02.02.2017

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I wrote The Beginner’s Guide to Juice Making for Food52. Check it out! 

Whether you received a juicer over the holidays, are in the midst of a New Year’s resolution kick, or simply want to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet (who doesn’t?), you may be curious about juicing…click here to read the full article and get the recipes.

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Photography by Elizabeth Cecil

12.11.2015

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Last year we had pretty black and white square holiday cards printed. Nick carved a linoleum stamp  and printed each with a “Happy New Year” block. They were never sent. The pile still lives stacked alongside unopened mail. This year however, this year, the cards are being SENT. I am feeling extra encouraged because Dylan’s preschool runs a fundraiser every fall offering Island families quick 15-minute portrait sessions with a professional photographer. This year, photos were taken at The Polly Hill Arboretum. I’m sharing some of my favorites here but what I really wish was that we had a behind the scenes photographer to capture all the volunteers, participants, and desperate (yet hilarious) measures parents went through to encourage little smiles.

If you are planning on baking some holiday cookies this weekend (between card stuffing sessions) and want a simple, wholesome Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie recipe I recommend trying this one out. Of course, you can toss in some dark chocolate, toasted coconut, chopped nuts, or substitute the raisins for any other dried fruit (I’m loving dried sour cherries these days). The point is, this is a good base recipe and one that is very adaptable to suit your holiday needs.

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Wholesome Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups oats

1 cup raisins (or any chopped dried fruit)

Optional additions: dark chocolate chips, toasted coconut, chopped nuts.

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1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar and coconut sugar on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.

2. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

3. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.

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4. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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family photos by Anthony Esposito

08.04.2015

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Here I am, coming up for air. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer and I’m just starting to shake that awful feeling that someone is waiting for me and I’m late or I’ve forgotten a big important thing that is happening in 5 minutes (or yesterday). The energy involved in promoting work, completing new work, and mothering two little ones is tough to sustain. There have been a handful of moments so overwhelming and unsustainable that I felt completely lost yet other moments of absolute pure happiness – the kind of happiness I will pull out years from now to warm me up.

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And this little island of ours? Its overwhelming support for me and Little Bites has been unimaginable. I always knew we lived in a special community but the last few weeks have put it over the top. Here are a few of the sweet articles from our local papers:

Martha’s Vineyard Times – Good Taste

The Vine

Vineyard Gazette – Cook The Vineyard

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So, amidst all of this crazy there is heat. I realize summer is hot and all and I am really not complaining but it’s the humidity that gets to me. I hang our wet beach towels out on the fence every evening and come the next morning when I go to pack the car they are still wet. That is how much moisture is in the air. It’s thick and dense and definitely not good for any kind of hair (especially temperamental bangs).

My solution is to eat as many non-cook frozen things as possible. Here are two of our favorites – Green Smoothie Pops and Chocolate-Banana Milkshakes. Both can be breakfasts, snacks, or desserts and adapted a million different ways to satisfy your family’s summer cravings.

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Green Smoothie Pops

makes about 10

1 cup packed kale leaves

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen mango

1 cup almond milk

1 cup full fat coconut milk

Blend everything together until smooth then pour into ice pop molds and freeze until set, at least 2 hours. Run mold under warm water to make for easier serving.

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Chocolate-Banana Milkshake

serves 2

1 1/2 frozen bananas

1 cup whole milk

1 cup unsweetened hemp milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 dates

PS. We added a handful of cherries to this milkshake yesterday and it was delicious.

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05.29.2015

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This week had a funny rhythm. With the Monday holiday and a half-day of school Wednesday our usual routine was shaken up (in a good way). We found ourselves with more time to hang at home and the flexibility to stop at some of our favorite island spots.  In the midst of our outings, my family celebrated my sister’s birthday. Dylan and I made her a classic pavlova meringue topped with lemon curd, fresh whipped cream, and raspberries. This dessert requires a lot of hand-mixer time – a small appliance favored by my 4-year old kitchen staff.

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Classic Pavlova Meringue

from Edible Vineyard

4 egg whites

1 pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/4 cups pure cane sugar

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In my opinion, a pavlova should always be topped with fresh whipped cream and fruit. The optional layer between the meringue and the whipped cream and fruit is up to you. Here, I added lemon curd but chocolate or fruit sauce is also delicious. This was my first experience making a large meringue and it turned out darn well – crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle.

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Preheat oven to 275˚F then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and draw an 8-inch circle on it.

Beat the egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Next, add in the sugar in a steady stream while whipping, and beat to stiff peaks. Finally, add in vinegar, cornstarch, and vanilla, and beat until very thick glossy peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, spoon meringue out onto the parchment and spread it into an 8” circle. The sides of the meringue should be a bit higher than the center. Bake the meringue for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until crisp. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping. The meringue may be used when cool, or stored in a covered container for later use.

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For a chocolate variation, simply add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the recipe when you add the cornstarch. For an almond meringue, add 2 teaspoons of almond extract to the recipe.

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09.08.2014

We felt pressure this weekend to pack in as many last minute summer festivities as possible (just put out the s’mores fire!) while prepping for the start of a new school year tomorrow. I wonder how long this winter is right around the corner better go swimming again!! feeling is going to last. Today’s epic back to school grocery trip made me realize how the new fall schedule means a lot of eating on the go. In a perfect world, I’d always have a bowl of this Farro Kale Salad in the fridge to pick at. Samples of it were passed out at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and everyone around me was oohing and awing. So delicious.

Farro Kale Salad 
From Kale, Glorious Kale by Catherine Walthers

5-6 cups kale leaves, stripped off of stalks and torn or chopped into small pieces (1 small bunch)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small red onion, minced (or in my case sliced thin)
1 cup of farro
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, 1 tart apple, diced, or 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries (or any combination)
4 ounces feta cheese

Dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Wash and spin dry the kale. Chop into small pieces. Add to a large bowl, lightly salt and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Vigorously toss and massage the salt and oil into the kale until well coated.

2. Place farro in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 25 to 30 minutes. Farro has a similar texture to barley when cooked, and has a nice toothy texture. Drain well, and combine with the kale. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

3. Chop the onion, dill and parsley, and add to the kale and farro along with the pomegranate seeds, and apple or dried fruit, if using.

4. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and gently toss. Place in a serving bowl or platter and top with the feta cheese.