sweet and tart green citrus smoothie

I really never thought I'd be someone who ENJOYED green smoothies. Oh man, well then I moved to Portland and guess what ... that happened. It's one of those things you really just have to taste for yourself to believe that it's delicious. And now I'm a full convert enjoying a range of combinations and touting how great they make me feel to other humans.. ugg, what have I become.

But really, I hope you try this: Here's a little secret to make sure your green smoothie experience is scrumptious: Incorporate two or three of these elements: 

- Creaminess (non-dairy milks, banana, yogurt) 
- Tartness (lime, lemon, apple) 
- Sweetness (agave, syrup, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger)

Here is a personal favorite of mine, the whole lime really makes this super refreshing, tart and downright delightful.  

 
Green Citrus Smoothie
 

 

Sweet and Tart Green Citrus Smoothie


instructions 

- blend leafy greens with the lime and apple and a tablespoon of water

- add the additional ingredients and blend until smooth. 

 

 

 

ingredients

- 1 banana
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup kale
- 1 apple (peeled)
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 cup ice
- 1 tsp maple syrup

photos from whidbey Island

poppy seed pancakes + blood orange topping

blood orange pancakes poppy seeds mindful eating
blood oarnge poppy pancakes
blood orange poppy seed pancakes mindful eating
blood orange poppy seed pancakes mindful eating

Your search for a jaw dropping, original, beautiful brunch is over. Drum roll please: blood orange poppy seed pancakes. These cakes are sweet with a delightful poppy seed crunch and a tart citrus punch. They are super simple and quick to make so perfect if you are having people over.

Things that will happen if you make these pancakes: 1) your guests will wonder how you came up with such a great idea 2) taste buds will be amazed by the flavor combination, 3) you might be featured in the next Portlandia Episode. (In my house we call this the Portland documentary because it is so accurate) 

I don't want to brag but I have been called the pancake queen. Like many of my proudest moments, this title was bestowed upon me around a campfire. Turns out that flipping pancakes is a little harder when you are in the woods and really just have a fork and knife, but rest assured it can be done and your camping companions will love you for it.  

Fast forward to my Portland kitchen on a Saturday in January and things get a little fancier. I have to be honest that I spent an amazing amount of time photographing these blood oranges, they are just so freaking beautiful, so be careful that might happen to you. Enjoy! (mindfully) 

poppy seed pancakes + blood orange topping

Cooking note: These are a little thicker and fluffier than your normal pancakes so if you prefer a thinner variety you can half the baking powder. 

Time: 20 mins total
Servings: 4

Ingredients
3/4 cup milk (both almond & regular work great)
1 lemon - (2 tbsp lemon juice and as much lemon zest as you can get!)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 teaspoons poppy seeds

Topping
2 blood oranges
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon honey
*optional: syrup/jam/more honey

Directions
1. In a small bowl stir together the milk and lemon juice and let sit for 5-10mins. Then whisk in the egg, vanilla and finally the melted butter. 
2. While the lemon juice is doing its thing (making your pancakes fluffier), in a different larger bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds). Add the milk mix to the flour bowl and combine thoroughly. Then add in your lemon zest. 
3. Get a frying pan or griddle nice and hot,  add 1/2 teaspoon of butter or coconut oil to the pan, then pour about 1/4 cup of your pancake mixture into the pan at a time. Keep the pan on medium heat, flip the pancakes when small bubbles appear. (about 2-3mins on each side)   My pro tip is make sure that your pan has a hefty amount of butter or coconut oil while frying, so keep adding in small pieces of butter in between batches! 
4. For the topping simply peel and slice the oranges and toss with the sliced almonds, and your honey or sugar.  


the best sweet potato gnocchi + why mindful eating is hard

This sweet potato gnocchi captures precisely the kind of cooking I would like to inspire in the world. It is a really impressive dish, but with very simple ingredients and a fairly straightforward process. I really encourage you to try your hand at making gnocchi, once you do the process will speed up quite a bit!  This sweet potato gnocchi incorporates a tangy brown butter balsamic sauce with sweet shallots and a bright herby finish. 

the best sweet potato gnocchi
best sweet potato gnocchi
best sweet potato gnocchi


Why Mindful Eating is Hard – But Worth It

This past week a few of my friends in Portland told me, “Hey Emily I actually started trying to eat mindfully after reading your blog!” Up until this point I almost forgot people might actually take my advice.  

One friend’s story of trying to implement mindful eating resonated strongly with me and I think highlights why mindful eating can be hard to solidify as new habit. My friend (let’s call her Laura) said she loves the concept, but finds it really hard to actually remember to practice before every meal. Laura said it usually dawns on her to slow down and mindfully eat about halfway through dinner every night. She told me when she was growing up her family's style was to rush to the table and scarf down food as if running towards the finish line in a race. Eating fast is the way her grandparents ate as well, so rushing through a meal is a multi-generational, deeply entrenched pattern in her family. (I'm sure she is not alone in this! Hello welcome to my family midwest farmers living through the depression)

 The reality is that changing eating habits, or really any habits for that matter, is hard. Like anything worth doing, changing behavior to create more wellness in your life takes awareness, intention, and hard work.

The good news is thousands of people change their routines everyday, and we know a lot more today about what it really takes to change a habit than we did even ten years ago. I’ll get more into the science of habits in later posts, but for now let’s just look at Laura’s story and how mindfulness might help her achieve a little more calm and help her react out of intention vs. habit.

5 Minutes of Listening to the Chatter  

Let’s say Laura decided to start taking five minutes every morning to practice mindfulness. With this exercise every morning she learned to listen to her thoughts as an observer as they arose, and not react with judgement or get swept away with the implications, but simply she just noticed her thoughts as they appeared. If Laura did this every day for a couple of weeks she probably would get pretty good at focusing her attention and becoming more aware of her mind’s chatter once mealtime came around. She would be able to tease apart what is really happening in her mind and body and be able to separate the fact of: “I am physically hungry” from the emotional response “I need to eat as fast as I can or else all the food will be gone”.

How could focusing your attention inward help you bring more intentionality to your daily habits?

Okay on to this amazing gnocchi ...

the best sweet potato gnocchi ever

This recipe has been adapted closely from Adia Mollenkamp's just simplified a bit! But you should definitely check out her tips and tricks about this dish as well! 

Ingredients
1/4 pound Russet potatoes (cut in half lengthwise)
3/4 pounds sweet potatoes (cut in half lengthwise)
1 large egg
1 to 2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbls olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
3 sprigs rosemary, and 3 sprigs thyme  
garnish of parmesan cheese

brown butter sauce
2 shallots sliced thinly
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Drizzle your potatoes with olive oil, and a little salt and then place them on a baking sheet, w/the cut-side down, and roast until tender enough to put a fork through, about 30-40 minutes.
2. Once they have cooled down a little, run the potato flesh (w/out skins)* through a potato ricer (or if you don't have one a potato masher or large fork will work) and in the egg, and add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a dough forms. *( I recommend keeping the potato skins for a delicious snack the next day :) 
3.  To know how much flour to use, add flour until the dough is moist but not sticky. My advice is, if this is your first time and you are in doubt, err on the side of adding more flour (I had a royal flop when I didn't add enough, so I'm sensitive) 
4. On a floured clean surface, divide the dough into about 8 equal pieces. Rolling each individual piece into a rope ( 1/2 inch in diameter).
5. Cut each rope into many 1/2 -inch gnocchi sized pieces. 
6. Bring a big ol' pot of salted water to a gentle boil over medium heat. Working in batches, simmer the gnocchi for about 5 minutes, wait just a minute or so past when they float to the surface of the water. Using a slotted spoon to scoop out and place the gnocchi on a baking sheet. Reserve about 1/4 a cup of the gnocchi cooking water.

For the sauce: 
7. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it starts foaming, add your sliced shallots and, watching it carefully allow the butter to start to brown, be stirring to ensure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Next add your chopped rosemary and thyme.

8. When the butter is brown, remove your pan from the stove, and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Stir in gnocchi and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, return to heat, and cook until just coated in the sauce. Finish with your cheese garnish and salt and pepper to taste!  

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hazelnut pumpkin cake + nutella frosting

This is a holiday cake built to impress. A spicy pumpkin cake with a creamy nutella buttercream frosting and roasted hazelnut topping. People will be so happy they invited you to their holiday party.  

hazelnut pumpkin cake + nutella frosting

double hazelnut pumpkin cake (with nutella) 

This has been adapted from cooking classy's pumpkin cake and a little inspiration from Sally's Baking Blog Nutella Frosting

ingredients
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 cups sugar ( I like to use sugar in the raw)
3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, soft/room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk

frosting
3/4 cup butter, soft/room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of cream or milk
1/2 cup nutella
1/2 cup hazelnuts (roasted for 5 mins while the cake is baking)

instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. This recipe fills three, 9-inch cake pans. Or you can make a smaller 6 inch cake and cupcakes (that is what I did). Just make sure to not over fill your cake pans as the dough will rise! Butter your cake pans well. 
2. Mix together all your dry ingredients except the sugars.
3. In another large bowl, mix together the butter and sugars, then add your oil, eggs, and vanilla. Then add the pumpkin and milk to the sugar mix. (Note - it is freaking amazing if you use actual roasted pumpkin here, but for use mere mortals, the canned stuff will do fine :) 
4. Slowly, add the flour mix to the butter/sugar pumpkin bowl. 
5. Pour into the cake pans and bake for 30-35min until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.
6. To make the frosting use room temp butter add the nutella, then add the powdered sugar, I use a Cuisinart Hand Mixer that I love. Frost your cake only when is is completely cold! Roughly chop half of your hazelnuts to add to the top.