Tag Archive: cherries

  1. Cardamom Oat Crumble


    Happyolks | Cardamom Oat Crumble Happyolks | Cardamom Oat Crumble

    We spent Saturday evening in the garage. Shaun turned on the propane heat lamp and Caroline and I watched the boys build a spice shelf for Corbyn and her newlywed digs.  Drinking beer from the can and sitting next to a woman I admire and respect more than she’ll ever know, I felt my pulse physically slow for the first time in months. I’ve missed this. Quiet, thoughtful moments without pressing emails to respond to, where tense decisions and terse dialogue are not on the regular, when the pendulum between fight and flight rests heavy.

    Sunday continued at the same easy, tender pace. We went for a long run and treated ourselves to waffles and the NYTimes, laundry to Olympics coverage, and an afternoon bike ride to pick up frozen berries to satiate a brief craving for summertime. I love how Denver rewards us with a splattering of perfect days like these in the deep of winter. I swear they always show up at the right time as if to say, STOP! LOOK! The day is beautiful and you are here and very much alive to take in this moment and remember how to enjoy the miracle that is your life.

    The fact that the weekend felt so precious is an indicator to me that the cards need shuffling around here. These weekends need to feel more ritual than they do unusual and surprising. I’ve quietly dedicated my time over the past six months to a local project that has called me to stretch, push, break down, pick up, and humble myself before a dizzying array of interpersonal dynamics in ways I do not yet have words to describe. I’m feeling a bit numb right now — to the success and failure, to what the work gave and what it took away. Regardless, I’m certain the impact of “it all” is positively permanent, and that the excruciating and thrilling days are teaching me something. For now I’m just feeling in the moment, and the moment isn’t good or bad… the moment just is.

    Happyolks | Cardamom Oat CrumbleHappyolks | Cardamom Oat Crumble

    “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”

    ― Pema Chödrön

    Happyolks | Cardamom Oat CrumbleHappyolks | Cardamom Oat CrumbleHappyolks | Cardamom Oat Crumble

    Cardamom Oat Crumble

    Adapted from Bon Appetit

    Don’t sell yourself short and try to use fresh fruit for this recipe in the wintertime! Ya’ll know I love Chile, but berries picked before they’re ripe and shipped by boat from the Southern Hemisphere taste like cardboard. Frozen fruit is dandy in the off-season and I’d encourage you not to poo-poo it. I tend to prefer darker berries with cardamom, but feel free to substitute as you feel inspired.

    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 quick cooking oats
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
    • 1 heaping tsp cardamom
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    • ———
    • 4 cups frozen cherries
    • 2 cups frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup frozen blackberries
    • 1 cup frozen blueberries
    • 1 apple, sliced
    • zest and juice of 1/2 orange
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 4 tbsp cornstarch (or) xantham gum


    Happyolks | Cardamom Oat CrumbleHappyolks | Cardamom Oat Crumble

    Mix flour, oats, sugar, brown sugar, candied ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir together. Set aside.

    Preheat oven to 375’. Butter 9″ deep cast iron pan. Add fruit to just below the fill line. Mix together with orange zest, juice, starch, and sugar. Pour and spread oat topping to cover the fruit completely. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the fruit is bubbling, thick, and the topping is beginning to brown. Let cool for 30 minutes to set before serving with ice cream or creme fraiche.

    Happyolks | Cardamom Oat Crumble

  2. Cherries + Fennel + Lentils


    Summer storms are a new indulgence for me. Cozied in a reading chair by our front window I tend to my journal and a cup of cold tea. Torrents of rain bear down on the front walk and I visualize a release of stagnant memories, ideas, and beliefs being carried down the road with the leaves to the storm drain. Shaun is in the Domincan Republic, filming, and I sit alone, silent at my perch, letting the explosive energy of the passing thunder reverberate in my bones.

    Thoughts pass, yet nothing lingers. I experience an excess of calm amidst the raging weather and am reminded, again, of my smallness. I am a speck of matter and energy in this massive, bursting earthplane of people, places and dreams.

    During my months living at sea, I used to spend hours gazing upon the open ocean, begging the waves to teach me their humility and sense of time. Years later, in this chair and the throes of a summer storm, no begging is needed. I am both humbled and grateful for the gift of an unrushed hour to my afternoon. Tears form, then a smile. For the first time in a long time, I actually believe it will all be okay. 

    Tomorrow my morning walk will smell of fresh ideas, resolve, and renewed opportunity, the rain will have cleansed the world of todays mistakes and made space for all that can, and will, come next. Exhale.

    // july 6

    Cherry, Lentil, Fennel Salad 

    • 1/2 lb red cherries, pitted and halved
    • 1 small bulbs fennel, shaved
    • 4-5 small red beets, chopped
    • 1/2 cup de puy lentils
    • 2 giant handfuls of baby greens (kale, chard, etc.)
    • 1 ripe avocado
    • 1 tbsp fresh basil, julienned
    • 1 tbsp fresh mint, julienned
    • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
    • salt/pepper on hand

    I’m going to make these instructions short and sweet, a salad is as salad does folks. Boil lentils for 20 minutes. Remove. Rinse. Cool. Set aside. Steam sliced beets for 10 minutes. Rinse. Cool. Set aside. Finely slice fennel and place in a small bowl. Douse with salt and massage with hands. Let sit for 10 minutes, rinse, drain. Pit cherries. Set aside. Toast pumpkin seed under the broiler for 2-5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.

    In a large bowl combine basil, mint, shallot, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir. Pile in cherries, softened fennel, steamed beets, and lentils. Stir to coat. Cut in Avocado. Toss with greens (probably should use your hands to get everything good and mixed/coated). Top with seeds, salt, pepper.

     ** Sharley and Caroline, this one’s for you ladies. Thank you for sharing your kindness and light with me last week.

  3. Looking in


    Shaun hates it when I leave the blinds open when we’re eating dinner. People are watching, he jokes, it’s weird. For the most part I don’t mind if people are watching, we’re all watching something, waiting for something interesting to happen. Waiting to feel connected.

    Looking in, we find relief to see ourselves reflected in the habit and nuance of another. We see something that reminds us that we’re not alone. We’re not crazy. We get to be heroes for a brief moment, anonymously validating that small thing, that big thing, that thing that didn’t make any sense. Real heroism doesn’t involve fancy acrobatics. It’s surviving. We keep going. We keep laughing. We keep working. We’re still here and that is something to look at.

    Writing is like that. We leave the blinds open a little and share pieces of our humanity, that, hopefully, reaches a reader and holds them, even for a second, and whispers: you’re not alone. We write to liberate ideas and experience, we write to discover ourselves. We read to be validated we’re not crazy, we read to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. There’s like this dance between the two that helps us not turn into a puddle on the floor. It’s amazing that a simple string of words can give us that connection, feed that longing for intimacy.

    Everyone leaves their blinds open, figuratively speaking. Looking out, looking in, walking down the street, sitting at the stoplight. It’s not just in the writing, it’s everywhere. “It” being that messenger, that thing that speaks to the core of you and honors exactly where you’re at along the journey. Keep looking. The teachers, the validators, the writing is all right there in the window if you’re looking in.

    Late Winter Salad adapted/inspired from Ottelenghi’s PLENTY 

    • 1 head cabbage (I used local green cone cabbage)
    • 2 heads radicchio
    • 1/2 cup dill, minced
    • 3 cara-cara oranges
    • 1 cup dried red sour cherries
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • salt/pepper
    In a food processor with the blade fitting, blitz the cabbage and radicchio to a fine shred. Dump into a large bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of salt to wilt a little. Mince fresh dill and toss into the bowl with the cherries. In a small bowl combine olive oil and lemon juice, mix together, then pour over the mixture. Toss together. Segment the oranges by removing the skin and pulp and cutting out slices between the fiber skins. The Kitchn has a great tutorial for segmenting citrus here. Lightly toss the salad with oranges and add a little more salt/pepper to taste.

  4. Buddy and Biscotti


    May was a bit of a whirlwind. It was a month of late nights, long talks, hellos, goodbyes, surprises, tears, all the good things that make life worth living. Really living, the kind of feel-the-dirt-in-your-hands-as-you’re-planting-the-seeds living. May was the kind of month you look back on and think, ah what a masterpiece. Signing 6 before the date seemed like an eternity away at times, and while there have been many changes and stories that I wish I could share with some of you over a cup of coffee or a nice long walk, it all can be summed by this quote: “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.” Ahh, yes. The weather is perfect and I’m looking forward with an open heart to find all that the summer has to teach us this year.

    The lessons will start with Buddy. The happy folks of Happyolks just got a little happier last week with the addition of our new foster pup (licking away above). He’s a total love and it’s safe to say we’ve already fallen hard for this Cocker Spaniel/Retriever (?) stray. His eight month-old puppy enthusiasm has already inspired a renewed lightness and energy about our days. A constant cuddler, bone hoarder, and first-class fetcher – we love sharing our roof and look forward to all the new things he too will share with us during our time together.

    It’s good to return to Happyolks, I know it’s been a while. Cooking and baking never went on a full hiatus, but the sharing did. I’ve been trying to find a good recipe to re-emerge from my break, and this one will do the trick. These biscotti are addicting. Careful. I experimented with two batches of different sugars, and thank goodness I have an internship with obliging staffers to rid the kitchen of the leftovers with. I tried the first time without white chocolate, but I think it adds another dimension so I’d highly recommend it.

    Cherry, Pistachio, and White Chocolate Biscotti — Inspired by My New Roots

    • 3 cups spelt flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Juice of 1/2 orange
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup raw pistachios
    • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
    (optional) 3/4 cup of white chocolate chunks

    Preheat oven the 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, and orange juice. Stir the sugar mixture into the flour mixture, add the nuts and dried cherries; mix with your hands.

    Shape the the dough to 3-4″ wide loafs, about 8-10″ long  and place on the cookie sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, remove and cool for 2-3 minutes before cutting the loaves into 1/2″ wide slices. Return to the baking sheets and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp. Enjoy with tea and a good book.

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