Ina Interview

April 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

On March 26th my friend Kerri and I went to see Ina Garten at PPAC.   I’ve been following The Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network for years!  Just like fellow Ina fans, I dream about visiting her at her East Hamptom home and having her prepare lunch for me, maybe even a picnic lunch that we could enjoy on the beach together.  I love her simple and delicious approach to food.

Before visiting London in 2012, I watched Ina and Jeffrey’s special London episode to get the inside scoop on the best spots to visit.

On that night at PPAC, Johanne Killeen, owner of Al Forno and close friend of Ina’s, interviewed her.

I love listening to successful people who are truly passionate about their work.  And by success, I mean creating a life that they love. Regardless if they’re an author, cook, yoga instructor, musician, or athlete, there’s something so incredible about watching someone step fully into their life’s purpose.  I just get that “good for you” feeling 🙂 Their messages are inspiring and I find that while witnessing them stand in their power, I feel elevated to that place in my life.  It’s a great reminder that this is accessible to each of us in our own way.

Here are a few of my reflections from that evening:

  •  With all of her achievements, Ina is still very humble.  Throughout my life I’ve found that humility is the quality I admire most in people for two reasons.  First, it’s just refreshing to listen to someone speak about what they do without sounding condescending.  Second, I think that humble people actually get more out of life; they always approach opportunities with an open, beginners mind, and therefore, they are truly able to be present and learn.
  • Although Ina seems to have it all right now in life, she’s worked for it and still is working for it.  It’s a nice reminder to hear that she’s had plenty of moments along the way that she thought “what am I doing” or “I’ve made a huge mistake taking this risk”.  I find it comforting to hear this as a small business owner pursuing my passion.  The thing that pulls us forward is surrendering to a vision that is bigger than us.
  • The evening was a nice reminder to LOVE  the work you do.  By doing so, you’ll not only create a beautiful life for yourself, but you’ll also touch the lives  of others.

On a separate note, I purchased an autographed copy of  her new cookbook, Foolproof.  I’ll often use recipes as ideas for creating a meal, rather than follow them verbatum.  I took this Salmon and Guacamole and used it as inspiration to make a quick version.  I used smoke salmon, 1 sliced avocado, and 1 tablespoon of capers, over a couple of pieces of toast for a fast, 4 ingredient breakfast.




Sweet Kale Salad – Ottolenghi Obssesion

April 21, 2013 § Leave a comment


About to enter an amazing Ottolenghi experience in London!

When Kyle and I visited London last September, Ottolenghi was top on my long list of restaurants to visit.  The restaurants are named after the chef/owner, Yotam Ottolenghi. Let me first confess to you that I love this man. And, it’s okay, my husband is already well aware.

The way he combines flavors and his use of spices is nothing short of brilliant. Since returning from our trip I’ve tried out several recipes from his cookbook, Plenty, and Kyle and I have loved every one of them.  I recently tried the Sweet Kale Salad recipe pictured below and it was amazing!  Maybe some of my photos will inspire you to try some of his recipes out for yourself 🙂


Kyle enjoying his lunch at Ottolenghi in London


Sweet Kale Salad


Roasted Root Vegetables from “Plenty”


Chickpeas, spinach, carrots, and arugula from “Plenty”

Last week I made this lentil and eggplant dish.  Here are the photos from phases of the recipe to the final product.

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Lentils, onions, carrots, and celery before being cooked.

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Cooked carrots, celery, and tomatoes.

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I really wanted to purchase a signed copy of his cookbook, Jerusalem, while in London, but my suitcase was already heavy enough. I did however, promise myself that once I make my way through Plenty,  I can pick up my copy of Jerusalem.  In fact, I’ll gladly fly back to London to bring it home myself 🙂



Avocado and Strawberry Salad

April 15, 2013 § Leave a comment


This was the dinner I made for myself last week after a trip to the health food store.  The strawberries were  sitting right there next to the avocado in the produce section and I thought that these two fruits, paired together, would probably taste pretty good.  So, here’s what I came up with:

1 cup salad greens (I used tatsoi, but any variety of dark leafy green would work well)

1/4 -1/2 cup chickpeas

1/2 avocado, cubed

1 handful of sliced  strawberries

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup coconut chips from Radiant Life Company or shredded coconut

drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Are there any different variations you can come up with?



Overnight Oats

April 7, 2013 § Leave a comment


Refrigerator Oats with cacao, chia, banana, yogurt, and milk.


Aerial view!

One of the comments I hear most often from clients is that they don’t have enough time in the morning to prepare a healthy breakfast.  So, when I discovered this quick and healthy breakfast idea from The Yummy Life,  I had to try out a version for myself in hopes of recommending it to others.  I like the idea of this recipe for a few reasons: 1) it’s quick and can be prepared ahead of time; 2) there are endless variations so it can’t get boring; 3) when warm oatmeal isn’t appealing during the summer months, refrigerator oats are a nice option.

Recipes can be found on The Yummy Life.  For the oatmeal pictured in the photo above, I used:

  • 1/4 rolled oats
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 banana, sliced

Simply combine all ingredients and place in the refrigerator overnight.  I used cow’s milk from a local farm, but I think coconut milk would work nicely here too.  If you wanted to add a sweetener, I’d go with honey or maple syrup.




April 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

Just a little commentary on vacations.  Those close to me know how much I value time off with my husband.  It’s rare that we get to spend time together due to Kyle’s schedule as a commercial fisherman.


Photo from the Ring of Kerry during our trip to Ireland in 2010.

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