Author: littlelocavoresara

Upside down rhubarb cake on plate

upside-down rhubarb olive oil cornmeal cake

Two weeks ago, I turned 30. Despite the stigma around aging, especially for women, I feel really, really good about being 30. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we measure time and how a year, in particular, is simultaneously extraordinarily long and yet, somehow, it passes wildly fast. Last year, in particular, was full of transitions and growth and new beginnings. And so, this year, I’m celebrating a lot of firsts/one year “anniversaries.” One year of prioritizing myself, of really, actually getting to know myself & loving myself wholeheartedly. One year of knowing and loving, adventuring, cooking, cuddling, talking (oh my gosh, so much talking), having the most fun I’ve ever had, and laughing, laughing, laughing with the greatest (life) partner (in crime). One year of living alone, and feeling the least lonely of any year before. This new decade, a brand new number to mark my age, seems a fitting metaphor for this new season of my life. You know I like to find metaphor in these moments, the parallels of where I …

Gluten free galette with rhubarb & asparagus

savory asparagus & rhubarb galette

So, this is perhaps one of the weirder things I’ve done. Though the colors are stunning together, I didn’t do it just for the ‘gram. This flavor story is too good not to tell. It’s so wonderfully weird. It’s bright & tart, earthy & grassy, creamy & sharp. It is, in my humble opinion, just perfection. When I first made this, I went full-weirdo, delighting in the tedium of sketching out a pattern on parchment paper, measuring with a ruler & cutting each piece to the same size, slicing each end on an angle so they would fit together seamlessly in a beautiful chevron pattern. I even texted a photo & a bit of a self-deprecating message to my partner (because pic or it didn’t happen, right?) (Also, yes, I know this recipe took me a full month to perfect from test to final photographs to post.) My rhubarb stalks then were thinner, about the same thickness as the asparagus, so that pattern made sense. But a few weeks later, when I made this again to …

Gluten free rhubarb buckle cake cut into slices

gluten-free rhubarb buckle cake with lime & coconut

Sometimes, it’s really hard to write the story of a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write. A few months ago, when I really dove into returning to this space, I maybe didn’t dive all in. I was shaking off the cobwebs, pulling the dusty white sheets off all the furniture like you see in abandoned haunted houses in old horror movies, & I had writer’s block. For recipes, for stories. So I decided to start over by starting from the beginning of this blog. By revisiting, revamping & re-photographing old recipes. Like this cake. It was, really, a buckle cake — I just didn’t know that at the time. I also didn’t know much about rhubarb, but I was (as always) strong willed & stubborn. I didn’t want to coat it in sugar or dress it up. I just wanted it to be what it was. So, I made a cake that was OK. A cake I ate like a little kid (by picking all of …

Hazelnut crumble topping

gluten-free golden milk banana muffins with hazelnut crumble

When I was a wee writer still in school, I struggled with metaphors. Similes were so easyyy — just look for the “like” or “as” in a comparison. But metaphors felt fleeting, ethereal. Untethered in a sentence, not anchored by or to anything easily spotted by the skimming eye. Metaphors felt infinite: any one thing could be compared to any other thing in just a few words or a sentence, or an entire stanza, paragraph or page. In the nearly two decades (oh, lord) since, however, metaphors have become a constant in my life. I find they work best as an almost parable; I learn about myself and my life through metaphor. A few years ago, I wrote at length about how making pie from scratch was a meditation for me. Baking in any form still is meditative: it requires a calm, steady focus. If you’re not paying attention or you add ingredients out of order, you might miss something or forget to add a key ingredient. For me, oddly enough, I often forget to …

savory vegetable crumble with hazelnuts and hard cider

This winter has worn heavy. Slowly, the darkest days are getting lighter. The sun spreads across the sky a little earlier each morning. If it’s not raining too hard, I hear the birds finding their songs for the season. The other day, I caught a glimpse of a fat squirrel tipping off a skinny branch. Spring is coming. But it is arriving at a snail’s pace, and I am growing more impatient every day. Yearning for long walks through the city, along Alki Beach, or weaving my way through Discovery Park. Toes sinking into the sands of Lake Washington. Watching the sun set, sending the most brilliant gradients of color streaking across the sky over Golden Gardens Park in Ballard. I am ready for summer in Seattle. I am longing, too, for the farmer’s market. Exploring (and tasting) the bounty of summer. We are entering the spring hunger stretch — the last of winter’s reserves are wearing thin, but the precious first shoots of spring haven’t fully arrived yet. In the depths of winter, I’ve ventured …

roasted chopped potatoes

it was always you

This is a love letter. An ode, if you will. A potat-ode. Douglas Adams apparently once said, “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problem just with potatoes.” I beg to differ. Over the years, favorite foods have come and gone. (Brussels sprouts are still holding strong.) But potatoes were a constant. Twice-baked. Scalloped. Mashed, of course. Salt-roasted. Baked and buttered, or loaded with bacon, scallions and sour cream. Fries, wedges, chips. Tots. Pureed with leeks and cream for soup. Hash browns. Home fries. So many options. All of them a favorite. When I was much younger, French fries were my vehicle of choice to consume as much ketchup as possible. (There’s another favorite, for you.) Having Celiac makes enjoying potatoes more difficult. While potatoes are inherently safe (as long as nothing is added), fryers shared with breaded items make enjoying deep-fried potatoes difficult. When I find a restaurant with a dedicated potato-only fryer and Belgian-style frites on the menu, I guarantee that I will eat an entire order. By. My. …

sweet potato risotto

grain-free sweet potato “risotto” with bacon-wrapped squash

I have a confession. I have never made an actual risotto. OK. I did try it once. Years ago. I knew very little about cooking at the time, and followed a recipe in a book. One of the first cookbooks I ever bought for myself. But I didn’t use Arborio rice. (I thought that all rice was interchangeable. BIG lesson learned.) After hours of stirring and simmering and adding more (and then more) stock, the rice was still crunchy. Not creamy. Not satisfying. Not good. Then I discovered Schar’s gluten-free Anellini pasta noodles at a dedicated gluten-free bakery and grocery store in Michigan. The woman working in the shop that day told me her mom prepared the noodles risotto-style. I was inspired, and this was the kind of “risotto” that I made for years. It cooked quickly and was soft, creamy, rich and totally indulged my pasta-holic side. This recipe was a serendipitous discovery. A few weeks ago, I had a roast simmering away in the crockpot. I wanted to make a side dish that was …

how to use thanksgiving leftovers

how to use your thanksgiving leftovers

Let’s be real. Thanksgiving is all about the leftovers. You see my sister makes these amazing turkey sandwiches. Her secret is, she puts an extra slice of gravy soaked bread in the middle. I call it the Moist Maker. Raise your hand if you really wanted to soak a piece of bread in leftover gravy to put in the middle of your leftover turkey sandwich after hearing about Ross’s sandwich on Friends. It must have been good, because he freaked out when someone else ate it. That sandwich was the only good thing going on in his life. And, as I’m nearing 30 myself, I can kind of understand where he’s coming from. That must have been one helluva sandwich. For the first Thanksgiving I ever hosted, all on my own, I bought my turkey just a few days before Thanksgiving. There wasn’t much of a selection left at the grocery. I ended up with a huge turkey. I think it was at least 20 pounds. (We had 7 people over for dinner.) We had …

sweet potato and hard apple cider chicken pot pies

It’s the season for serious comfort food. I may have gone on a little bit of a pie bender after introducing you to how I make gluten-free pie crust. Sweet or savory, the options are really limitless! These little cuties. They’re bowls of savory, comforting warmth full of seasonal goodness. Sweet potatoes and granny smith apples enhanced with the crisp, refreshing flavor of cider. They’re hearty, but not heavy — partly because they don’t have crust on the bottom. These are time-saving pot pies. I like making individual pot pies because they’re cute, and leftovers are more convenient for carrying to work, but this recipe would be just as good in a savory galette or a single large pot pie. Autumn has finally arrived here, in full force, with cooler temperatures and rain. I was driving through downtown the other day and watched men climbing trees to hang Christmas lights, and noticed that most of the trees still have their leaves. I was grateful to still see so much foliage. It’s totally sweater weather, but …

fall seattle farmers market haul

my market haul 11-8

Autumn has arrived. The rainy season is upon us. But, after more than 20 years of snowy seasons, I’ll take it. (Snow on Halloween. Snow on Easter. Sometimes snow on Christmas, because that’s real life. Sometimes snow drifts that were taller than me!) We got lucky last year. It was a mild winter, and a gorgeous summer. The trade off of the subtle seasons was, unfortunately, drought and forest fires across the state. I have a feeling this year we might finally be introduced to the true Seattle rain. The I-haven’t-seen-the-sun-in-21-days kind of rain. We’ll see. Is it weird I’m kind of excited? (Talk to me again in 4 months when I’m vitamin-D deficient and wallowing in seasonal depression.) This week for me is all about the veggies. I’m taking a conscious step away from animal proteins for the moment, which often take center stage in our meals and on our plates while veggies, fruits, legumes and grains are secondary. I’m listening to my body (and everyone else’s ragged voices), and am trying to fill …