Broccoli Cheddar Soup

As the nights grow darker and cooler and broccoli shows up again at the farmers market, my family clamors for this comfort dinner. It’s surprisingly quick to come together. Serve it with fresh bread from the oven or a salad on the side and you’ve got your bases covered, deliciously. Makes 4 to 6 servingsContinue reading “Broccoli Cheddar Soup”

Being Your Best

On Thursday nights, my middle child has ballet classes and my youngest heads to soccer. Her dad drives her, staying to watch, and the dog goes along for a walk. Which leaves me completely, deliciously, unbelievably alone for a full hour-and-a-half. It seems crazy that I am so thirsty for this sip of quiet. But IContinue reading “Being Your Best”

September 2020 Newsletter

Grow Where You’re Planted I am interviewing small business owners for a magazine story I’m working on. As I listen, I marvel at how each of them is saying the same words to me when I ask how they decided to keep their doors open in March when state regulations and customer fears and a completelyContinue reading “September 2020 Newsletter”

Grow Where You’re Planted

I am interviewing small business owners for a magazine story I’m working on. As I listen, I marvel at how each of them is saying the same words to me when I ask how they decided to keep their doors open in March when state regulations and customer fears and a completely unknowable virus swept throughContinue reading “Grow Where You’re Planted”

Tomato Shakshuka

What is Shakshuka? It’s eggs and tomatoes and a handful of greens and a combination of spices that is so warm and delicious, there is no dinner I can think of that better suits the waning light and heat of late summer. If you’re truly blessed, you’ve got tomato plants giving you a last burstContinue reading “Tomato Shakshuka”

Easy Dal Dinner

Lentils are (surprisingly) a favorite in our house, finding their way into all manner of weeknight dinners, salads, and soups. As grain bowls make regular appearances at the table these days, lentils show up there, too. In a recent quest to find more ways to serve this versatile, inexpensive, plant-based protein, I began digging intoContinue reading “Easy Dal Dinner”

Kale Smoothie

One of kale’s super powers is that it’s pretty easy to grow. Another is that once you’ve got a stand, it’s not going anywhere. Kale can survive freeze, drought, even some hot stretches. Which means you’ve sometimes got to get creative at finding ways to eat it. Kale chips are good. Kale is great inContinue reading “Kale Smoothie”

Pick-Your-Own Berries in Southwest Virginia

The strawberries ripen sometime in May, then come the blueberries and blackberries and raspberries. In the best years, blueberry picking can continue through September. All around the Roanoke Valley are farms and orchards with fresh, often pesticide-free produce waiting for us to come fetch it. Here’s a place to start if you’re hoping to pickContinue reading “Pick-Your-Own Berries in Southwest Virginia”

July 2020 Newsletter

Opening Up to New Possibilities It is just before sunset and ribbons of bright orange streak through low puffy clouds. I am walking on a foot bridge across the breathtaking James River in downtown Richmond, Va. Water courses over barely visible boulders. Mama duck paddles her babies to a stand of weeds to search for bugs. An ospreyContinue reading “July 2020 Newsletter”