Winter Slaw + Jalapeño Tahini Dressing

Winter Slaw Winter Slaw

A gaping void in the corner exists where the tree once stood while its soft scented needles still require vacuuming. I breathe in deep soaking in the quiet. The kids are back in school, the house is still, apart from Lily the pup, chewing on her squeaky toy. Two weeks ago we started a season filled with family, friends and oh so much food and I loved it, savored it, lived it and now the quiet feels foreign and so freaking good.

Before jumping back into work emails I open a newsletter from Brené Brown (http://www.courageworks.com/). In it she shares her new year’s questions that she asks herself every year.

  1. What do I want more of in my life?
  2. How do I let go of what’s no longer serving me?
  3. What will make me feel more alive? More brave?
  4. At the end of every day and at the end of every year, I need to know that I contributed more than I criticized. How have I contributed and what will that look like moving forward?
Winter Slaw

 

I put off work just a bit longer in order to spend time sitting with these questions. By the time I’ve worked my way through them I see the words laughter, joy, and simplicity repeat themselves. I write fear, insecurity and comparison where she asks what’s no longer serving me. At the end of it I write ‘Honor the simple joys’ on a blank sheet of paper. Not even knowing what it means I follow the nudging as these words float in like a breeze. They’ve not left me since and serve as a soft reminder to soak in our everydays and appreciate them for what they are, not what I think they need to be. Repeating them on a continuous loop in my mind I slow down. Hopefully I can keep this up.

I’m sharing these questions here in case you too need a bit of a push to think through this new year. It’s a great place to start. As is salad. At the end of all the festivities I made no resolutions for big changes in my diet but rather continued the commitment to listen to my body and feed it what it needs. Although I’m not sure it really needed the number of cocktails I enjoyed during the holidays. This salad was responding to my body’s cry for freshness.

This is the sort of salad where you could sit and eat an entire bowl and still feel real great about yourself. The dressing, simply tahini and pickled jalapeños blended together with a touch of salt and enough water to get it to the right consistency, is flavorful and as light as they come. Don’t shy away from the sprinkling of cumin seeds and if you’re okay with cheese I think a fresh salty feta would be a nice addition.

Winter Slaw Winter Slaw Winter Slaw

 

Winter Slaw with Tahini Jalapeño Dressing

1/4 head purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

1 cup roughly chopped cilantro

3 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled into strips

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 avocado, halved and sliced

1/3 – 1/2 cup toasted pepitas

 

1/4 cup tahini

1/8 cup pickled jalapeños, drained

1/4 cup water (more or less)

Pinch salt

 

In a large bowl combine the purple and napa cabbage along with the cilantro and scallions.

Blend together the tahini, pickled jalapeños, and salt in a blender or food processor. Add enough water to make a creamy dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Toss the greens with the dressing. Tip the salad onto a platter then top with the carrots and sliced avocado. Sprinkle the cumin seeds and pepitas over top.

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Goodbye 2016

London // NotWithoutSalt.com

When it comes to the end of the year I’m just so excited to say good riddance to the current year and a big waving arms hello to a bright and shiny new year. So much so I’ll zip right on passed the reflection and jump immediately into how to make the next year the best one yet. With buzzy delight I make plans for what I hope to accomplish, think on huge bowls of salad, set lofty business goals, plan epic family adventures and figure out what YouTube exercise video I will sweat to for about a week or two.

This year, I think we might all agree, is one in which I am most eager to say a hearty GOODBYE!! But there is something missed when I jump right into planning and dream making and forget all about the check off goals, memories, delicious things, and even the humdrum of the everyday from the year past. This is the time of year in our family when the conversations around the dinner table and in the brief quiet moments in between activities are marked with some of our favorite days from the year.

Just moments ago I was sitting down with blank paper in hand getting ready to map out 2017 but before that I want to, with you by my side, look at 2016 and say thank you. Thank you for the memories, the lessons you taught us and the simple joys that marked our days. And to you all, thank you, seriously. From the very depths of my heart I say thank you – for being here, for adding to the conversation, for reading the words and adding your own, for inviting my food into your kitchen and for enabling me to do what I love. 2017 is going to be a great one but we’ll get there soon enough.

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Travel. I think this is what I am perhaps the most grateful to this year for. It’s sort of ridiculous to look back over twelve short months and think on all the places I’ve been. 

In March I made my first ever trip to Paris and as one does, I fell completely in love with the city. The more time I spend away from that stunning place the more I realize how much I indeed love it.

In May I returned to Italy (the birthplace of my love of food) for the first time since I lived there in college. Once again I found God in my Carbonara.

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In June/July we took the kids on a three-week European adventure. The effects of the trip continue to overwhelm and delight me. I love that my children are already building on their own travel memories and have real tastes, sights, smells, and sounds to recall. I fulfilled a lifelong dream of wandering through Monet’s Garden and bought art supplies from the same shop that has been supplying artists for generations. We discovered how much we all love ham and butter on baguettes and experience the perfect rain escape – Chocolat Chaud at Les Deux Magots. With great fervor I had planned on sharing more of that trip and if you are okay with it I’d still like to do so even though we’ve now been home for quite awhile.

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There was also New York, LA, Sonoma, North Carolina, and most recently Washington D.C. There I, oh you know, just decorated Bo and Sunny sugar cookies with the White House Pastry Chef, Susan Morrison (!!!) Molly, Joy, and I quickly became what I’ll consider experts on piping the perfect red collar out of royal icing. After our time in the kitchen we gawked at the stunning holiday decor that adorned every room and kept our eyes peeled for the possibility of a Michelle sighting.

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Home. This year we celebrated a year in our new home. Another year of beach picnics, ignoring the lavish garden plans I made but enjoying the raspberries and what few blueberries we found on our bush, and inviting people to our table. We also added a little pup, Lily, to the family. She’s a sweet rescue dog that is currently enrolled in puppy kindergarten which, we’re hoping that perhaps this training will save our socks. Fingers crossed.
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Travel Portland // NotWithoutSalt.com

Birthdays make me smile real big.

Holiday Table
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We started collaborating with talented friends. Our first was a ceramic project with Natalia from Plus Plus Design Lab. She made some stunning salt cellars to hold our new salts.

img_8214 img_8222 Floret Workshop Dinners

This summer I catered three dinners for my friend, Erin’s incredible flower workshops. Her site, Floret Flowers is an incredible resource for anyone who appreciates flowers. 

Food. We enjoyed some great food this year didn’t we? Here are a few of my favorites:

Flourless Chocolate Cake + Peppermint Meringue Grace's Sweet Potatoes Pepita Butter Bites Rhubarb Fritters // NotWithoutSalt.com Chanterelle Fondue

We don’t have to go back far to find this favorite. My friend recently made this Chanterelle Fondue for a small dinner party and I was reminded of how much I love this simple recipe. Particularly this time of year.

Chocolate Blackberry Cupcake // Notwithoutsalt.com

Blackberries. Chocolate. Caramel. Salt. Done.

Frito Pie // NotWithoutSalt.com

This year you met Classy Ashley and her love for Frito Pie. 

Almond Cake with Rhubarb // NotWithoutSalt.com

We made roses out of rhubarb. 

 

Thanks again for being here. Now, as I start filling that blank page with thoughts on the new year I would love to hear what you’d like to see around here. One of my goals for the new year is to make this place a better resource so that we can all find joy in the kitchen and come to the table more often. I would love to help make that happen for all of us.

 

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