Maple-Pumpkin Parfaits

Ezra just turned 3 and is in preschool! We pack lunches every night for him and I'm always looking for cute new ideas for something I know he'll actually eat. I've partnered up with Clover Sonoma to use their Organic Cream on Top Maple Whole Milk Yogurt in a fall-inspired parfait. It's just 5 ingredients layered in a mini mason jar: yogurt, pumpkin purée, cinnamon, maple syrup, and pumpkin seeds. I used unsweetened canned organic pumpkin purée, but you could bake a pumpkin, kabocha squash, or butternut and use some mash from that. 

I've been eating Clover dairy products my whole life since they are from Sonoma County, where I grew up. I really trust them! They are a certified B Corporation which means they adhere to rigorous environmental, social and sustainability standards. They treat their animals well and deliver a very clean (and delicious!) product.

This is fun to pack for lunch, and would also be perfect for an after-dinner treat. It could also be made in small ramekins if enjoying at home.

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MAPLE-PUMPKIN PARFAITS

serves 1

3 oz Organic Cream on Top Maple Whole Milk Yogurt

2 T canned unsweetened pumpkin purée (or mashed baked pumpkin, kabocha or butternut squash)

1 t maple syrup

2 t pumpkin seeds

pinch of cinnamon

Starting with the yogurt, layer all ingredients in a 4-oz mason jar. Sprinkle some syrup and cinnamon on top and close with a lid. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

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A little note for his lunch bag.

A little note for his lunch bag.

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Now this is fun: Clover is doing a giveaway! For a chance to win a back-to-school prize package valued at over $200, share a photo of your child's school lunch with the hashtag #ItMatters and tag @cloversonoma on Facebook/Twitter or @clover.sonoma on Instagram.

This post was done in partnership with Clover Sonoma, a brand I have been using, loving and trusting for years. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep The Forest Feast going!

New Seasons Market + Harissa Watermelon-Tomato Salad

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This week, I got to visit a beautiful new grocery store near me in Sunnyvale, CA: New Seasons Market. If you live nearby, lucky you! Meet your new favorite place to shop.

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There are several New Seasons Markets in Oregon and Washington, but the store is new to California and I am excited to have one in my community. Apart from the gorgeous local produce, amazing flower selection, and natural food heaven, what was perhaps most impressive about this place to me was the company's ethics. They were the first grocer in America with a B-Corp certification, which means they have to meet rigorous social and environmental standards. Their employees seemed happy, fairly paid, and well taken care of, and they try to work with suppliers that have a similar philosophy.

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For example, in the front of the store, they had a tomato tasting for shoppers (who doesn't love that?!). My favorite was a big, beautiful, yellow Brandywine tomato from Pinnacle Farms, which is about an hour from the store– a farm that's known for treating its workers well. New Seasons employees regularly visit this organic farm to see where the produce is coming from. The farm is committed to treating not only its workers, but also the land, community and environment with utmost respect.

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I got to have lunch at the deli and there were some really creative dishes on display. I had a watermelon salad that was so good that I decided to go home and put my own twist on it. I loved the addition of harissa (a red chili paste often used in Middle Eastern cuisine). I took home one of those yellow Brandywine tomatoes and had to include it! We are having a heatwave in the woods right now, so this is all I want to eat. Perfect for your Labor Day BBQ!

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Harissa Watermelon-Tomato Salad

inspired by a recipe found at New Seasons Market's deli

1 large yellow tomato (look for an Heirloom or Brandywine variety if possible)

2 c cubed seedless watermelon

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)

3 T chopped mint 

3 T crumbled feta cheese 

for the dressing: 

1 T harissa (mild or spicy...your choice. I went spicy!)

2 T olive oil

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 t agave (or honey)

a pinch of cumin

salt & pepper to taste

Slice the tomato and watermelon into big chunks and lay them out on a platter. Sprinkle the red onion, mint and feta on top. Mix the ingredients for the dressing well with a fork in a cup. Drizzle the dressing over the platter. 

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If you're in the Sunnyvale, CA area, I encourage you to stop by New Seasons Market. You'll love it! There's also a store opening this winter in Emeryville, CA.

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This post was done in partnership with New Seasons Market, and all opinions are my own. This is a great grocery store, and I was excited to work with them. Thanks for supporting the businesses that keep The Forest Feast going! 

New Seasons Market, 760 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA. @newseasonsmarket #newseasonsmarket

Strawberry-Maple Fizz

I'm so happy it's summer!! We are just back from a 3-week road trip on the east coast that started in New York City (where we had cocktails on the Hudson and saw the Broadway play Come From Away, so good!) and ended with a family wedding in Maine, where we stayed in a beach house and had sunset dinners on the water.

But in between, we went to the family house in Vermont, which was so relaxing. We BBQed dinner, went swimming in ponds and lakes and went strawberry picking.

After eating as many strawberries as we could, we decided they needed to be a part of daily cocktail hour on the deck. And what's more Vermont than maple syrup?! Combine the two and you have a surprisingly refreshing (and simple!) drink for a warm evening. 

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STRAWBERRY-MAPLE FIZZ

makes 1 drink, but is easily doubled or tripled, or...

3 whole strawberries, hulled, the riper the better!, plus one extra for garnish

1 shot (about 3 T) Vodka

1 t maple syrup (or more if you like it sweet!)

ice

seltzer 

Place the trimmed strawberries in a small bowl with the vodka and syrup. Muddle by mashing it all together with the bottom of a cup. Strain this mixture and pour it into a glass, over ice. Top it off with seltzer, garnish with a fresh strawberry (sliced or not) and enjoy!

(note: this is a great way to use strawberries that are getting overripe, ugly, and extra juicy! Also, I imagine this might be delicious with whiskey or rum. If you try something different, let me know how it turns out!)

Cheers!

Cucumber Noodle Salad

I love my little hand spiralizer and use it all the time for zucchini, but I just recently started using it for cucumber, and it's so good!

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Recipe below...

CUCUMBER NOODLE SALAD with sesame dressing

2 cucumbers

1 handful basil, chopped

1 handful pepitas (pumpkin seeds, roasted & salted)

For the dressing: mix equal parts sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, plus a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Trim the cucumber ends and use a spiralizer to make noodles out of them. You may want to flip the cucumber halfway through and spiralize it from the opposite end since the seedy part in the middle can get tricky. I try to make these noodles just before serving, as they can start to leak some water over time. Spiralize them over a strainer if you can.  If they do get watery, just drain the bowl a bit before serving– but a little water in the bottom of the bowl is no big deal.

Sprinkle the noodles with the pepitas and chopped basil, then add some dressing to taste  before serving. You can make individual plates and spoon the dressing over, or serve in a bowl and toss. Other fun additions are avocado and feta, but be creative! Any type of nuts, cheese or herbs are welcome here. Enjoy!

Serves 4 as a side

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Fashion Feast: Floral Summer Dresses + Salads

I'm starting a new series on this blog called FASHION FEAST! I love the idea of pairing seasonal clothing or accessories with "matching" seasonal dishes, so here goes! I saw these  food and fashion mash-ups on Bon Appetit years ago and have always wanted to do something similar.

If I could spend every day of summer in a floral dress, I probably would! So to kick things off, here's my list of 10 (affordable!) Summer Floral Dresses and Summer Salads to eat while wearing them:

>> Click on each dress pic to shop, and each salad pic for the recipe <<

Cheers to sun dresses and salads for the warm days ahead!