musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Spring Forward

Welcome, Spring!  May you bring warmth, health, and smiles to all.

 Here’s what have been making me smile of late…

🌷…our home garden…

where our 10 foot planter, which housed last year’s “corn field,” is now our daffodil patch. The red tulips right in front of the daffodils add extra spunk to the color mix.  And the basil, parsley, and chives I just planted are ready to add a little green to spring meals.  I am making jam from last year’s frozen plums and John just made a simple nourishing “Hermit’s Soup” from a  Monastery Kitchen cookbook. Small blessings, all.

📚…new cooking classes and books…

I experienced two culinary Zoom events that were very informative and up-lifting.  The first was a bake-a-thon fundraiser for Ukraine. It was sponsored by Civic Kitchen in San Francisco and Six Dutchess Farm in LaGrangeville, New York.

     The first guest I tuned into was an Italian chef/baker—Viola Buitoni— who demonstrated how to make a hazelnut-orange version of amaretti, some of my favorite Italian cookies.  

     The second guest was a Ukrainian chef—Anna Voloshyna— who spoke about her country and people and taught how to make Pampushky, a kind of bun topped with garlic that is a classic accompaniment to Borscht.  I’m going to try making both.  She also has a cookbook coming out in September called Budmo! Recipes from a Ukrainian Kitchen.        

The next Zoom cooking event was through Powell Books in Portland.  It was an interview with author Erin Gleeson whose “Forest Feast” cookbooks I have loved and referenced in a previous blog. Her newest edition is called The Forest Feast Road Trip.  Ah, yes.  Hooked from the get-go.

This is a simple, elegant, vegetarian cookbook based on Erin and her family’s road trip around California.  She includes luscious photographs of where they stayed and the dishes she created, watercolors of elements of recipes, and simple direct text to describe their travels and cooking.  I already have five recipes I want to try, like how about a deviled egg recipe that includes pumpkin purée?  Inspiration in many arenas!

I hope you are all finding ways to spring forward healthily and happily in your kitchen and your world!

                     “This is a wonderful day.  I’ve never seen this one before.”

                                                                            —Maya Angelou


Eating Out

We just experienced some wonderful Japanese food at a local Carmel Valley restaurant called Mika Sushi.  Everything we had was beautifully presented and filled with wonderful combinations of flavors.

Now I want to explore more about Japan and other Asian countries, cultures and cuisine—kind of a local tasty way to eat well, learn and “travel.” 

New to the Palate

I just tried a fun and new-to-me cocktail called The Bee’s Knees from a recipe a friend sent.  I even bought honeycomb as suggested in the recipe.  An experiment! I wonder what new fun things you are trying in your kitchen?



4 thoughts on “Spring Forward”

  • Hi Lynn and John!
    Loved this post. But they’re all so good to read. I enjoy your enjoyment of food and your ability to identify unique aspects of the eating/cooking experience in restaurants and at home.
    We are in Salt Lake City having moved Theo here this week. Have done very little cooking, but did celebrate my bday mid-week at Log Haven Restaurant. Wonderful! See FB for photos.
    As for new kitchen adventures, Manna Cafe closed last year, but now we have all the recipes from this wonderful place ( So , what I’ve tried thus far is the lemon curd, chili, and sunrise muffins (they were my favorite). I wanted to make them for a friend who requires a GF diet.,So I substituted the wheat flour. But then I didn’t have carrots, so I used sweet potato instead. We were getting ready for our SLC trip and I didn’t have time or inclination to run across the street to the grocery store! Turned out just fine! I think next time I make them I’ll add some walnuts, and/or raisins.
    We are enjoying our stay here; saw Park City yesterday, and will tour SLC with the kids today — maybe see the inside of the capitol. We go back tomorrow. Looking forward (not) to first knee surgery on 4/13. I hope you come see us soon!
    Love to you both, Joan

    • Wow, Joan❣️ So wonderful to hear from you and to hear about your SLC and environs trip (will check the photos) and to have all those Manna Cafe recipes available. I look forward to exploring those.
      Safe journey home, love to Theo and Doug, and best of luck with your surgery.💓💓

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