Autumn Recipe Inspiration + Other Fun Stuff

October 27, 2017

I really wanted to share my Autumn Recipe index since I am sure it will be winter in about a week. Life’s been busy around here so I am a gal of few words this time. Sorry. #novembergoals

Autumn Recipe Inspiration

Pear and Potato Salad with Pickled Mustard Seeds and Sausage. This is a winner.

Hasselback Potatoes with Kale Pesto. I used this chimichurri sauce instead. I used a full bunch of cilantro and no parsley and I think I added an extra clove of garlic. I really like the addition of oregano here.

Buttery Celery Tortellini. I haven’t tried this one yet but the combo seems interesting.

Cheesy Baked Gnocchi with Kale. Just good ol’ comfort food here.

Sticky Sesame and Ginger Pork Meatballs with Soba Noodles. This recipe is absolutely delicious and surprisingly easy. I used half pork and half beef for the meatballs and Costco has been carrying a Ramen Noodle made with brown rice and millet that is an awesome noodle substitute.

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken French Bread. Try this for Sunday night football or for a World Series game. Your husband/boyfriend/family/friends will love you!

Caramel Affogato with Cinnamon Churros. OMG, what a decadent treat. This could be shared with friends next to a warm fire in minutes. Just pick up a couple churros from Costco the day of and the rest is easy peasy!

Carrot Cake Thumbprint Cookies. These have been on my to-make list for awhile now. You will get an insta report soon!

Cream Cheese Cake. I’ve tried a number of cheesecakes but still searching for ‘the one’. Guess this recipe is next in line with Thanksgiving around the corner.

Cocktail of the Month. Dogear this one for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Other Fun Stuff

C&H Jeans. I bought the Rocket High Rise. Seriously the best pair of jeans I’ve owned. Worth every dollar.

Metallic Lipstick. I’ve been wearing brick metal and bronzed burgundy. Perfect Fall colors and I also bought Flamingo Floss for our upcoming Mexico vacay! They are currently buy one get the second 50% off!

Mamacita Tee. All you mothers need to rock this tee! They have other styles too if the V isn’t your look.

Indy Brand. Snuggle up on the couch with one of their cute comfy sweatshirts.

The Flower Hat. Check out their shop on 10/30 and order Julio’s favorite bulbs.

Thanksgiving Inspiration

November 22, 2016


Hey, its Thanksgiving week so I thought I would share a couple inspiring recipes and tips for Thursday’s feast. Still keep your tried and trues but it never hurts to mix things up a little. Keep in mind I haven’t tried any of the recipes listed below but they all look holiday worthy! Let me know if you find a winner.

Cocktail -Try this festive twist on the Moscow Mule, ’cause who doesn’t love a super cold copper mug filled with refreshing ginger beer?!

Apps – I like antipasto platters because there’s a little something for everyone to nibble on. Sometimes I will invite guests to bring one small bite which makes for an interesting board and cost friendly. Those darn meat and cheese boards can get expensive!

Main – Spicy Turkey Breast (Been there done that, maybe you want to scratch the big bird too), Crock pot Three Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Focaccia Stuffing with Leeks or this Wild Mushroom stuffing looks pretty good too and Radicchio Salad with Manchego Vinaigrette (looks like a time saver).

Sides – Dinner rolls from your local baker (save yourself some time here) and I think homemade cranberry sauce is worth every extra minute in the kitchen.

Dessert – Okay someone has to try this deep dish pie, its looks so so good. And if you need something gluten free and dairy free try this Pumpkin Tart.

Table Inspiration – Check out the magnolia leaf runner and after you’re done with Thanksgiving Dinner place it on your mantel for Christmas!

If you’re feeling a panic attack settling in right about now then I recommend (drum roll please) TURKEY POT PIE! It’s genius. I am pretty sure you’ll find every ingredient from the Thanksgiving menu wrapped in a delicious pastry dough. Just saying, you could hit the hot springs all morning/afternoon and come home to a bubbling pie. Think about it. Here’s an article to guide you through your non-traditional dinner.

Good Luck and remember don’t sweat the small stuff! XO Kate

Autumn in my veins

October 30, 2016


Happy Halloween!

Anyone else still trying to put together a last minute costume? The good news is the Autumn weather is holding and kids won’t have to layer a snowsuit underneath. That was the worst.

I don’t get too excited this time of year because I know what’s around the corner. Hurricane like winds, white landscapes and bad moods in case you were wondering. So naturally I try to defy the inevitable by preserving the fruits of Autumn and neatly stacking the jars of care and affection into my pantry. This year we were mostly busy trying to keep up with the plum and apple trees but mixed in a couple canners of chock cherry syrup, pickled beets and salsa. With 18 fruitful apples trees we ended up with over 100 quarts of pale pink applesauce, A LOT of 1/2 gallon jugs of raw apple cider and far too many taunting apple desserts in the house. I am currently trying to perfect my apple tart. My last try showed promise but think I have a couple more tweaks to the crust. I have also been working on a walnut ice cream tart topped with warm apple slices.  This dessert combines some of my favorites things so I can confidently say it’s nearing the top of my favorites list. I have yet to bake an apple pie but I have sliced and frozen plenty of apples for a winter pick me up. I’ve always stayed tried and true to the family recipe but I thought one way to make change without change is with a decorative crust. I’ve really been inspired lately by a photographer and cookbook author from Sweden, Linda Lomelino. So I am trying this look and this look. The latter may inspire you to wow your Thanksgiving dinner guests!



So what else have I been doing besides canning and crying about Winter since I last posted almost 2 months ago? Well we finished up haying and harvesting. And with all the tractor hours logged I listed to some pretty good podcasts. this one being a favorite: Corinne Bailey Rae’s The Heart Speaks in Whispers. There’s six episodes that average around 20 minutes each. She explores the themes and personal experiences that fueled  her latest album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers. Exploring the different ways that we can become more consciously connected with our bodies, minds and the natural world around us. Corinne speaks to philosophers, experts, musicians, authors and artists across the field as she examines the art of being ‘present’. SO GOOD!

We weaned calves the day after Labor Day so we are serving the boys and girls every morning and evening now for the next 6 or so months. We’ve also been working on replacing an old coral system.  And it looks like we might actually get to pat ourselves on the back this year. You might think there’s not a whole to it but let me tell you its nothing short of a full design starting with grading, excavation and concrete work for the new barn, chute and tub system followed by welded steel panel corals. This isn’t something you tear down and start from scratch in 5 years so there’s a lot of opinions and ideas to sift through. Oh and how could I forget the family was nominated and recognized as a winner for Montana State’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship family busy award!



My youngest sister twisted my arm for another family photo session. This one focused around my 3 nieces and nephew and my youngest sister and her son. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I don’t make a living photographing kids cause I’d be broke and crazy. I love ‘em all to pieces but it’s really really hard to get a good photo when someone (ahem, Miss Molly) is trying her hardest to kill every photo. The good news is I think we ended up with a handful of wall worthy photos!




Luke and I are nearing the end of our first design/build project together. And yes, we are still together and happy and I have actually started designing our next project. I can’t wait to share photos. Its killing me but I really want to hold off a little longer until cabinets, counters, tile etc are done. You know, the aesthetics that actually make it look like a house! So stay tuned cause were hoping to be done before Christmas! Luke and I also celebrated 5 years of marital bliss in October. Its true, well at least the 5 years part!! 🙂

And since I still have Autumn in veins, below are a couple great boots I’ve stumbled across! Yes, I have a problem.

1. I ordered these and can’t wait for them to arrive!

2. These remind me of a pair of boots Luke wears and I love them.

3. My sister bought these wedges and I am a little jealous!

4. And I really want to order these.

Thanksgiving Leftovers & Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

November 27, 2015

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins


Happy Thanksgiving! I know it’s been a little quiet over here for a couple of weeks. Sorry about that. But I’m back and just in time for the holidays. Phew, because this is my favorite time of the year to be in the kitchen. So many sweet treats to bake. My sister and I actually already baked 8 dozen sugar cookies. I am feeling inspired this year if you haven’t noticed from my holiday board. However, I am pretty sure the creators behind these cookies or should I say ‘edible art’ have to be professionals!

So what did everyone make for Thanksgiving this year? Did you host and have the honor of cooking the turkey?

We ate the tried and true standbys; turkey and homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing and mashed potatoes, broccoli quinoa casserole, and pumpkin and apple pie. I created a new salad with kale, Brussels sprouts and candied hazelnuts. Nat recently visited Spain and Portugal so she was feeling inspired by the Spanish and made a sangria. Mom tried a recipe for chocolate chess pie. Yes, it sounds like we had a lot of pie and we did. Four to be exact. Just what I needed right before I squeeze into my bathing suit for a week. Oh well.

The best part of the day was that I didn’t have to host or cook the turkey. I volunteered my sister and her husband for both. Thanks Kels and Dave. The smoked turkey was delicious. You may be smoking turkey from here on out!

So now you have an entire fridge of leftovers. The real reason behind the feast; so we can eat pie for a week. No seriously, there is usually a lot of leftovers and I can only eat so many turkey and cranberry sandwiches. So I have two ideas for you this year; Shepherd’s pie and these pumpkin cranberry muffins.  Shepherd’s pie is a great way to use up leftover turkey, gravy, roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. And these muffins aren’t too sweet, which I like. And let’s not forget the cranberry tucked away in the middle of the muffin. I mean who doesn’t love a little surprise!

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving leftovers

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins / makes 8 large muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. spelt flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt, dried orange peel and nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 c. leftover pumpkin puree (8 oz.)
Leftover cranberry sauce
Demerara sugar and pecans

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add wet ingredients minus the cranberry sauce and fold everything together until just blended; do not over mix. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan, filling each cup halfway. Add a generous teaspoon of cranberry sauce and fill cup with batter to three-quarters full. Sprinkle with sugar and rough chopped pecans.

Bake for 20 to 3o minutes until golden brown. If you insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin it should pull out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter of coarse!

Happy Holidays! And remember, there’s always something to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Montana Picnic | BLT with Blue Cheese & Pimiento Spread

September 22, 2015

Montana Picnic


This is the time of year when I start to panic. I obsess over weather reports; constantly checking updates to verify clear sunny skies. I believe I still have a good month before the snow flies so September is usually the month I try to cram a summer’s list of to-dos into four weeks. When I realize I have only one month of decent semi predictable weather. So I spend every possible minute of my day absorbing the remnants of summer. So what better way to honor the ‘savor summer’ mantra than a perfectly packed picnic. Pick a place whether it be mountain scapes, alfalfa fields, the park down the road, your backyard or on the tailgate aside a country road. Just get outside with some small bites and sweet treats and enjoy the 80 degree weather.

Garden Veggies

I wanted to take the effort out of packing so below is what you would find at my picnic. I would love to hear some of your favorite items too!


Basket or Backpack – If you’re road tripping pack the super cute basket, if you are hitting the mountain trails go backpack. This handwoven basket is a classic and I have been eyeing this handmade salmon colored backpack for quite some time now.

Napkins – I am a bit obsessed with cloth napkins. My mother showed me how to sew my own and now I turn every piece of fabric I own into a napkin. Mostly because I collect fabric and it’s the only thing I can sew. Well that and the occasional baby blanket. But seriously, bring cloths napkins as I also use it as a face cloth to wick away sweat and dirt.

Plates, Glasses & Utensils – If you are taking a drive or close walk with the picnic basket, I pack the whole works. I have a set of silverware that I use solely for camping and picnicking and have wicker plate holders for paper plates. I found them at a thrift store and absolutely love them. They make eating off a paper plate so much easier and fancier. I also like to pack glasses and wrap them in the cloth napkins.

Blanket – Don’t forget an over-sized blanket. It’s not a picnic if you aren’t lounging on a blanket. I like these linen blankets.

Hat – whether it be a ball cap or handmade straw hat. I don’t care I just want to keep the sun off my face. I pack a good sunscreen too. Mostly because my husband is Irish! And why not throw in some bug repellent and sunglasses. Still swooning over hats by Janessa Leone.

Frisbee – Yes, it’s easy to pack and something to do when I run out of words.

Small Bites and Treats.

Peruvian Peppers – If you haven’t tried them they can usually be found in the olive bar. They’re delicious.

Assortment of Olives – My favorite being the Castelvetrano olive. They’re bright green.

One or two Spreads – Always a pesto and usually a hummus.

Meat – For me it’s usually the old and reliable; hard salami, ham and prosciutto.

Cheese – Usually one or two cheeses. A soft spreadable cheese and usually a hard salty cheese.

Fruit – The list is endless. Something seasonal.

Baguette – Easy to pack and eat. If I have time beforehand I will toast slices.

Roasted garlic – Again, only if I have the time beforehand to roast.

Drinks – Sparkling water, ice tea, lemonade, kombucha, beer, wine; you get the picture.

Something sweet – It can be as simple and healthy as cocoa nibs to homemade hand pies to a candy bar. Just something to satisfy the after lunch craving.

If I want something more substantial and have the time beforehand it’s basically the same list above but using some of the ingredients to make a sandwich (try my BLT with a blue cheese and pimento spread below). I would most likely toss a salad together too. Not a green salad, something that keeps well like this four bean salad. And since you can’t eat a sandwich without chips, I usually throw in my favorite, salt and vinegar.

When it comes to packing the food, it really just depends on where I am picnicking. If I am hiking or driving or taking a short walk and well of coarse if its spontaneous or planned. So make it as little or as much effort as you would like. Hope this helps!


BLT (Bacon, red romaine and heirloom tomato) with a Blue Cheese and Pimiento Spread / makes 4 sandwiches

8 slices of bread, toasted
Blue cheese and pimiento spread, see recipe below
10 to 12 slices of bacon, cooked
Fresh greens, I used red romaine from my garden
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

Blue Cheese and Pimiento Spread

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 oz. blue cheese crumbles, room temperature
2 oz. jar sliced pimientos, drained and diced
½ jalapeno, diced
1 Tbs. dried chives
Pinch of celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste

Incorporate all ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread on bread and you know the rest!

Cheers to 80 degree weather in September! Get outside and picnic.Cheers

Picnicking photographs taken by local photographer Trisha Jones.

Summer Recall | Fall Favorites

September 7, 2015

Fields of Grain Cooper Hereford Ranch

Garden Veggies and Sunflowers

There’s a chill in the air that can’t be mistaken for Fall. A new season has arrived and it’s bitter sweet. I absolutely love the transition from Summer to Winter; when sweatshirts and coats are added to the wardrobe, when soups slowly start to replace salads and the garden’s bounty collides with the preparation of Winter. Apple season is only a couple weeks away, which means canning quarts and quarts of applesauce, sipping cloudy ciders and eating my fair share of apple pie. I tell ya, it’s just the best time of the year. But I find myself fighting a war with the inevitable change to another season. It seems I absolutely dread Winter. I was trying to be positive and receptive towards Winter the other day but honestly the only good vibe I was receiving was the thought of planning Winter vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching delicate snowflakes while snuggled up next to a wood burning stove but the reality is, I am outside fighting the cutting wind with frozen fingers and toes and covered in hay dust. Not quite so romantic. So I keep dreaming of this life when my husband and I get to enjoy Montana from March to December and flit away somewhere exotic where I pick tropical fruits in my swimsuit during January and February.

So before its over, I wanted to share some of my favorite summer moments with you.

The garden of coarse, it’s a lot of work but I am thankful for my Sister, Aunt and Mother who all contribute. It was a good year. We had an abundance of zucchini (as usual), cucumber, corn and tomatoes. I didn’t plant enough bush beans and I planted too many radishes and beets (again) and I had terrible luck with the lacinto kale. I tried planting three different times and nada. I think it must have been a bad batch of seeds. Oh and I got a couple different pepper varieties to grow but I have come to the conclusion that I need a green house (um hum Luke).

My niece, Sadie, stayed with me a lot this Summer. She’s a dancer, musician, food lover, playwright, wicked smart and a bit of a klutz. She was pure entertainment and a great help in the kitchen and garden and loved learning how to style and photograph food.

Margaritas are pretty synonymous with Summer for Luke and I. And this Summer Luke discovered a new tequila, Espolon. It was love at first site. I mean this label, come one. I will honestly say I would continue buying this tequila based solely on the label, but fortunately, it tastes good too! My margarita recipe is classic; tequila, triple sec, agave, and lemon and/or lime. Sometimes I like to spice things up with a little jalapeno or be sweet with muddled fruit.

And the best part, ranch life. Friends will sometimes ask if we have any fun trips or events planned for the summer. As usual, I reply no; we rarely leave the Ranch let alone Montana. Summer it such a busy time of year for both my husband and I. Plus why would we leave. Summers in Montana are epic. All we really want to do is be outside walking the fields and pastures and capturing colorful sunsets around the fire pit. My husband might add golf to the list but really, that’s what we do and we’re perfectly happy and content. It’s Winter we’re trying to escape!

Borage and Beets

Stormy Skies Cooper Hereford Ranch


Some things to roll you into Fall.

Pretty sure I need this pocket knife. Like 100% sure!
And every September during corn season, this soup recipe.
This cookbook has been an inspiration to me lately.
Hanging onto Summer with these floral ties for the Mr. Especially this one and this one.
Thinking about these earrings.
I am always light years behind when it comes to music but recently found this artist.
Recently purchased this kettle. It’s going to get a lot of use during the next couple of months.
Have been swooning over these sheets for some time now.
Need a refill here.
Enjoying this read snuggled up with a blanket.

Hope every one of you enjoyed the nice long weekend!


Cooper Hereford Ranch

Mini Apple Crisps with a Salted Pretzel Topping

May 18, 2015

individual apple crisps

tea and treats

It has been wet and drizzly for about a week or so now. The perfect weather to accomplish a little spring cleaning and baking. So between ranch and construction work last week, I managed to reveal the bottom of my garage freezer. I found a couple jugs of fresh pressed apple cider, beet greens pesto, bone marrow broth, a bag of prepared rhubarb and a bag of apples from last year’s harvest along with blackened corn from the cob and some specialty meats. So with garden fresh ingredients nearly around the corner, I thought I better start making use of what’s left in the freezer. So here is a recipe for mini apple crisps with a salted pretzel topping. The pretzels add a lot of texture and crunch, which I really like in a crisp. I also like this recipe because it’s incredibly quick. You will be in and out of the kitchen in no time. Plus it’s great for entertaining because it can be made ahead of time and easily transported. My apples were frozen but don’t worry if you want to use fresh, the recipe is forgiving. Hope you can find the time to enjoy with a cup of tea while it’s still chilly outside!

Mini Apple Crisps with a Salted Pretzel Topping // Serves 6

1/3 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. mini salted pretzels
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 stick (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, chilled

2 lb. frozen apples
1 Tbs granulated sugar
2 Tbs arrowroot
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon for juice
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium glass bowl and toss to combine. Spray six (6) ramekins and equally divide filling into ramekins. Depending on ramekin size, this may be plus or minus one ramekin.

In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients for the topping and mix until combined. Cube the butter and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until clumps together when squeezed with fingers.

Spread topping evenly over ramekins. Place on a baking sheet to avoid a bubbly sticky mess and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The filling should be bubbly and the topping should be golden brown. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

mini apple crisp

The mini ceramic pie dish shown in the above photo is from Home Goods but here is a similar looking one. I really like these dishes because they are fairly shallow and have more surface area for the delicious crunchy topping!

I am sure the rhubarb in my freezer will show up in this cheesecake.
Probably going to make my charred corn chowder soup this week. Thinking of adding a little smoked paprika to it.

Since I spend almost every day working outside, or at least some portion of the day. I have found it extremely important to protect my skin from the elements. I was recently turned on to a moisturizer and pressed powder by a friend. The moisturizer is SPF 30 and the pressed powder is SPF 20. I have never added protection with a pressed powder. Normally I use a sun screen and call it good. But a pressed powder is incredibly effective because it

The moisturizer is the Red Currant by Eminence Organic Skin Care. Eminence products are made with the finest natural ingredients using whole fruit pulps and botanical ingredients without chemical preservatives. The skin care line is organic and incredibly fresh.

The pressed powder is by Jane Iredale. Jane Iredale products have earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation. To earn this seal, a manufacturer must provide scientific data showing that its product sufficiently and safely aid in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin. It is a mineral powder made without talc, FD&C dyes, synthetic preservatives, parabens or synthetic fragrance. I am not one to wear much makeup but if it helps protect my skin then I am all for it!

I also recently purchased this sun hat from Everything Golden.

I think I am ready for the summer sun!

Bourbon + Apple Cider + Kombucha

December 20, 2014


Christmas Cocktail

It’s really quite simple with only three ingredients. And to be honest, I make it often minus the kombucha. But with only two ingredients, be mindful in selecting a bourbon and apple cider. Quality is key here. I use the apple cider made with the apples from our trees each year. It’s fresh and unpasteurized.  So I often bring it to a boil with warm spices like cinnamon, star anise, and clove and let it simmer and perfume the kitchen for a bit.

Apple Cider Cocktail // 1 drink
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. apple cider
1 oz. gingerade kombucha
Brown sugar

Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon, apple cider and kombucha. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the cocktail glass and dip in brown sugar. Strain the drink into the glass. You can add more ice to the glass if you like. Garnish with a thin slice of orange peel.

Be Merry and Bright!

Pumpkin Tart

November 20, 2014

pumpkin tart


I am sharing a Thanksgiving Day recipe. It’s a pumpkin tart with a chocolate glaze and crust made with graham crackers, pecans and dates. Pumpkin is a favorite of mine except for pumpkin pie. I think I ate too much pumpkin pie with my Dad when I was just a girl. So I wanted to create something similar to pumpkin pie that I might like. So of course I added chocolate and an irresistible crust.

I made the pumpkin puree from scratch. My Mom had a Sugar Pumpkin from the garden in cold storage so I thought, why not. I cut the pumpkin in half, removed the seeds and gunk, and baked it at 400 degrees until soft. (Note: I added a little water to to the baking pan so the pumpkin would steam.) Baking time will vary with size. I think it took about 45 minutes for a medium sized one. I let it cool just enough where I could handle it and then I peeled the skin back on most of it and the remaining I scooped with a spoon. I pureed the pumpkin using a food processor. Looking at it on a baking tray, I thought I would barely get enough for one tart. Bad judgement because I have made two tarts now and probably have enough for 2 more. Pumpkin puree is not a lot of work but obviously takes more effort than cracking a can.

It’s officially Winter here in Montana. We have been experiencing the Arctic Blast. Subzero temperatures and snow for over a week now. Dad says we need the South wind to come through and clear the weather. Not sure I like the sound of wind either. Tough decision but I think if I had the choice I would pick the cold over the wind. Fortunately, we worked most the cattle the week prior to the Arctic Blast when temps were in the 60s. We worked the last group yesterday and I am happy to say temps peaked in high 30s! Hard to believe 30s feels comfortable now.

arctic blast

Pumpkin Tart

12 graham crackers
1 c. pecan halves
6 medjool dates, pitted
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

5 oz. chevre goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each of nutmeg and ginger
3 eggs (2 yolks and 1 whole)
15 oz. pumpkin puree (1 can)
2 Tbs. cream
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. chocolate chips (60% or higher)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. cream
2 Tbs. light corn syrup

1 tsp. pepitas, chopped
Whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor combine all ingredients for the crust. Pulse until mealy and clumps when pressed together with fingers.
Grease a 11-inch circular tart mold with butter. Empty crust mixture into tart mold and press along sides and base to form an even crust. Bake for 12 to 15 or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool.

With an electric mixer and whisk attachment, combine goat cheese, sugar, and spices. Whip until creamy. Add egg yolks and egg, beating after each addition. Add pumpkin puree, cream, and vanilla and continue whisking until all ingredients are combined and filling is smooth. Pour filling into cooled tart crust and bake for 40 minutes or until center does not jiggle. Remove from oven and cool.

Using a double broiler, add chocolate, butter, and cream. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup without incorporating air. Remove and pour over cooled pumpkin tart. Spread evenly. Garnish with pepitas and whipped cream.

Best eaten day of. No problem here.


Pumpkin Tart

Simple Weekday Salad

November 12, 2014

Simple Lunch Salad

I have been thinking a lot about what healthy living means to me. Eating whole foods, plenty of exercise, a good night’s sleep, rest (not to be confused with the prior), giving and receiving love, belly aching laughs, feeling self-worth, sunshine and so forth. Listed in no particular order because all equally important for my physical and mental health. I am wondering though, is it possible to be successful at all of these things? Seriously, it’s a lot to ask. Sometimes I don’t sleep well when my husband snores and sometimes I don’t want to ‘feel the burn’ in my thighs. I guess health is no exception, results require self-discipline, motivation, and hard work. So every day I try to be healthier than the day before. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. But every day is a new day and I try to remind myself if I have my health, I have everything.

This recipe was inspired by a lunch I devoured in Cape Town. I cannot remember the name of this part market part café but I remember  thinking “I want to own a place like this”. It was the perfect place to share espresso and cake with a girlfriend, buy a gift on the fly, grab fresh flowers, read a book and drink a Pinotage, and stop for lunch every day! The lunch menu varied daily and was displayed in beautiful ceramics on a large wooden farm table. Maybe some day I can call it my own.

I harvested my last row of spinach a week ago. Pretty happy to be eating fresh greens from my garden in November. I recently requested a building project from my husband so if I am lucky I might be harvesting more fresh greens throughout the winter. Fresh spinach keeps well, even when dressed, so its perfect for a workday lunch.. The beauty of this salad is its simplicity without compromising taste. The sweet and hot cherry peppers are key. They make all the difference. I bought mine from Trader Joes during my last visit to CA. I have not searched for them around here but my first stop would be Front Street Market.

Simple Weekday Lunch // serves 4


Juice of 1 lemon and zest
1 Tbs. bean liquid from can
½ tsp sardine paste
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed and unfiltered)
1 15 oz. can butter beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. sweet and hot cherry peppers, sliced
4 handfuls of spinach
4 oz. feta
White balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil


In a glass bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, bean liquid, sardine paste and chopped rosemary. Slowly add olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Add beans and peppers to marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Toss spinach with white balsamic and olive oil. Crumble feta over top and add a large scoop of beans and peppers on the side. I used one handful of spinach, a splash of white balsamic and a drizzle of olive oil, and an ounce of feta per salad.

Big Sky

I had to share a couple photos of the Montana sky. This last month I have woke to a different colored blaze shining through to my kitchen. The perfect way to start the day. Rise and shine!

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