I Took the Pledge… Again!

October Unprocessed 2013

First of all, thank you so much for all of the support that poured in after I published my previous post about our struggles this past year with recurrent miscarriage.  Of course I was extremely nervous to open up and share something so personal in such a public way, but the positive response was immediate and really helped to me put me at ease.  You guys are wonderful.

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to commit to October Unprocessed again this year.  We both signed the pledge in 2011 and it was a lot of fun, although I think we may have given in to a tempting bag of Halloween candy on the last day of that year’s challenge.  Because we enjoyed the challenge so much in 2011 and because I like to support Andrew in his mission to help people learn more about what they are eating and make healthier choices, we signed up for the challenge last year as well.  But I was recovering from my first miscarriage last October, not to mention completely gutting and remodeling a house we had purchased, and the October Unprocessed challenge didn’t work out so well.  In fact, my diet was pretty terrible last October and it’s pretty terrible now as well. Continue reading →

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Baby Steps

Ava Walking

Wouldn’t this have been a great photo and title for Wordless Wednesday?  It was so tempting to post nothing but a photo today, but it turns out that I have way too many words in my head and I’m exhausted from working so hard to keep them in there.  Totally and completely exhausted.

So today I am going to write.  Not about my own recipes, because I haven’t felt much like cooking, much less developing recipes, in a really long time.  I’m not going to write about my recent travels or the awesome cookbooks and kitchen products that have been showing up at my door lately.  Not about our CSA box that has been supplying us with local organic produce and eggs week after week.  Not about our summer garden that exploded and filled our lives with cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and chiles and is now almost completely gone.  And I’m certainly not going to write about the growing compost pile where many of those vegetables ended up because I have had no desire to cook or eat them.  I’m not even going to write about the beautiful fresh Alaskan salmon that was sent to me over the summer to experiment with and has instead been taking up most of my freezer for the last couple of months.  I wish I wanted to write about those things.  I really do know how lucky I am to have a job that allows me to be creative in the kitchen and travel and test new products.  But right now, none of it means that much to me and food blogging is going to have to wait.

Instead, I’m going to write about miscarriage.  It’s the thing that I’ve been trying not to write about for a year now, although the truth is that I have wanted to write about it.  Desperately.  The thing about miscarriage is that there’s a rule that we’ve all learned that it shouldn’t be talked about with acquaintances or strangers.  That’s why you’re not supposed to share news about a pregnancy until after the first trimester – if you talk openly about a pregnancy and it ends in miscarriage, it’s impossible to keep it a secret.  While I understand the initial discomfort in having to tell people about the loss, I have found that it’s much more uncomfortable to keep it a secret and try to carry on as if your life hasn’t been ripped apart and turned upside down.  Think about how many women go through this (it’s a surprisingly large percentage) and how many of them immediately go back to work, or to the grocery store, or out with friends, enduring small talk and forcing smiles, all while trying to pretend that their world hasn’t just been turned upside down. Continue reading →

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Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month?  Apparently Ronald Reagan proclaimed July 1984 to be National Ice Cream month and the tradition has continued since then.  I suppose it makes sense that the hottest month of the year goes hand in hand with the coolest treat around, but I hadn’t really heard of National Ice Cream month until I was contacted by Tillamook to see if I was interested in playing with some of their ice cream to create a treat to celebrate this special month.  I certainly don’t need an excuse to consume ice cream in the summer, but it was a lot of fun sampling some new Tillamook Ice Cream flavors and coming up with an ice cream treat to share with my family and with you. Continue reading →

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Summer Fest: 20 Tomato Recipes

Tomatoes from our Garden - Pinch My Salt

It’s tomato season and our garden is producing beautiful red and yellow fruit at an amazing pace, not to mention the zucchini, crookneck squash, peppers, and three varieties of cucumbers that need to be harvested every single day.  Seriously, the cucumbers just don’t stop!  But this week we’re focusing on tomatoes because it’s Wednesday and we’re celebrating this garden favorite for Summer Fest this week. Continue reading →

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Grilled Corn Guacamole Recipe

Grilled Corn Guacamole - Pinch My Salt

I’ve been seeing pictures of grilled avocados and grilled guacamole all over the place lately and I’ve been dying to try it.  Around here, we like to throw just abut anything on the grill, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to grill avocados, especially since we eat them at least a few times a week. Continue reading →

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Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole without Canned Soup

Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole without Canned Soup

It might be summer, but I’m in the mood for comfort food.  The theme of this week’s Summer Fest is peas, but when I started brainstorming ideas for a fresh and summery recipe involving peas, I kept coming back to comfort food.  It might have been the cloudy weather we had earlier in the week or it might have been the terrible, no good day I had yesterday, but when I thought of peas there were only two ways I wanted to eat them – in a tuna casserole or with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.  I opted for the casserole, which is serious comfort food for me. Continue reading →

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Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream

Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe - Pinch My Salt

This is an older post from deep in the Pinch My Salt archives that I decided to dust off and pull forward to share again.  It was originally published in September 2006.  Enjoy!

I purchased my ice cream maker late in the summer and therefore this second frozen concoction to emerge from it is a dense, creamy ice cream that manages to straddle the seasons – cooling me off during the still-too-warm days of late summer but welcoming fall with the warm flavors cinnamon and vanilla. Continue reading →

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Strawberry Peach Cobbler with Almond Biscuit Topping

IMG_7862-4

I’ve never combined strawberries and peaches in a baked dessert before and now that I’ve tried it, I’m not sure why I waited so long.  Two of my all-time favorite desserts are Peach Cobbler and Strawberry Shortcake and this cobbler basically combines the two flavors – especially if you top it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Continue reading →

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