There are plump and juicy blackberries ready for picking just about everywhere you turn in and around Seattle. We have a special little secluded spot at the beach house we let these blackberry vines with their incredibly sharp thorns take over. Each year we about this time we are reminded with incredibly sweet and delicious berries why we allow these gnarly prickly plants in our yard. We use them in our morning smoothies and mixed into greek yogurt with a touch of honey for dessert.
If you have made the same sacrifice or just love blackberries here is a must make recipe from Cooking Light to celebrate the fruits of your labor.
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ice wate
10 cup fresh blackberries (about 5 [12-ounce] packages)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juic
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1. Place 1/3 cup granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer until combined (about 1 minute). Add egg yolk, beating well. Stir in vanilla.
2. Place almonds in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely ground. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine nuts, flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add nut mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until a soft dough forms, adding 3 tablespoons ice water, as necessary. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 6 times or until smooth. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour or until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 375°.
4. Combine the remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar, blackberries, cornstarch, and lemon juice; toss gently. Arrange berry mixture in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
5. Unwrap dough. Roll each dough portion into a 13 x 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut one rectangle, crosswise, into (1-inch-wide) strips. Cut remaining rectangle, lengthwise, into (1-inch-wide) strips. Arrange strips in a lattice pattern over fruit mixture; sprinkle dough with turbinado sugar. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes.
It seems like everyone around me has a bun in the oven or is trying. There are a million decisions that need to be made even before conceiving to get your pregnancy off on the right foot. The Honest Company makes one of them pretty easy with their Health & Wellness Bundles with an auto delivery to your door each month (or how ever often you choose). The package includes a 30 day supply of their prenatal multi-vitamins and DHA/Omega-3 supplements that provide the essentials for you and baby.
Honest’s Health & Wellness bundles are packed with a premium formulation of carefully chosen, fresh, whole food-based ingredients – vitamins, minerals, botanicals, antioxidants, probiotics & super foods and free of the fillers and toxins (gluten, soy, yeast, wheat, sodium, dairy, eggs, sweeteners, artificial flavors, dyes, preservatives, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, PCBs, dioxins, common nut allergens & environmental toxics)
Don’t forget its important to start taking your vitamins before you start trying. Pickup a free sample for yourself!
Verbena is the perfect summer fragrance. Our favorite blend is L’Occitane’s shower and bath gel. Made with a sparkling organic verbena extract and an energizing grapefruit extract and blended with 100% plant-based cleansing gel. Available at Nordstrom.
There is no doubt that autumn is in the air here in beautiful Seattle. It is time to start prepping your veggie and other gardens whether they are on a farm, estate, yard, or balcony. The best thing that you can do for your garden (or pot) is refreshing your garden (or pot) with some organic mulch. We use our favorite, honest, local brand Cedar Grove Organics Compost Mulch.
Inspired by a gorgeous photo on the cover of Food & Wine we set out to create our own modified version David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl’s fabulous recipe. We of course we recommend using all local, organic vegetables and fruit for this recipe to really make the flavors pop.
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 nectarines, cut into thin wedges
1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large orange, green, and red bell pepper, finely julienned
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Persian cucumbers cut in half and sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Optional few slices red onion (finely chopped)
Optional 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans
In a large bowl, whisk the lime zest and juice with the olive oil, scallion, jalapeño and shallot; season the dressing with salt and pepper. Gently fold in all the fruits and vegetables. Refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours. Fold in the cilantro just before serving and serve the salad chilled.
Are you like us and always on the hunt for a delicious organic wine at a reasonable price? One of our favorites that we discovered at our local Whole Foods is Innovacion by Santa Julia. It is a fabulous blend of Temparnillo and Malbec grapes from Argentina that pairs perfectly with a grass-fed beef or tomato based pasta. At a price of only $11 you cannot go wrong with this wine.
It is movies like Hungry For Change that can re/invigorate you to take hold of your life (and your family’s) to start choosing better. I watched this fabulous documentary again last week on the struggles we go through with food, exercise, our health, and the politics that play into them. Urge you to buy or order this movie via Netflix.
We believe that living a sustainable and eco-friendly life begins with your own personal health. Opting for local,seasonal, organic foods that haven’t been doused with pesticides and are rich in nutrition are not only the best for you but the environment too. When you opt for fresh food free from packaging you’re not only maximizing the vitamins, but you’re reducing waste that processed food is packaging heading to landfills.
Encourage the entire family part of the cooking process. Source a healthy recipe online or from a friend that everyone can make together. Kids can pick the fresh ingredients from the garden or fridge, wash and prep or whisk the ingredients together. When everyone’s bellies are full don’t forget to store the leftovers in your BPA-free Preserve Food Storage containers.
Opting to walk or ride your bike to the office, coffee, store, dinner, not only keeps you fit, but obviously reduces your carbon footprint. When I used to live in car-loving Dallas I used to put my errands into my backpack, jump on my bike and buzz around town dropping of dry cleaning, picking up groceries, meeting friends for coffee, yoga, etc). You will be able to take in some fresh air, burn some calories, and get a little Vitamin D.
Don’t forget beauty comes from the inside AND out. The old saying, “You are what you eat,” rings true. A healthy diet is an essential part to having a beautiful complexion. Average and unfortunately common skin care products are filled with toxic and synthetic chemical ingredients. Read the labels before you wash your face or smear night cream on your body’s largest organ. Our favorite organic and all natural skin care brands right now are Odacite, Amala Beauty, G.M. Collin’s BioOrganique, and Arise Skincare. For hair and body we are loving the entire Intelligent Nutrients line for shiny locks, Blithe and Bonny‘s luxury bath goods, The Soap Cartel bath bars, and LuLu Organics Hair Powder.
Start a back to basics healthy lifestyle and live a life more aware.
We love giving gifts that are useful and won’t just sit on a shelf collecting dust. Maybe a little splurge on the price and style, nevertheless used and appreciated. Let’s face it, Dads are always in need to new underwear and socks. Ted Baker’s organic cotton socks and trunks are perfect for the Dad on the go. Socks are a steal at 3 for $38.