Watermelon + Cilantro

I was introduced to a very simple but refreshing dessert while I was in Mexico - cubed watermelon topped with fresh cilantro. I caught Morgen, an editor from L.A. who partook in the yoga instructor training, preparing this in Fernando's kitchen after our evening classes. Eventually she began requesting it in restaurants when we ate out. We all eyed her as if she were crazy, but perhaps we really just felt guilty for indulging in our calorie-laden chocolate cake and cardamom ice cream (also delicious).


September Surprise

I was a bit bummed to have missed the peak of berry season here in the Pacific Northwest. While we had plenty of papaya and the most magnificent of manilla mangos in Mexico, I couldn't help but dream of topping my yogurt with a handful of blueberries every once in awhile. Luckily, I made it home just in time to pick an abundance of cherry tomatoes from the makeshift garden in the backyard of my aunt's house where I have been staying in Ravenna. This is the second basketful in two days... Apparently due to the unfortunate weather (which I fortunately missed while away) the tomatoes are ripening late. Fine by me.


City Chicks

I was pleasantly surprised to come across these gals on NE Killingsworth while I was wandering this morning...

They aren't quite as exotic as the chicks I see on my way to Woodlawn, but that's okay. They still make those same sweet little chicken noises!



Since I moved from Seattle to Portland, I have been hearing about the magical land of Breitenbush from just about everyone. Breitenbush boasts a beautiful setting of hot springs, log cabins, a sweat lodge, and various classes on arts, meditation, yoga, etc. depending on when you go. Of all things, my yoga instructor cannot stop talking about the food - vegetarian food - to be precise. So, I was incredibly happy when I stumbled upon the Breitenbush Cookbook on the shelf in our kitchen. Fortunately I was able to write down a few recipes and make some pumpkin muffins before Elizabeth packed it up to take back to Cambridge.

Here is the recipe:

1/3 C oil

2/3 C honey

½ tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 C pumpkin puree

3 ½ C flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2/3 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp all spice

½ tsp nutmeg

½ C walnuts, chopped coarse

½ C water or soy milk

Preheat oven to 325. Season muffin tins by buttering cups and baking 10 mins. Let cool. Beat oil, honey and vanilla together. Add eggs one at a time while beating. Mix in pumpkin and nuts. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir dry mix into pumkin mix alternating with water or soy milk. Do not over beat. Spoon batter into muffin tins, 2/3 full. Bake at 325 for 30-35 mins. Makes 24.

Note: I used whole wheat pastry flour in place of regular flour, and I substituted ginger for all spice. I also added chopped prunes, which I recommend. You can also make this in a loaf pan if you do not have a muffin tin.

You can buy the cookbook directly from the Breitenbush community.