cookbook love

Cookbook Love and Menu #2

Happy Monday y’all!  As I was prepping our weekly meals and grocery list, I noticed it was pretty heavily populated by two of my favorite newer cookbooks.  In fact, for the last month or two, we’ve eaten from one of them at least twice a week.  I figure if you love something that much, you should share it.  The Art of Eating Well was a Christmas gift Santa Spence checked off my list.  I showed up a little late to the H+H party, but better late than never! Of course, if you’ve been reading O.i.H. for awhile, you already know how much I love Sarah Britton, so the My New Roots cookbook should be no surprise.

cookbook love

Hundreds of other people have written up these gorgeous books, and the gorgeous women behind them.  I think the food is good enough to speak for itself.  In that vein I thought I would share my menu for the week so you could see for yourself.  I scouted around the web and found many of the recipes from the books available online.  Click on the image below to access the PDF with recipe links.  For even more fabulousness (if, like me, you just can’t get enough), visit them at My New Roots and Hemsley+Hemsley.



Finally, powerHouse Books seems to have posted a full preview of the Hemsley+Hemsley book here.  This seems a bit odd, but the link is directly from the publisher’s site.  Take a look, see how amazing it is, then buy a copy for yourself. . .and a friend. . .and your mom, aunt, cousin, sister, nephew!

Life Lately

This is my fourth attempt at writing this post.  The first two were totally devoid of information or emotional connection, while the last one was terribly earnest and solemn; let’s see what happens this time.

Hi!  I’ve missed being here.  I’ve not felt much like sharing over the last few months.  I got some frustrating news and needed time to process it before I could talk about it in a reasonable way.  Way back in November, Jason and I set out on a little exploration walk that turned into a 9 mile trek.  I know that isn’t a crazy distance, which is why I was surprised to start limping at mile 7 and mortified to have Jason run home for the car to drive me the final half mile home.   I tried resting it, but when I was still limping in January I went to a doctor.  Very long story short:  I’ve torn the labrum in my left hip.  Turns out I actually have a deformity of the femoral bone head, leading to something called femoral acetabular impingement.  Basically, the bone is a bit larger than the socket space allowed for it, and the resulting friction is tearing the squishy labrum and chipping the hip bone socket (or acetabulum).   After two months of physical therapy and no improvement, we decided on surgery.  I had a pre-surgery MRI done, and, **surprise**, found out that I have a dermoid cyst in my right ovary.

I’ve not spoken of it here before, other than a brief, non-specific mention of a second surgery on the About O.i.H page, but in 2007 I had surgery to remove a dermoid cyst from my left ovary.  Well, in about 10-15% of cases, dermoid cysts are bi-lateral, meaning they will develop in both ovaries.  Hooray for winning the percentage lottery!

Anyway, hip surgery discussion was put on hold until I could get an assessment of the cyst, and what sort of response that required.  Skipping over all the minutiae, the big picture is this- the cyst is small, but will need to be removed.  We were originally thinking laparoscopy,  but it turns out the cyst is in the exact center of the ovary, so the surgery of choice (or at least of recommendation) is a mini laparotomy.  I’ll have that surgery at the end of May, and the hip arthroscopy  mid-June!

From time to time the thought of the hip surgery makes me panic just a smidge.  I mean, it is technically an elective surgery for a condition that many people go their whole lives just putting up with.  Whereas I, for many reasons, am choosing to have this surgery that is going to put me on crutches for 4 to 6 weeks at a time when. . .well, I just have to keep asking myself, is there ever a convenient time for that?

In other news, things are getting exciting in Jason’s business.  He is set to give his first week long class the first week of June.  Yes, the timing could be better, but we are so thankful and excited to see how things are developing. Our house has been looking like we robbed a Radio Shack as we are compiling all the necessary equipment for classes. pelican cases telephones mantle


Now that I’ve gotten started, there is actually more I want to talk about :).  However, seeing as this is already a brutally long post, I’m going to say sayonara for now.  Hopefully I’ll be back in the next few days with a look at the cookbook we are pretty much living out of at the moment, and maybe some thoughts on getting ready for surgeries if anyone is interested.  Till then. . .


Happy Herbaceous Grain Salad via One is Hungry

Happy Herbaceous Grain Salad

Hello all!  A very, very late happy New Year to you.  How are you; how is 2015 treating you so far?  We are doing A-okay.  Can we talk for just a moment about the revelation that is January in Tampa?  It is pretty magical.  For the most part it is blue skies, sunshine, and 70 degree days. Here, people take down their Christmas decorations to hang pirate flags and Gasparilla wreathes.  That’s right, this weekend we will experience part one of our first ever Gasparilla!

We’ve been spending our time getting better acquainted with the area, and getting to know some of our fellow. . .Tampons?  :)  What in the world do you call people from Tampa?  Tampites, Tampians, Bay Dwellers?  Anyway, we’ve been meeting people.  We recently had a potluck dinner with two of J.’s co workers and their families.  The food was fantastic and there were littles running amok to keep things lively. Our contribution was a gigantic Greek-ish quinoa salad (if a salad based on a seed that comes from the Andes mountains can be in any way Greek).  Recipe requests were made, so I thought I’d share with everyone at the same time.

Happy Herbaceous Grain Salad

As I said, for the dinner party I made this dish with quinoa as the base.  My intention was to do the same for this post however, my inattentiveness led to a happy accident.  I had grabbed, soaked, rinsed, and drained my quinoa before I realized it was not quinoa at all, but millet. Good news: equally delicious, so I continued on as planned. A quick note if you decide to do millet instead of quinoa, my inadvertent soak and rinse didn’t hurt anything, but usually when cooking millet, I would just toast the dry grain before adding liquid, as in the recipe from this post.

Doing the Allergy Elimination Diet?  By changing the feta into avocado, the pistachios to seeds, and the raisins into chopped grapes (or sulphite-free raisins), you can totally embrace this salad!


millet milletbay mint mintleaves zest baydark hhgs1 hhgs4 hhgsdetail

serves 4-6


1  C quinoa or millet

2 bay leaves

kosher or sea salt

1/2 cucumber

1 large carrot

zest and juice of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons

1 1/2 C tightly packed herbs, chopped ( I used flat leaf parsley, cilantro, and mint.  Basil or oregano would be really nice too.)

3 TBS – 1/4 C golden raisins

1/2- 3/4 C crumbled feta

1/2 C kalamata olives

*banana peppers (I couldn’t find any at the store, but I think they would be fantastic)


Soak quinoa, rinse and drain.  Place in saucepan with 1 1/4 cups of water, two bay leaves, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low.  Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.  Check to see that all water is gone and quinoa fluffs dry with fork.  When cooked, spread in tray or platter to cool.

Quarter lengthwise, and slice carrot and cucumber.  Zest and juice lemon.  Roughly chop herbs.  Pit and chop olives.  Cube feta.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and fold to incorporate.  Taste for seasoning.  I know everyone hates to be told that, but I can’t possibly know how salty your olives or feta are, so you are just gonna have to taste as you go!  Top with chopped pistachios.

*If it will be some time before you serve, consider adding the herbs just before eating.  The acid of the lemon juice and the bruising of being chopped can cause the herbs to change color.



catching up over chocolate-ginger granola with buckwheat

Hello again.  Given my record of inconsistent posting, it no longer even makes sense to apologize for/explain being away so long; I’m going to assume the privilege of an old friend and pick up where we left off.

We are in Tampa!  We have been living here for two and a half months now, and the change has been really good. In fact, aside from discovering new depths of incompetence in a certain government contracting company that shall remain nameless, and missing a few very dear friends, it has been a great experience.  We are roosting in a sun-filled apartment within walking distance of the bay.  A quick glimpse from our windows would easily fool you into thinking we live in a tropical jungle. windowview Every chance we get we stroll down to the water to watch sting rays, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and dozens of fish whose names we don’t know.  Yep, in case you have been wondering, runners of Tampa, we are that annoying couple walking really slowly, hanging over the balustrade, soaking it all in, while you are pounding the pavement.  Give us time.  We may eventually become jaded to 70 plus degree November days, and seeing the sun glint diamonds off of the waters of the bay. . .but I hope not! doublestingray We spent a disappointing month shopping the local grocery stores to find them filled with really expensive produce that is often already going bad on the shelves, or, alternately, completely under-ripe and flavorless.  I’m not just talking one store, I’m talking every store (yes, I’m talking about you Whole Foods, Publix, Winn-Dixie, and Fresh Market).  We were throwing away a shameful amount of food because it was spoiling before we could use it. In the last two weeks I finally made it a priority to seek out some alternatives; the results were surprising!  There is a farm hidden away on a cul-de-sac in south Tampa where you can get fresh eggs, raw milk, fresh from the hive honey, and so much more, on the honor system.  I want to do a full post on this place soon, but if you are in the Tampa area and want to see for yourself, it is South Tampa Farm at 6101 s. 2nd st. Tampa, Florida 33611. there is a produce wholesale shop that welcomes retail customers (Sanwa Farmer’s Market) and a pretty cute veggie stand just down the road on Swann.

My mom came for a visit and took us to the 5th annual veg-fest, after which we went to a nearby power plant to see the manatees that collect in the heated waters at its base. famvegfest I had a whirlwind day at Disney with one of my very best friends and her kids, and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it more than any of the littles!  I have no shame in being an adult disney lover. . .the magic is real.  Thank you J.S. for sharing the nugs with me; it was wonderful being Aunt Brandy again for a day!

And, finally, I made a recipe I would love to share with you today.  Based on the fantastic Sarah Britton’s Chunky Chocolate Buckwheat Granola, this version is lighter on oil, and has a kick of heat courtesy of my spicy friend, ginger . parfait2

Chocolate-ginger granola with buckwheat


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup buckwheat (I found this in the bulk bins at whole foods)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 dates, pitted and soaked in 1/4 cup milk of choice or water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • In a blender combine dates and their soaking milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, ginger, and cocoa powder.  Combine until mostly smooth; thin with extra milk of choice if needed (warm before adding).
  • Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, mixing to evenly distribute.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over dry ingredients and fold until evenly coated.
  • Press evenly onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in oven
  • Cook for 30 minutes, check and turn/stir as needed if outer edges begin to burn.  As sarah b. says, tasting the hazelnuts is the best way to tell when this granola is ready.
  • Cool completely before storing in air tight container.





You know how it is when you have something that is consuming all your thoughts, and you aren’t yet ready share it, but you can’t think of anything else, so you end up saying (or writing) nothing at all?  That is where I’ve been for the last several weeks.  But now I can finally say it: we are moving to Tampa!  As in, my husband starts his new job on September 3 and we are packing NOW!

I’m so excited to share this new experience with you as it unfolds.  If you are from the Tampa area, or have visited often enough/long enough to have favorite places and things, please leave a comment!  Jason and I will be utterly and entirely new to the area, and have everything yet to discover.