few chopped nuts like pistachio or hazelnut or whatever I had on hand. I keep the latter in a jar in my pantry, and it goes great in yogurt bowls, porridge, tops smoothies bowls, etc. When I’m in a savory mood I usually throw in some miso, a bit of lemon or ponzu, and top it with scallion, a soft boiled egg, a tiny drizzle of sesame oil, and some furikake or togarashi.

For this sweater weather pumpkin pie oatmeal, try making a puree from scratch at the beginning of the week and using it in this throughout. You can also throw the puree in pumpkin breads, pumpkin waffle and pancake mixes, and soups if you get sick of this. Which you won’t. You can mix up winter gourds like kabocha, sugar pie pumpkin (my fave), butternut, delicata, and even sweet potato (not a gourd, obvs, but it fits right in). So if you’re a CSA person, use whatever winter gourds & sweet roots come your way! To make a puree I just slice up all my gourds, throw ’em on a sheet tray with a little olive oil and sea salt, and roast them at 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 until they’re mushy and fork tender, about 20 minutes. Scoop out all the flesh and store in the fridge. If you want it really smooth, I throw it in my Vitamix (a mere mortal blender will do, but this thing is a game changer) with just a splash of homemade coconut milk to smooth it out. I prefer a smooth puree. By all means, use a can if you’re short on time. I did for this recipe test. Just make sure you don’t accidentally get pie filling. There shouldn’t be anything other than “pumpkin” on the ingredient list and look for BPA free cans.

Some Porridge Pointers  (a.k.a. How to Make Perfect Oatmeal!):
  1. Mix up your grains with things like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, steel cut oats, what have you. Adjust cooking times as needed. Steel cut oats take forever, just sayin’.
  2. But I like oats. And keeping my pantry simple. So for me, it’s always quick cooking oats. Not instant oats. But not old fashioned rolled oats either. Quick cooking oats are just rolled oats that have been cut up a bit, which reduces their surface area which, you guessed it, reduces cook time. And I prefer the texture. If you prefer rolled oats, go for it! You might need to cook it a bit longer though.
  3. Mix up your liquids but don’t use water! Water is sad clown. Whole milk, goat milk, coconut mylk, almond mylk. It’s allllll good. I prefer homemade mylks but if I don’t have time to make them or didn’t think to (read: often), I look for a brand of either whole, local dairy milk or a non-dairy mylk with no weird ingredients (I always read the label). New Barn is an almond mylk I found at Whole Foods with no weird ingredients. You could even try a dashi, broth, or stock for a savory porridge!
  4. Use a 4: 1 liquid to oat ratio for the creamiest oats. Some people use less, but I think this is juuuust right. It will look like a lot of liquid. But them oats drink it right up.
  5. As to method: Boil the liquid, then whisk in the oats + seasonings. Reduce to a bare simmer. Cover. Cook 10 min. Stir. Cook another 5-10 minutes. Done. Stir in goodies.
  6. Don’t eat oatmeal out of a wide bowl. They’ll cool too fast and get all gummy and cold. Gross. A deep bowl or mug will keep the oats on the bottom warm as you work your way to them! My photo in said wide bowl is for styling purposes only.
  7. Season them! Whether you’re making savory oats or sweet oats, a pinch of salt is always a must. (This is directed at you, dear husband! : )
  8. Just kidding. He doesn’t read my blog! He lives with me so he gets to hear it all LIVE.
  9. Jam is the quickest, easiest snazzifier. I always keep one jar of jam in the fridge expressly for this purpose. Sometimes I’m in a blueberry mood, but mostly I’m in a raspberry mood. You do you.
  10. Add some crunch. I personally don’t need any crunch to love a creamy, comforting bowl of oatmeal, but whether it’s chopped fresh fruit or nuts, from an objective texture point the creaminess benefits from some crunch.

pumpkin pie oatmeal

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups unsweetened almond or coconut mylk (can sub whole milk or mylk of your choice!)
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (can sub rolled oats but would need to increase cook time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder or 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • pinch or two of clove powder
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup organic canned or homemade pumpkin puree (sweet potato and butternut squash work too!)
  • topping ideas(all optional)
  • spoonful of coconut oil or pat of butter
  • dollop of yogurt / non dairy yogurt of choice
  • drizzle of coconut mylk or milk of choice
  • toasted pecans, hazelnuts, and/or walnuts
  • toasted pepitas
  • dried or fresh cranberries
  • whipped coconut cream (yum!)
  • brown sugar
  • extra drizzle of maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Bring the milk or mylk to a boil on high heat.
  2. Whisk in the oats, spices, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Reduce heat to a bare simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir once to prevent sticking on the bottom, cover again, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Uncover, stir in the pumpkin puree, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add your desired toppings. In these photos I topped it with a bit of coconut whipped cream, coconut mylk, coconut flakes, toasted pecans & pepitas, a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, dried rose petals (cause pretty), and brown sugar. It was A+!
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The post pumpkin pie oatmeal (vegan + gluten free) appeared first on Local Milk Blog.

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