Author: littlelocavoresara

Shandies on table with orange segments and beer cans

mandarin & ginger winter citrus shandy

Guess who’s back. Back again. (If you didn’t start singing along in your head, or at least immediately recognize that song, we probably can’t be friends. Kidding. I’m kiiiidding. Kinda.) But here I am! Back again! To the blog. Da blahg. This cozy little corner of mine where I talk to myself but pretend I’m talking to you, my invisible internet friends, who may or may not be reading. (Here’s also where I try to convince myself that this is somehow wildly different from — and a totally normal adult thing to do — the stuffed animal tea parties I had as a girl. It’s ’cause you’re not imaginary … right?) My rampant perfectionism, which can be both motivating and crippling (usually one or the other but sometimes both at the same time which is … uncomfortable, to say the least), has kept me away from this space because I haven’t wanted to share what I felt were mediocre photos or recipes. But it hasn’t kept me from learning, experimenting, playing, and challenging myself. I’ve …

Grapefruit shandy with meyer lemonade

grapefruit ipa shandy with tarragon meyer lemonade (and gin!)

This is a love story. I am OBSESSED with grapefruit. It all started with one of my favorite scented candles, Paddywax’s salted grapefruit. And then there was soap, lip balm … even a grapefruit-scented household cleaner! And, of course, my near daily early-winter ritual of snacking on a grapefruit sliced in half and sprinkled generously with coarse, crunchy sea salt (preferably Jacobsen’s vanilla bean salt, because that pop of vanilla is perfection). So, it was a great surprise that I did not initially like Ghostfish Brewing’s multiple-award-winning Grapefruit IPA. Even as a fan of bitter foods and beverages (arugula, Brussels sprouts, espresso, etc.), this one was just too bitter for me. It’s pungent, with more notes of grapefruit pith than peel or fruit. But my palate (along with EVERYTHING. ELSE. in my life) has changed dramatically over the last few years (was once a sweet-white-wine-only kinda girl, now I drink reds on the reg), so I definitely appreciate and enjoy this beer more than I used to. I wanted to find a way to love this …

Pomelo juice in glass

blood orange & pomelo pale ale shandy

“Hello, Vegas? Yeah. We would like some more alcohol. And you know else? We would like some more beers.” My name is Sara, and I am constantly quoting episodes of FRIENDS. This one is  from “The One in Vegas: Part 2” but really it should be titled, “The One Where Rachel Looks Like Pancho Villa.” Or, “The One Where Rachel Has a Moustache.” Or, “The One with All the Beers.” Or, “The One with Mr. Rachel.” Anyway. I digress. But it’s only because I’m here with more beer. (See what I did there?) I’d say that I saved the best for last, but honestly … I love them all. Every time I tried a new one, or made one again (to photograph or just to enjoy), I’d say “Oh yes, this one is my favorite.” But then I said it for all of them! Truly though, this one is so fun! It’s a great color, has such an interesting flavor, and features one of my new favorite citrus fruits: pomelo. You know (or you should …

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 …