Monthly Archives: June 2011

summer blueberry crisp…

Shortly after World War II in a small Italian town by the name of Reggio Emilia, emerged an approach to early childhood education. After the trauma of war, educators looked to an approach that would give both the community and the children a say in their education and development, a “collective responsibility” built around and with the children.  The teachers, parents, children, and the local government are all considered equal participants in guiding a learning experience and environment.

I had the privilege the other day of attending my nephew’s pre-school, Branches Atelier, a Reggio based school in Santa Monica. It was absolutely amazing to see the skills that this community has developed.  They work together to solve problems that arise, they communicate through art, music, and eloquent speech, and parents can (and are encouraged!) to stay for all or part of they day and help. As a community they are constantly questioning what is happening around them, and experimenting with different ideas to foster learning.

I was fortunate enough to witness children creating costumes, beginning with a drawing and realizing that costume through pattern making, to pinning, and sewing the finished product…something that as an adult I would have a tough time completing.  Interestingly, when one child created a similar project to another child’s, the response by the child was “he was inspired by my work”, there was no “copying” involved. The teachers and parents spend hours and days of dedication to help bring these ideas to fruition, all in a beautifully sun filled atelier that is packed with any creative material you can imagine.

I was also fortunate enough to participate in a community lunch.  Everyone sets the tables, serves the food, and gets the water.  No plastic dishes, the children are trusted with china and breakables, and might I add how delicious, and not to mention sophisticated, was this lunch! We ate lentil salad with fresh herbs and tomatoes, marinated cucumber salad, and vegan pizza with roasted eggplant, zucchini, and other summer vegetables.  For dessert…blueberry crisp.  All seasonal ingredients and delicious. So, I was “inspired by” this experience with this amazing community…happy graduation.

Blueberry crisp…

2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked

1-2 peaches, cubed

juice of 1/4 lemon

4 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup organic granulated cane sugar

1/3 cup organic flour + 1 tbs

¾ cup organic rolled oats

¼ cup chopped pecans

dash of kosher salt

dash of agave nectar

2 tsp coconut oil (I use organic coconut manna)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium pot, over a low flame, heat 1 tsp coconut oil until liquid.  Lightly toast pecans and oats, just until oil is absorbed. Let oats and pecans cool.  Melt 1 tsp of coconut oil and use this to oil a standard loaf pan. Place blueberries and peaches in pan. Squeeze lemon juice and agave nectar over the fruit and mix.  Add 1 tbs of flour to fruit and mix.  For the crumble, cream the butter and sugar together, then add flour. Once cooled, add oats and pecans to butter mixture.  Spread crumble over the top of the fruit. Place in the oven and bake until crumble is a nice golden brown and the blueberries are bubbling with excitement. 

This crisp is perfect alone…we also had it with a little crème fraiche sweetened with agave nectar and a dash of lemon. I imagine vanilla ice cream would also be delish.

Eat together, toast to each other, and enjoy! 

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Spicy cabbage slaw…

Oh…hello California…it has been a while.  The explanation for foodfilosofi being quite MIA for the past month or so has a little to do with: packing a house, two cross country drives, a graduation, a couple flights here and there, Vegas, San Diego, and a nine month old who is busier than a bee crawling and cruising and clapping and walking with a walker…and oh so many other things.  But, we have finally landed in our new place, granted things are in boxes still and furniture is scarce, but we can finally call this place home…*exhale*.  I found out that our apartment complex has a community garden, and a space just for me with compost and all, a CSA delivers a block away from our front door and they need volunteers on their farm,  there is a huge park right across the street, and some of the people we love the most on this planet live anywhere from 2.65 miles to a 5 hour drive away.  Peanuts compared to transcontinental flying.

There is just something about returning to the elements of which we are made, being born and raised in this state. My body works better, my brain works better, and my heart feels better. Dare I say…my food tastes better?  This slaw was made for an inaugural grilling session with family.  Can’t wait for round two, three, four…

Spicy cabbage slaw…

1 head napa cabbage, roughly chopped

2 carrots, shredded

1 small red pepper, julienned

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 Serrano pepper, minced

2 heaping tbs minced cilantro

a handful (or two) of dry roasted peanuts

1 ½ tbs sesame oil

2 tbs rice vinegar

sprinkle of soy sauce to taste

juice of 1 lime

In a large bowl, combine all the veggies and mix until evenly distributed.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice.  Pour over salad. Add peanuts on top.  Mix until evenly coated. 

We served this as a side salad with grilled corn on a pleasantly warm evening and a glass of vino.  I also made the slaw again, and used it as a topping for an Asian/Mexican fusion taco. Thick flour tortillas, home soaked black beans with cumin, salt, and pepper, quesco fresco, all topped with this spicy cabbage slaw. I’d do it again too.

I also wanted to say congrats to my beautiful friend Michelle and her hubby, yay for number three! And to Scout Living on their grand opening of their Sacramento design retail space.  How do you guys do it all?  And to Ania and soon to be hubby, and Austin and his soon to be wife, we miss you.

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!