Watermelon Lime Bars

Watermelon Lime Bars

I can’t think of a way to start this post that doesn’t sound flippant or trivial and yet I can not begin to fill this place with food again until I’ve acknowledged the heartache and the pain that has flooded  our world due to the events last week. Sitting in the reality of those events, food and what I contribute to this world with the table as my medium felt too small, too easy.

I had intended to share this recipe last week but instead I shared the image below on Instagram and Facebook with the following text because that is what my heart needed to say.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’m suppose to be sharing a recipe today. Talking about our food and showing pretty pictures of it all. But today I just can’t. I’ll return to the food because it’s part of the beauty of life and I want to foster beauty and remind people that in spite of all the hate and ugliness in this world there is also always beauty. But today I can’t. Today I need to do more and not ignore what is happening in our world right now.

The boys are downstairs. There’s clapping, constant whistling cheers and joy. They are playing a video game. Upstairs I’m scraping off last night’s pasta from our plates, scrubbing red sauce off the stove, waiting for my coffee to bubble up and wondering what the hell do I say to my children about the devastation that has happened in the last few days.

Families have been broken. Friends have lost friends. Beds will be empty tonight where a warm body should lay. Children won’t get the snuggles they so desperately want. Two women are suddenly without their partners. A future they knew that included a teammate has been violently taken from them A dad was killed, his son weeps. My boys are downstairs getting riled up about a missed home run by some pixelated ball player.

I want to protect, to shield them from the gross realities of this world. I wonder if they are too young to know how broken this world is? I want them to stay that way. Wouldn’t it be nice for them if their hardest part of the day was that their brother didn’t give up his turn at the game when he was suppose to?


I want to raise children who are sickened by a world who sees people as a color. I want our family to collectively stand for love and to be a loud, clear voice that advocates for that. How do I teach them to not see color, sexual orientation, religion, level of education, gender, age, etc. as a way to define, rate, and judge people when the world teaches them otherwise?

We can do better, we can do more. We get to show them how to love. We get to teach them to fight hate with love. That’s our job and some days it’s just really damn hard but NOTHING compared to what some people’s realities are today.



Watermelon Lime Bars

So today I return to food and while it still feels small it’s always where my heart turns when it doesn’t know what else to do. Friday, when sitting with all the emotions of hopelessness, complete heartache and that ripping feeling you get when you don’t know what to do and you fear you’re not doing enough, I started cooking. I made homemade pizza with ricotta and big spoonfuls of truffle cream I brought back from Italy. There was homemade pasta with chanterelles and cherry tomatoes, farro with zucchini, chicken stuffed with fennel, sausage and peaches and slices of sweet nectarines in a chilled, spiced red wine. We gathered around the table with family and our community. We laughed, told stories of our travels and with each bite, each toast, each laugh we began to fill the air with hope. It doesn’t take away with the scary realities of this world but it’s a reminder that even in the midst of darkness there also is beauty.

The recipe today is one that I’ve been keeping for years. It’s an adaptation from a recipe I discovered on Epicurious then throughout many cooking classes I taught, long hot summer days and now sharing it with Electrolux it became my own. It’s a stunning layered dessert with icy watermelon sorbet forming the base and a creamy, tart lime semifreddo capping it off. The name, appearance and taste impresses beyond the complexity of the recipe. The hardest part is waiting for the layers to set so plan accordingly.

Check out the recipe on the Electrolux site and while you’re there poke around at some of the other great recipes. Watermelon is delightful when used in savory recipes too – like this salad with avocados and jalapeños which makes a perfect partner with grilled chicken.  And Sara’s recipe for Watermelon salsa to serve with roasted halibut. 

Just a couple other things to note:

I recently did an interview and shared a few of my favorite recipes with a German Magazine. You can read that on their website, Zeit. If you do read it let me know if they’re making of fun of me because I can understand a word of German. Just kidding, I know they aren’t but seriously, it’s a bit strange to not know what is being said. I suppose I could use Google translator.

Also, I’m partnering with the Salish Lodge here in Washington to put on a super lovely and romantic Date Night. Find out more and book your tickets on their site. There’s not many available so book quickly!

And finally, be kind to yourselves and others today. Let’s fill our tables with good food to share with our people because even though it feels like a too simple task it’s one of the biggest and best things we can do.

Watermelon Lime Bars

  • Permalink

Traveling with Kids: London

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

The gray skies met us in London. Their familiar presence along with the ease of people speaking our language was a great way to ease into our three week European adventure. Although we still delighted in the subtle differences in dialogue with words like water closet, fancy (in lieu of like) and biscuit. And the way in which they speak with a delightful properness that Roman loved try and replicate. London, albeit a bit expensive, is a wonderful city to explore with children. I’ve compiled a small list of some of our favorites from our short stay in London. Perhaps you may find it useful in planning your own trip. I hope you do.

With the recent news out of the U.K. it makes our travels there even more valuable and important. I won’t say much on the subject as am far from an expert but I will say that fear is a powerful motivator and not often for good. In fact fear is a huge reason why Gabe and decided to take this trip in the first place: To teach our children that the world is a big, beautiful place filled with people who are different than us – which is something to celebrate, not something to fear. When our kids were very little Gabe and I gave ourselves the goal of teaching our children how to be competent and confident travelers because we believe that travel is the best education. Through travel my world and myself become small so that my perspective can expand (much like my waistline while consuming croissants and bowls of pasta – not complaining one bit).


A quick word on eating while traveling with children. We quickly learned that our most successful meals were the ones eaten at “home” – or whatever place we are calling home in that particular city. We’d make it part of our day’s mission to find and bring back food for dinner. We’ve had some of the best food that way and also is less expensive and the kids won’t rush you to leave the table.

Great spots in London for grabbing food to go:

Harrod’s Food Halls

This place overwhelms any food lover. Of course there’s also floors and floors of fashion but both times I’ve been I head right towards the food. There are salads, meat pies, curries, cheeses, cured meats, fresh produce, chocolate, tea, coffee…. Room after room display some of the most indulgent and stunning food you’ve ever seen. I walked the kids by the fruit stand where each strawberry is perfectly ruby red, no seed is out of place and no sign of crinkled green tops or the smallest bit of soft spots or fur growing on them. Absolutely pristine – and you pay for that. We opt for a farmer’s market or a local grocery store to buy our fruit. But the meat pies, salads and English cheeses are totally affordable and completely delicious.

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com


There are a few locations around London so before you head out for your day’s activities be sure to map the location you’ll be stumbling across. Ottolenghi is known for their creative and stunning ways with vegetables. This is how I love to eat. Crisp green beans and sugar snap peas with fresh mint and red chilies. Eggplant covered in a creamy yogurt sauce and roasted summer squash and zucchini with wispy shards of Parmesan and fresh herbs. We also grabbed a few slender pieces of roast beef which accompanied a verdant cilantro sauce. And don’t skip the desserts. The towering cake stands and platters filled with freshly baked cakes, cookies, and tarts are your due reward for a long day of travel.

Borough Market

While we didn’t make it to the market this trip (tired legs and lots of rain) I’ve been enough times to tell you that you must visit. It’s not open every day of the week so be sure to check their website for the most updated information. If you go during the winter grab a cup of mulled wine to sip on while you wait in line for Raclette. In the spring and summer the produce stalls are brimming with locally grown beauties. Inside the market you’ll find a tea shop, truffle shop, cheese, meats and basically whatever else you made need to grab dinner/lunch to go (hello, wine!).

We didn’t take every meal with us. Here are a couple great places to dine out the kids:

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

The Harwood Arms

We enjoyed our first meal in London here and while it was more expensive than we were planning on spending at most meals it was such a fun way to start the trip. It’s a British gastropub that has classic British fare done really really well. And it’s completely kid friendly to boot. Their kids menu (a rarity) included breaded sole (fish and chips) and braised beef cheeks with mashed potatoes. The kids are still talking about those potatoes. For dessert don’t miss the donuts and the sticky toffee pudding ice cream. Gabe and I each did the prix fix dinner which included a starter and a main for right around £30. Total fun bonus – it’s the only Michelin starred pub in London.

Tomtom Coffee House

The Internet is a weird, wonderful place. A few weeks prior to our trip I reached out to an Internet friend who happens to live in London. A few Instagram direct messages later we were meeting up for coffee in her neighborhood spot. She showed us around the charming streets around Tomtom after we enjoyed a flat white and a tomato and cheese toasty (crisp bread, cheese outside and in grilled with sweet tomatoes). It felt like a local spot with a large bowl of perfectly golden croissants sitting in the middle of the communal table. Regulars strolled in, helped themselves to a croissant then ordered their coffee and went on their way.

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com


Natural History Museum

Our kids happily surprised us with their ability to put in the miles. We walked quite a bit despite a bit of rain and gray skies. But if walking isn’t your thing the tube is completely easy to navigate. Download the London Tube app before you go.

I had heard such good things about the Natural History museum and the free entrance sealed the deal.

We wandered the fascinating halls for hours, stopping only for a quick coke and sketching break. My favorite exhibit was the volcanos and earthquakes, however terrifying (we live on an epic fault line), I was giddy while ascending the escalator into the center of the earth. You’ll know what I mean when you get there. Don’t try and see it all – your kids will hate you. We had each child choose an exhibit then we explored those. While there is so much we missed I love leaving a place wanting more and that’s just what we did.

If your kids have it in them for another great stop, the science museum is practically next door.

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

The National Gallery

Again, free entrance! Monet!! Cezanne!! Van Gough!! Our first visit to London Gabe and I made our way here twice. I was enamored while watching a school class (they couldn’t have been much older than 6 or 7) sitting in front of a Monet and Renoir painting. Both paintings were water scenes and the delightful docent asked the children what similarities they noticed and then what was different. What painting would you most like to jump into? Why? I marveled at the education these kidlets were receiving and wanted that so badly for my own kids. Two years later I brought them to that very museum. Sure they were whiney and exhausted from walking and not fully understanding the scope of what they were looking at but they’ll thank me later, I just am sure of it.

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

Hyde Park

A lovely park to wander through and a sweet little playground for the kids to work off some energy. Plenty of great spots to picnic and there are is a café in the park as well.

River Boat Ride

Touristy? Absolutely and totally fun. Learn from our mistakes – try and avoid going during the rainiest part of the day and be sure the kids have all used the restroom before boarding. Yikes. (Or just find a boat with indoor seating and an accessible bathroom while going down the river.) You can purchase tickets online before hand or just walk to the river near Big Ben and grab some tickets. Many packages include the double decker bus tour. We had planned on doing that but I love using my feet. The kids may not love that about me.

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

Hamley’s Toy Store

This toy store is wonderfully overwhelming. A trip here makes for great fodder for taking them to the museum right after. “We just spent an hour in a toy store now we get to go to the museum.”

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com



We started our journey having a very comfortable and stunning stay with onefinestay. We were so thrilled with our little apartment. Every time I’ve been in London we’ve wandered the streets and I have so often wanted to just see what the inside of those white stone flats look like. I wanted so badly to be invited in for dinner by a perfect stranger (strange, it never happened) just to see what the interior held and to experience how the “locals” live. That’s always how I want to experience a place – as one would who lives there. One Fine Stay helped to make my dream a reality. While I didn’t get invited to someone’s house for dinner I did get to have dinner in a gorgeous flat complete with a exterior courtyard looking out onto a sweet garden and ivy climbing it’s way up a centuries old brick facade.

A representative from onefinestay greeted us as we arrived. They gave us access to an iPhone to use during our stay so we wouldn’t have to use up our rather pricey data plan. The phone was pre-programed with loads of great spots for dining, activities and groceries right near our flat.

Two of our three nights were gifted to us but even if they weren’t I would still be delighted to tell you about this company. They have beautiful homes and apartments in London, Paris, Los Angeles, New York and now Rome. onefinestay started “to give people a new way to experience a place. Handmade hospitality, for stays in the finest homes.” We felt it and loved it.

LONDON // NotWithoutSalt.com

Thanks to our friend, Jo for this family photo of us – they are rare and perhaps by the look of this image you can see why.

We did all of the eating and activities above in about two and a half days. We left wanting to see so much more but delighted with the time we did have in London. Next up: Paris and Normandy!

  • Permalink