Not Without Salt » Drinks “Where would we be without salt?” - James Beard Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:07:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bourbon Tonic Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:53:59 +0000 Read more »]]> Bourbon Tonic // Not Without Salt

We have a sweet little neighbor boy who learned to walk this summer. I’ve watched him progress from timidly taking a few steps while holding onto his mom’s hand to now, where he is practically running trying to keep up with my big boys. He’s tenacious that one, bonking his tender head on the very not-tender pavement, letting out a few cries just before he’s up and going again.

Last week I felt like that eager, wobbly little toddler. I launched the cookie mix business with great excitement, a bit of fear and a lot of unknowns. Moments after launching I felt my first bump but far from my last. There were shipping issues to work through which led us to changing our online storefront just two days after launching. Then we had some rogue flour that resisted staying in its pouch and never had I prayed so hard for chocolate not to melt while being shipped across the country. All of this made for a few bruises, mostly on my ego but each time I got back up again, still wobbling but standing.

I forgot for a moment that even in cookie mix its all about the journey. Getting from point A to point B. Refining, improving and growing without letting the bumps keep you from moving.

Bourbon Tonic // Not Without Salt


Bourbon Tonic // Not Without Salt

No journey is complete without others who are willing to walk the path with you. So many times this past week I reached out for a hand to help pull me up and there were several there to choose from. We’d brush off the dust, iron out the kinks and eagerly watch our little cookie mix get better and better (thank you Julie and Gabe and my mom and aunt who drove several hours to come help restock the mix).

I’m still a bit wobbly and bruised but just like our little neighbor, I won’t let a few bumps keep me from running, in fact I’ll just use them to grow, learn and become better.

So, after all of that we’re celebrating with a cocktail.

This simple cocktail has been our Summer ’14 go-to and as we ease into Fall it’s turning into our Fall ’14 go-to.

It comes together quickly with just a few ingredients but like all things done simply, quality is key. Go for the good bourbon (doesn’t have to be THE best but does have to be good), spring for the good tonic and whatever you do use these Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. I feel a bit badly every time I urge people to try these cherries because once you taste them you are ruined for all other maraschino cherry. So start saving your pennies because a jar of these is a pretty one but oh so worth it.

A few more things to add before we cocktail. Thank you, thank you to all who ordered last week. We sold out of our stock two days! But don’t worry there is plenty more mix where that came from and now it’s new and improved. The flour is staying put, the chocolate resisted melting, shipping has more options and the label is now in color!!

If you want to get your mix shipped this week just be sure to place your order by Tuesday at 12 am (PST). We ship out every Wednesday so even if we sell out this week there will be more by next week.

Thanks again for all the support. I read every single comment on the last post and they were like bandaids to the little bumps.

Congratulations to those who won the mix! And to the rest of you, now you are free to buy your own here! ;)

Now, cocktail. CHEERS!

Bourbon Tonic // Not Without Salt


Bourbon Tonic // Not Without Salt

Bourbon Tonic

Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Bourbon

3 ounces Tonic

Slice of lemon

1 Maraschino Cherry

In a rocks glass with ice add the bourbon and tonic. Give a gentle stir then finish with lemon (I like to squeeze it first, Gabe prefers to just drop it in) and a cherry.

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Peppermint Tea Lemonade Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:23:07 +0000 Read more »]]> Peppermint Tea Lemonade // Not Without Salt

I’m in denial that summer is nearing an end. I’ve been here before and I know myself enough to know that it happens in a moment. One moment its tomatoes and the next it’s apples, warm drinks and pumpkin everything. But that moment hasn’t happened yet so I’m still planning on repeated pitchers of this peppermint lemonade.

This was our lemonade of choice this summer. It’s what we sold at the stand and has been the perfect drink to chase away the heat. I love the lingering cold feeling that peppermint leaves on the tongue especially on a particularly hot day, of which we’ve had many. And I’m hoping for several more.

Although I’ve yet to try it, I imagine a splash of vodka or gin would go quite nicely here as well. Cheers to a bit more summer!

Peppermint Tea Lemonade // Not Without Salt

Peppermint Tea Lemonade // Not Without Salt


Peppermint Tea Lemonade

Originally the idea here was to create a Peppermint Arnold Palmer of sorts but it ended up being more like a flavored lemonade. You can add more water to the tea base if you'd like to go with my original plan but this is how I made it again and again. Also, I leave the tea bags in until the pitcher runs dry. By the last glass the peppermint flavor is intense and incredibly refreshing. Feel free to add in more tea bags from the get-go if you like it real minty.

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

3 peppermint tea bags

1 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups cold water

fresh mint leaves (optional)

Stir together the hot water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the peppermint tea bags and let steep for at least 10 minutes.

In a large pitcher combine the peppermint syrup (I keep the tea bags in) with the lemon juice and water. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Serve over ice with fresh mint if you have it.

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Coconut Date Shake Tue, 13 May 2014 19:36:55 +0000 Read more »]]> Coconut Date Shake // Not Without Salt


Coconut Date Shake // Not Without Salt

There are some recipes that just seem too simple to share. Some, that for one reason or another I’ve deemed unworthy of a snapshot and a spot on these pages because of their ease and well, because they seem too ordinary.
I think about this as I make these so-called “humdrum” recipes again and again and again. Then I realize, these are the very recipes that should live here because they are the ones that feed our days. They aren’t set aside for celebrations that mark the passing of a year, the birth of a baby or ones that are tinted with twinkling lights on a pine scented tree. These are the ones that are consumed in the rush to get out the door for school. The ones that silence the 3 o’clock “I’m huuuuuungry” moans. The ones that get made again and again because it’s good not because it heralds many ingredients, is covered in chocolate and touts the latest in seasonal feasting. It’s the very sort of recipe that I want to share so you too will have something to fuel the spaces in your everyday. There’s room here for those too.

Coconut Date Shake // Not Without Salt


Coconut Date Shake // Not Without Salt

Coconut Date Shake

These were born after a recent visit to Palm Desert, more specifically Shield’s Date Garden. There I shared a date shake with my mom under the filtered shadows of palm branches. They use ice cream but I wanted something that had a bit more heft and less sugar because well, I wanted to drink it for breakfast. You know I love my ice cream but I was thrilled that here, I didn’t miss it at all. Use the freshest, softest dates you can find. If there are a little tough it may require more time in the blender.
Serves 2

1/3 cup creamy peanut or almond butter
5 pitted, soft medjool dates
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups ice
pinch salt

Combine everything in a blender then blend until completely smooth.

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Hot Ginger Toddy Thu, 19 Dec 2013 00:44:41 +0000 Read more »]]> Hot Ginger Toddy // Not Without Salt

It’s interesting to me how we all respond differently to recipes. For me there’s a physical reaction when I come across a recipe that I can’t wait to try. Something inside me jumps as if to say, “yes!” I’ll respond by creasing the corner of the page to remind myself to head right to that recipe the next time I pick up the book. Sometimes, and I love this when it happens, I’m so inspired by a recipe I’ll tuck the book under my arm and carry it with me right into the kitchen and immediately get started. For this reason butter always sits on the counter at the ready in case a perfectly softened stick is needed and my excitement can’t bear to wait.

Three words, “hot ginger tea” was all it took to get me straight into the kitchen. The other motivator could have been the fact that I immediately imagined this spicy tea with a splash of bourbon to transform the tea to a toddy and with that our evening’s cocktail was made.

The original recipe comes from David Tanis’ new book, One Good Dish. The book is filled with simple, inspiring and beautiful food. This recipe acts more of a guide and has only four ingredients, including the water. It’s tea in its most basic form. Sliced ginger; woody and hot, dance around a pot of boiling water until the water is deeply spiced. A bit of honey swirls in the pot to sweeten the mix and then for me – a lot of lemon. One its own it is the perfect tea for soothing, warming and healing the sickness that is rampant this time of year. With a splash of bourbon it warms more thoroughly, is suddenly festive and becomes the perfect accessory for drinking on the couch right next to the Christmas tree.

Hot Ginger Toddy // Not Without Salt Hot Ginger Toddy // Not Without Salt

Before you head right into the kitchen I have a few things to tell you about. First of all, my husband and I are teaching a 2-day Food Photography workshop at Aran’s (Cannelle et Vanille) beautiful new studio. It’s just a few blocks away from Pike Place so we will spend some time shopping and shooting there. I’ll take you to a few of my favorite places in the market and we’ll gather some supplies for shooting and eating. I will walk you through my process, we’ll talk about editing, lighting (natural and inexpensive ways to shoot with artificial light) and Gabe – who is the tech genius – will be there to explain technical things better than I can. Where I tend to focus on composition and emotion, he balances me with his numbers and ability to explain things without using my Ritz cracker illustration which no one seems to ever get. The perfect team. I’d love to see you there! You can purchase the workshop here.

Next thing. I’m speaking at The Big Traveling Potluck!! I’m so honored to have been asked and I can’t wait to spend the weekend with many of you. Check out the line up – some of my favorite people will be there.

And finally, (this one gives me butterflies) I’m opening up a pop-up shop this Sunday (12/22) from 2-4 pm! The best slice and bake cookies you can imagine (chocolate chip with sea salt and white chocolate peppermint with vanilla salt) will be available. Right now I’m getting pounds and pounds of Valrhona chocolate and enough butter to make me happy for quite a while. Each package of dough will easily make 1 dozen cookies – enough for you AND Santa. If you are still looking for the perfect hostess gift, this is it. Come by early to make sure you snag yours! You’ll find me and my cookie dough at 1405 NW 70th St 98117 on Sunday. For those of you who aren’t in Seattle, be patient. I’m thinking about how I can get dough to you in 2014.

Hot Ginger Toddy // Not Without Salt


Hot Ginger Toddy

Recipe from, One Good Dish by David Tanis

Serves 4- 6

4 cups water

3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons honey



In a small saucepan bring the water and ginger to a boil. Reduce the heat then simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the honey, taste and add more if you'd like.

Strain out the ginger. Pour 6 ounces or so in a cup, add 1/2 - 1 ounce of bourbon to the cup and finish with a good squeeze of lemon. Taste and add more bourbon or lemon. Garnish with a piece of lemon and enjoy while warm.

The tea keeps covered in the fridge for 2 weeks.

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Caramel Chai Tue, 24 Sep 2013 20:34:27 +0000 Read more »]]> caramel chai // not without salt


caramel chai // not without salt

These days I’m living and breathing the book. I feel like it’s all I think about which most likely is driving my family crazy. This almost obsessive behavior comes from the desire to create a book that represents the best of me right now – the best recipes, photos and words I can possibly muster. In the past couple of days I’ve also come face to face with the reality of the weight of the story I’m telling behind the food. I often tell people that I feel as if I’m writing a book about marriage and cooking simultaneously. It’s one that I’m honored to tell and am eager to talk about how the simple act of sitting around the table with my husband has led us to the best season of our marriage in the 10 years since we said, “I do.”

Because I want these recipes to feel authentic and lived in we are pretty much devoting every meal to some sort of recipe testing. Apple cake for breakfast, roasted onions and brownies for lunch and an even more random potluck of dishes for dinner. On such a day a couple weeks ago, I sat at my computer adjusting 2 tablespoons to 3 and increasing the salt by just a touch when the rain pelting against the window set me shuddering. The gray skies demanded something warm and the 3 o’clock nudge for a bit of sweet hit me hard. A moment later the words caramel and chai danced around my head and suddenly I put down the demands of the book and blanketed the bottom of a sauce pan with sugar. While the sugar melted and crept into caramel I reached for cloves, cinnamon, a plump vanilla bean, peppercorns and fresh ginger. The house smelled comfortable and warm.

It should be noted that for the past two weeks this sweet and creamy blend of spices, milk and sugar has been in a jar in our fridge – replenished as soon as the previous batch runs out for the occasion when a bit of warmth and encouragement is needed in these busy days – so, pretty much everyday.

caramel chai // not without salt caramel chai // not without salt


caramel chai

I find the sweetness here is perfect for an afternoon indulgence but it's a little too sweet for the morning. Which makes it perfect for adding a bit of strong brewed coffee to the mix to cut the sweetness and add the caffeine needed to start the day. Add more milk if you think it too sweet and don't care to add more caffeine  All of the spices are at their best when toasted before adding to the milk. 

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups milk

1 cinnamon stick

8 cardamom pods, smashed

8 whole cloves

1 vanilla bean, split

8 peppercorns

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon loose black tea or the contents from 2 black tea bags.

pinch salt

In a wide saucepan add the 1/2 cup sugar in an even layer. Set the pan over medium high heat and allow the sugar to melt. If the edges start to caramelize carefully stir the sugar so it cooks evenly. Cook the sugar until deep amber in color and the caramel is smoking.

Remove the pan from the heat then carefully add the milk a little at a time to prevent it from boiling over. The caramel will seize but will melt once you bring the pan back to the heat.

Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, vanilla bean, peppercorns, sliced ginger and tea.

Bring the milk to a simmer, stirring to blend in the caramel. Turn off the heat and allow the spices to steep with the milk for 20 minutes.

Strain the chai then serve.

Any leftover chai can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 week.

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