Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thick, creamy, sticky, luscious nut butters are the stars in Robin Robertson’s latest endeavor, Nut Butter Universe.  Not only was I fortunate enough to test many of these recipes, but I am honored and excited to share that I provided the photography for Nut Butter Universe as well!  This cookbook also marks my first-ever cookbook cover! 


In addition to the photographs here, I have created a Pinterest Board
with nearly all of the final full photographs I shot for NBU.

Smoke & Spice Almond Hummus

 As always, I love hearing from readers so let me now what you think!
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Almond Butter

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Continuing the Bits & Pieces Theme for Vegan MoFo:

Chocolate Jumbles!

The inspiration for the Jumble came when I inadvertently left a goodie bag of chocolates, candies and chocolate-covered pretzels in my car on a hot summer day while on vacation.  I wasn't about to throw all that yummy-ness out, so I popped it into our hotel room’s little fridge.  Later that night with the rest of the family asleep (I’m the night owl), I was able to enjoy a good book while I munched on the bits of salty, nutty, sweet, chocolately bits I broke off from the previously messy bag of goo. Delicious!

So the idea was born to try this at home, on purpose, with whatever I had on hand.  What isn't improved by a chocolate bath?


½ cup of any leftover vegan chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips = ½ cup
1/3 cup of small pretzels, broken
1 cup of chopped mixed dried fruit and nuts

There are endless variations from this simple idea, but keep in mind something sweet, something salty and something chocolate should be included. 


For this batch I really used up some Bits & Pieces that had been banging around my freezer and pantry for quite a while.  There was a scant ¼ cup of peanuts at the bottom of a jar and a ½ of a bag of whole dried apricots and peaches that everyone had been ignoring.  I diced the dried fruit and added golden raisins to the peanuts to equal one cup. 

I had frozen a part of a chocolate rice crispy type chocolate bar called boom Choco boom from Enjoy Life and an Endangered Species Cranberry and Almond dark chocolate bar.  I melted them in the microwave and they came together beautifully.  An equal amount (1/2 cup) of chocolate chips would serve the same purpose.


Combine dried fruit, nuts and pretzels in a small bowl.

Microwave chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Pour chocolate over dry mixture and stir to coat.

Using a tablespoon, plop out balls of the mixture onto a wax paper covered cutting board or tray and refrigerate until firm.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vegan MoFo 2012

Bits & Pieces

Motivated by my own disorganization and guilt over the many expired fruits and veggies that hit the garbage can without ever having left their supermarket wrapping, I have decided to focus on not only buying less and cooking more from my pantry and fridge, but utilizing the "Bits & Pieces" that remain from the dishes I do manage to produce in new, hopefully inventive ways.   

Some common Bit & Pieces that often remain in our house are the ends of bread loaves, halves of onions, peppers, the cored ends of tomatoes, not-enough-to-make-an-entire-bowl, end-of-the-box cereal bits, cooked rice, grains, not-quite-a-full-serving of frozen fruits and vegetables, nuts, dried fruit,  a lone carrot or two, a half of bagel, a swirl of vegan cream cheese or butter from the bottom of the container.  In a house of five thoughtful people no one wants to take the last of anything, but the bit that remains is not usually enough to do anything with on its own.  My goal here is to come up with some staples using these tasty dregs.  The most common sense thing to do with these items would be to throw them in a soup or stew, and the first recipe I will share is for a quick, flavorful Vegetable Soup.  Perhaps not the most imaginative, but definitely worth your while.  I'm not sure what it is about this soup, but it is on the short list of dishes that all five of us love; my omnivorous husband, my vegetarian children, (from teen to toddler), and me.

Bits & Pieces Vegetable Soup


1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic
1 Large Zucchini, peeled if not organic, sliced in half lengthwise and then into half moons
1 Large Carrot, peeled and sliced
1 Large Potato, any kind, peeled and diced
1 28 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 any small pasta or grain (dry)
1 Can Favorite Beans, Rinsed and Drained (Kidney Beans, Garbanzo, Small White Beans, Edamame all work well)
1/2 Tsp. Salt, more to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried Basil
1 tsp. dried Marjoram


I had a bit of fresh parsley left from my garden so I chopped it and added it as well.

This is the perfect soup to add leftover fresh diced tomatoes (use the bits around the cores).

Any favorite and/or leftover vegetable bits can be used in roughly the same quantities as the above vegetables.

If you have leftover cooked pasta or grains add them in toward the end of cooking so they don't overcook and/or absorb too much liquid.

I often use Alphabet pasta as I have a toddler and Alphabet pasta is cute, but any small pasta will do.In the photo above I've used pastina.

When my youngest was even younger I would make this soup but dice all the veggies for safety and crush his serving of beans.


Saute the onion and garlic in a 1 tablespoon of olive oil or 1/4 of water or broth until soft.

Add prepared vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add Tomatoes & Broth and bring to a boil.

Add Pasta or Grain and Cook until tender according to type.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer until all vegetables are tender.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


It's only VeganMoFo Eve and the blog hits are already surging!  So much fun.  I love reading all your comments and finding new blogs and interesting voices. I am looking forward to spending time with you all over the next 31 days!  

Spent the afternoon pumpkin picking!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Edible NJ Magazine

My Silverton Organic Farms photography is featured in the fifth anniversary issue of Edible NJ Magazine, available now and online.  I just took two of my boys strawberry picking there, it's a great place for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables!