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October 17, 2013 / alice

roasted pumpkin, fennel & fig

i am a sucker for figs. so when my most loyal facebook fan asked me to come up with a fig recipe i searched high and low for the last of the fall figs in Berkeley. this time of year i regularly roast acorn, butternut and kabocha squash. so i figured– why not pumpkin? fennel is also a staple in my roasting pan, adding an earthy sweet flavor.



roasted pumpkin, fennel & fig
serves 6

small pumpkin

5 med fennel bulbs

basket of figs

3-4 tablespoons ghee, butter or coconut oil

sea salt

you will also need 2 baking sheets or shallow roasting pans


step by step

preheat over to 350-400 degrees depending on your oven.

cut up fennel bulbs into heart slices, about 6 slices per bulb. try to leave the center intact so that they hold together during cooking.


fig & fennel prep. sorry for the shadow 🙁


slice figs into halves, this keeps they moist and juicy while roasting. if your figs are really large you can cut them into smaller chunks.


to prep the pumpkin (this goes for any winter squash)

cut the top off to expose a flat fleshy top. slice in half.


get the seeds out! see below for the basics of pumpkin seed toasting

put flat side down on a cutting board.  remove pumpkin rind with a vegetable peeler or with a large knife. only cut AWAY from your body and keep your hands out of the way!


pumpkin prep


spread evenly onto 2 roasting pans. no crowding! crowding leads to steaming which means that your vegges don’t get the delicious crispy edges.


ready to roast pan 1



ready to roast pan 2


toss with melted oil/butter

put into oven. roast for 1/2 hour to 45 min.



roasted! the figs to make the pan a little crusty. its easy to clean if you put hot water on it right away.


you know when your goodies are done when they are soft with brown crispy edges.


out of the oven and into the bowl




this got scoops taken out of it before i even got to take a photo of it!


Basics of pumpkin seed toasting!

wash seeds in a strainer. clean seeds will cook more evenly.

boil for 10 min in salted boiling water– this keeps the seeds moist while cooking

pat dry

cover with the same kind of oil you used for the roasting above

sprinkle with salt

spread evenly on a pan- minor overlap ok!

toast at 325 until seeds for about 20 min.

test a few as you go to see if they are crunchy and done.

you dont need to wait for the outside to look dark brown. the inner part of the seed gets toasted before the outside.

eat them shell & all! dare i say better than popcorn?


October 16, 2013 / alice

fall recipes by request!

hey all! I am working on my roasted pumpkin, fig and fennel recipe for Mr. Rose.

i also wanted to list some links to other great pumpkin recipes as well as carrot & zucchini recipes!

hope you enjoy! (click on the photo to go to the recipe)

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 7.52.41 PM

15 recipes that aren’t pumpkin pie

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zucchini nachos

roasted celery root & carrot. switch out olive oil for organic pasture raised ghee or butter.... only use olive oil is you use the best of the best!

roasted celery root & carrot. switch out olive oil for organic pasture raised ghee or butter…. only use olive oil is you use the best of the best!

fig & olive tapendade  (sorry for the bread photo! serve with gluten free crackers)

fig & olive tapendade
(forget the bread and serve with gluten free crackers)

pumpkin spice latte. i even saw a recipe recently that used pumpkin puree!

pumpkin spice latte. i even saw a recipe recently that used pumpkin puree- if i can find it again i will post it!


also i owe you a meditation update. believe it or not- today is day 37! still going strong. at this point i feel like day 40 is just a marker and i can’t imagine not having a meditation as part of my routine. enjoy these and i look forward to posting the next recipe soon!




October 15, 2013 / alice

daily special: carrots & zucchini

last thursday i noticed it had been a while since i posted a recipe. today i am posting two! i will also be following up with another recipe tomorrow. i asked my facebook subscribers to let me know what veggies they needed *NEW* recipes for.




the first two suggestions made were carrots and zucchini. truth be told, i don’t like cooked carrots and at this point of the year i am glad to be moving onto wintery veggies. some folks still have zucchinis in their gardens that they need to eat. so i made up two recipes to use these two veggies. at first i was not too excited about these recipes but after they were made i couldn’t deny their deliciousness!

i wanted to create recipes that were really easy to make, would only require one large pan and could be made consecutively with ease.  hope you enjoy these!



savory zucchini sauté
serves 4



4 large zucchini

2 tablespoons organic, pasture raised butter

half a medium shallot or small shallot, chopped

2 teaspoons cumin seed or ground cumin

3-4 oz goat cheese

salt & peper


slice zucchinis lengthwise and then into half moon slices.



chop shallot and set aside






heat the pan to medium and add butter, zucchini and a pinch of salt. the zucchini pieces should be spread evenly throughout the pan.



with the heat on medium let the zucchinis sweat out  their moisture for 5-8 min.


once they’ve shrunk a little you can turn up the heat to brown the zucchini.

add the cumin and chopped shallot.



stir until the zucchini are browned and the shallots cooked.



immediately transfer to heat safe bowl. let cool a bit then add the goat cheese in small pinches.



sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.



gingery cooked carrots

serves 4

(this recipe inspired by the lady at the farmers market! thank you!)


4-5 large carrots or a bunch of smaller ones

2 tablespoons coconut oil


1 tsp good maple syrup. none of that Aunt Jemimah stuff!

1 inch piece of ginger, grated

pinch of sea salt


use large fresh carrots for best flavor. avoid using bagged baby carrots if possible.


cut into 1-2 inch segments (this will help the carrots keep some of their texture and defend against reminders of soggy cooked carrots). you can do this ahead of time and keep them overnight in the fridge in water and covered.


heat a large pan to medium high heat. with enough room to keep the carrots from overlapping in the pan.



add a 1.5 tsp of coconut oil to the heated pan. reserve 1/2  tablespoons for later. once melted drop the carrots into the pan and start stirring. add a pinch of salt to help the carrots release their moisture.



the idea is that the carrots start to brown on the outside.  this takes a bit of time. about 10-15 min. keep stirring. grate the ginger.




once the carrots are beginning to look brown add the last ½ tablespoon on coconut oil, ginger and maple syrup.



the maple syrup will help finish caramelizing the carrots.



this dish isn’t very sweet but because of the maple syrup and sweet carrots this dish it is less like a veggie and more like a starch/carbohydrate portion of your meal.


pack these items up with some sliced cabbage and black beans for a great lunch!




October 7, 2013 / alice

navigating bumps in the road & art opening

the weekends prove to be the hardest time for me to meditate. between loving leisure mornings in bed on the weekend, busy schedules and lack of space there have been a few days of shorter meditations. i am trying to feel proud that amidst the craziness i have been able to continue having a daily sitting practices. the days that i have been having shorter sitting practices have all been in the evening when i do my meditation before bed. once i am in bed i have been making sure i spend some time clearing my mind and practicing some meditation techniques in the quiet time before bed. i also make sure to differentiate this practice from falling sleep.


no photos or mini art pieces to accompany this post.

in other news! my opening night at tara’s organic ice cream was awesome! i am so so so appreciative to all my friends and family that came out to support me! my mom even surprised me and flew in from L.A. to see it!

here is a photo tara herself took of the evening. it sure was hoppin!

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October 1, 2013 / alice

half of 40


day 15

it’s october. this is both lovely and frightening! i love fall and life in the bay area this time of year. fall really may be my favorite season. i knew it had been a few days since i last posted but it has been much longer than i expected. the weekends prove to be a more challenging time to update my blog but the weekend has also brought more flexibility to my practice.

today is day 21 and i haven’t done my meditation yet. so i will only be updating until day 20. i am so proud of my continued dedication to my meditation practice and each day has brought new challenges and gifts.

“be with what is” has been a theme of sorts through my restlessness, fidgeting and when my mind is refusing to quiet quickly. there have been many days that i spend much of my practice following thought, after thought or focusing on meditating. when i saw i could  just notice, and breathe my practice has felt much deeper.

seriously though, whatever happens at each sitting, i find myself with a much quieter mind afterwards.

are you interested in starting a meditation practice? next post i will be sharing some info about how to start your own meditation practice. please feel free to leave any comments if you are interested in asking specific questions!

September 25, 2013 / alice

day 14


September 24, 2013 / alice

these are the days

there is a constant flow of new things to think about with a daily mediation practice and obstacles that may arise when trying to be consistent with a mediation practice or any practice really. i am someone who finds routine difficult so the need for some variation in my practice is important. some days there is music, some days i like silence, some days i prefer a guided mediation. with all of the variations i am noticing 4 things that help me slip into my practice more easily.

1) time of day. i prefer to do my mediation practice in the morning. it helps me throughout the day and it removes the feelings of “don’t forget to do….” 2) space. choose a corner of a room or where ever you have room to designated space for your practice.  when you sit there you already can begin to cultivate a sense of relaxation and awareness. this can look like whatever you want it to. 3) be prepared for the unexpected. i have been away a lot and out of my normal home routine since the beginning of this practice. i found that a small piece of something you bring with you can create a space ripe for meditation, even when you are away. a candle, a specific piece of music or a sound- anything that can help you signal to yourself “the time has begun to settle into my mediation”. 4) joy. without this it is MUCH more challenging to relinquish the nagging mind to the quite mind. for me i find joy in the rituals i have created around my meditation practice. and knowing i get to make a little water color drawing if i choose to.

all of the above does not mean that each practice goes without challenge. restlessness seems to be another theme that keeps emerging. the feeling of restlessness makes it so challenging to do my practice! for me the most helpful method of dealing with restlessness is to just notice it.  to watch it. to be with it.

sunday, day 11 was particularly restless. and i wasn’t able to sit for my normal amount of time. at one point i just was done. this was the little painting i made.


train of clouds and thoughts




after my restless practice on day 11 i was fearful of what my day 12 practice would bring. i sat down to practice and i chose a guided meditation to follow. which ended up being very helpful because it focused on just being and really letting go of “watching” your meditation. before i started my practice though i pulled these three angle cards.


do you see the connection? i did.


if you are interested in making your own angle cards you can find that tutorial here


day 13’s practice was somewhat restless. but at the end of the practice i was really able to focus and write this post!

September 23, 2013 / alice

hello & goodnight!

it’s late and i am realizing i havent posted since saturday!

in the mean time…..


i have lots to write so i will be following up on Tues.



September 21, 2013 / alice

9 & 10


day 9 went without a post but still had a meditation. this is a sketch from day 10. i’m journaling reflections and ideas that will make their way onto here during the week.

September 19, 2013 / alice

day 8 painting and meditation

today i had scheduled time for my seated meditation. instead i found myself deep into my painting practice. i lost all sense of time. all i could focus on was which little house, tree or piece of sidewalk i was working on. painting and art making is meditative and is thought to be one of the reasons it is so beneficial to those experiencing illness. so i had to ask myself…

does my painting count as my daily meditation? and who’s counting?

to answer this two part question  a) i have always considered making art as a type of meditation. getting lost in the experience of making and how empty my mind can be from meaningless chitter-chatter in the process of creation. and b) i am counting! i have to remember i am doing this practice for myself. and this is an exploration of what a meditation practice means to me. i am discovering how i can best spend my time to help my overall health and well-being.

here are some images of what i was working on.