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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

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

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

One of the interesting elements of this current pandemic is how quickly the order we’ve grown so accustomed to gets thrown out the door. Another interesting part is just how much this process of needing to be more ‘lax’ trickles down into so much of what we do. While social order has become redefined, so do our self-bureaucratic policies. Maybe we don’t feel the need to exercise, or we drink more or eat more pasta. Maybe the kids watch too much TV or play too many video games. Perhaps the adults find themselves suddenly interested in a bizarre new show about the strange world of large cat people and the Tiger King. Whatever rules or systems we allow to fall by the wayside, we all have them. We make these quick and easy changes because we recognize that, when push comes to shove, so many of these rules just aren’t that important.

March 27, 2020

I broke my foot a few months back. I had to practice what they call “non-weight bearing” – in other words, you are not allowed to use your foot or put any weight on it at all. I learned really quickly that I used my foot and leg a lot more than I previously thought. I had a recipe-based article (on DIY Vermouth) for Edible Marin due and a photoshoot for said article a few weeks later… that was the last recipe project I did, until now.

March 25, 2020

While it’s true that my favorite season is spring due to the deluge of budding, blooming and sprouting spring herbs, peas, baby artichokes and asparagus, wintertime has some extraordinary offerings in the form of citrus that strongly excite me. Not just the fruit but the zest, which leads me on many more kitchen adventures. I’m here to remind all of the access we have these days to citrus variety and also suggest to all that they use more zest, in general and especially in the peak of winter citrus season.

January 31, 2020
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