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I tend to be an extremist when it comes to emotions. This is why I’ve had to really practice balance. Part of that practice started many years ago, when I had to slow down my crazy capacity for taking on more and more work and make time for empty space in my head and body. Daily yoga, meditation and breathing practices have been pivotal in my ability to understand how to achieve and (mostly) maintain balance as I move through this life thing. A general slowing down long enough to observe myself. Solitude and the ocean have also been vital in helping me reach and maintain more homeostasis. My kryptonite, or the “thing” that most throws me off balance, which I believe is rather normal, is always overwhelm. Too much uncertainty, too many MAJOR things happening at once always rocks my balance. From there I either find equilibrium or fall.

September 23, 2020

My Herby Sundried Tomatoes are one of my staple recipes. I love cherry tomatoes so much that I always have loads of them on hand. Sometimes, I over buy and don’t eat them fast enough, but that is never a problem with this recipe. This is a recipe that was brought into my repertoire so I could live in a perpetual state of cherry tomato gluttony, and I have zero shame in that. I tend to use the fresh and dried ones the same way, tossing them literally into everything (salads, soups, sandwiches, eggs, etc.) and it’s a nice change when the fresh tomatoes I had been enjoying suddenly morph into the dried version – yielding a deeper, richer, smokier version of the fresh. You can further heighten the flavor by adding fresh herbs and other spices.

August 15, 2020

Scented geraniums are one of the most widely collected and celebrated herbal plants on the planet. They come in just about every scent and color imaginable, and their most common trait is their extreme potency of flavor and scent. They are used in teas, tinctures, baking and potpourri type concoctions. Only recently have I begun to enjoy them and use them in my cooking. For years I shunned them as an overly potent potpourri ingredient. Their scent can be overwhelming in gardens, I have never enjoyed how they take over the scent of a garden. In my opinion, the scent and potency of a geranium was always a little too much to make any use of it. But then the masters showed me the way.

August 13, 2020

From the moment many of us were sent into our homes to shelter-in-place, the baking rumpus had begun. So much so that most baking supplies became scarce, sending a wave of panic over those looking for something fun and calming to occupy the foreseeable future. Well-known for my laidback attitude about having the right supplies in the kitchen and life, I knew early on something good would come of it. I certainly wasn’t about to panic about baking. People all over the globe can attest to the relaxation brought on by baking. It seems quite obvious that, during this pandemic, baking has become a nurturing way to self-soothe – as the masses can bake breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies with reckless abandon.

May 27, 2020

I make it known often that I do not have a sweet tooth and people usually assume that means I do not like dessert. That’s absolute crap. I love dessert, I just enjoy it more savory than sweet. This is a dessert for those, like me, who lean on the savory side of sweet. It also combines my two passions for recipe development- herbs and mangoes. What exactly do I mean when I say I prefer a savory dessert? It means I don’t like a lot of sugar in it. I like more earthy elements to shine through and prefer naturally sweet items to take center stage. I like a little salty nature to my dessert and a perfumy aspect really gets me excited. Flavorful and potent fresh herbs in desserts lead to more character and depth – sugar add nothing but sweet and that’s just one dimensional. I also enjoy a tad of acid, balanced by some fat; butter, cheese or cream.

May 20, 2020

In my ‘circle’ (which isn’t made up of many), I’m known for my creativity in the kitchen. Because I live out in the middle of nowhere, I tend to get excited to have guests, and it often gives my creativity a super boost. The anticipation of all the joy to be had in cooking and sharing with friends and loved ones gets my creative juices flowing; my posse of eaters around the globe are always elated to dine at my house. They know that in addition to delivering a marvelous and meaningful time, I will bring the ultra-weird and unexpected to the table and it will all taste delightful. The truth is, I cook like this all the time – even for myself (just look at my Instagram for proof). I think the main difference between cooking for myself and cooking for others is that I have to plan and, therefore, I have to think it through a bit more. I can’t deny that, because I’m mostly here alone, it feels special to have people over. So, I do like to make sure these occasions feel like a special event, for both me and my guests. I’m not sure if most my guests realize that the most joyful part of me making dinner for them is in the dreaming up of it – the part I do all alone.

May 11, 2020

I am deeply obsessed with all things spring. Perhaps my enthusiasm for fresh herbs was born in spring, when we get to witness herbs shoot up from the cold ground of winter with expeditious vigor and vibrancy. Mint, parsley, chives and chive blossoms are the first to appear in our gardens ready for us to toss their tender leaves into salads, soups, pesto, and sauces. Today I want to place a special focus on mint (specifically spearmint) and chive blossoms and, in particular, how beautifully they relate to asparagus – another of spring’s powerful popups. (I’ve more recently spent some time ruminating on the joys of parsley, so you can check out those posts for more.)

April 23, 2020

A few years back I took the most amazing ‘Mindful Self-Compassion’ course at Spirit Rock Mediation Center. It was around the time I had just been left by a long-term partner. I found myself in a very confused state-of-being that caused an enormous amount of emotional overwhelm. Now, years later, I still am confused about that, but I have also come to find acknowledge that these particular moments states-of being are crucial for learning and growth, in particular if you allow yourself to move through them slowly, carefully and compassionately.

April 11, 2020

As I promised in my Instagram post, I will make this introduction brief. But I can’t pass up the opportunity to share a tiny bit of opinion. After all, that is what a blog is, and that is exactly what My Herbal Roots is- a blog. It is also a part of something larger, which most blogs are- my fresh herb site Herbal Roots, which is currently still in build mode with aim to launch in April 2021. I take no issue with the twitter comments made by Mindy Kalig that caused such a big stir. With so many of us are stuck at home with the internet remaining our only connection to the outside world and in this general realm of panic and anxiety, almost anything can cause a stir. So the fact that there was a lot written about her wanting the recipe instead of the chef’s life story… barely registered for me as an issue.

April 9, 2020

Dried cherry tomatoes are the most delicious dried fruit – in my opinion. I make them in the oven with some simple seasonings. The result is a salty and heby treat that you can snack on as you would any other dried fruit, but (bonus!) they keep in the fridge for several weeks and allow you to impart a robust, smoky tomato flavor to soups, salads, pastas, and eggs, among many other dishes. Early on in my produce career I worked in the organic tomato industry. I imported and distributed organic tomatoes from Holland and Israel, and I worked with some of the world’s leading tomato researchers and farmers. All of them specialized in producing flavor-packed tomatoes.

April 7, 2020
Type | My Herbal Roots