weekly moments captured from my point of view

Month: February, 2014



Although they may be considered old fashioned, cookbooks are my go-to source for recipe inspiration. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one recently that has become my all time favorite. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is a perfect combination of mouth watering recipes that are also all healthy! The book’s main focus is on vibrant vegetables and how to transform them into delicious, rich meals with the help of nutritious grains. Although he is not vegetarian himself, the Israeli chef and author puts an incredibly unique twist on vegetarianism. Not only do I think the recipes are brilliant, the photography by Jonathon Lovekin is also flawless (or good enough to make me drool at least).

Some of my favorite recipes include the Avocado, quinoa, and fava bean salad, the lemon and goat cheese ravioli, the eggplant tricolore, and the broccoli and gorgonzola pie. Although they appear to be complicated at first, Ottolenghi breaks down the recipes into simple steps that anyone can handle!

Some of Ottolenghi’s other great books are Jerusalem: A Cookbook, and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.

Make sure to check him out and let me know what you think of his books!

Thanks for reading,


“When we slice a tomato, we want to see the tomato, we’re never going to dice it to perfect one-centimeter dices because then it doesn’t look like the fruit anymore. Both Sami and I know when we see something and it feels natural and real. Anything that strays away from that direciton is not really our cup of tea.” – Yotam Ottolenghi; The Huffington Post


Photos all courtesy of Jonathon Lovekin; Plenty



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DISCLAIMER: This post is not about food.

Being born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, I’m fairly used to the usual weather of 73 degrees, no clouds. However, every now and then  SB’s pattern has a hiccup which in yesterday’s case, was rain. I LOVE rain. It may just be because it is so scarce where I live (shout out to the drought) or it could reflect my persona in a way, but whatever the reason, I love it. Something about bundling up, listening to the sounds of droplets hitting my roof, and adjusting my eyes to the cool gray and dark blue tones of the sky makes me feel so calm. In a nutshell, rainy days in my house turn into cozy snuggle fests.

I got to enjoy this specific one with one of my best friends, Ruth. After a long day at school, we came back to my house to make tea, bump our rainy day playlists, and curl up with some books. We turned my bed into a sea of blankets and opened up the small window above it to let in the sounds and breeze of the rain. I was observing how comfy Ruth looked and couldn’t help but snap some pictures to share.


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Favorite Rainy Day Things:

Songs: Heart by MMOTHS and Out Getting Ribs by King Krule

Movie: It’s A Wonderful Life

Drink: Peppermint Tea

Literature: Shel Silverstein poems

Activity: bubble baths

Comment and let me know what your favorite rainy day rituals are.

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All photos taken by Maddy Rotman



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This is a treat I made after school yesterday when I had too strong of a chocolate craving to resist. It definitely did the trick!

Inspired by Grace Parisi at Food + Wine magazine – source:


6 oz. Dark Chocolate

16 Flatbread Crackers (I used the wheat thins ones)

1/4 Cup Crystallized Ginger, minced

3 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds

Sea Salt

Break up the chocolate and melt it using a double boiler (I used a glass bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water). Make sure the water is just below the glass bowl, not touching it. Also make sure to stir it every so often until it is completely melted.

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Lay out your crackers on a baking rack and cover them in the melted chocolate either by dipping it completely in the bowl or painting it on with a cooking brush (I recommend the latter option for a less messy process). Having a sheet of parchment paper under the rack will also help make for an easy clean up. Sprinkle however much you want of the candied ginger and sesame seeds on top of each cracker, add a dash of salt, and put them in the refrigerator to set. They last about two weeks in a covered container.

Feel free to embellish when it comes to toppings! Some yummy alternatives could be coconut flakes, crushed peppermint, or crushed nuts and butterscotch. White chocolate shavings would also be good.

Comment below and let me know what other creative toppings you would add!

Bon Appetit,


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all photos taken by Maddy Rotman


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HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYBODY. For some reason this week seemed to have lasted a year and I am unbelievably ready for a relaxing weekend ahead! To start out the weekend right, my friend Ava and I stopped by Lazy Acres after school, picked up some fresh groceries, and headed to my house to eat the day away. We decided to make some peach and tomato bruschetta, inspired by a recipe we saw on pinterest and eat it outside on my balcony as we enjoyed tonight’s (beautiful as always) Santa Barbara sunset. It was the best feeling to finally have a moment to breathe after a hectic school week. I was perfectly satisfied after this tasty and easy to make snack and can’t wait to have it again sometime soon.


-sliced tomatos

-sliced peaches

-a baguette

-olive oil

-balsamic vinegar

-salt and pepper

This recipe is super easy and quick. Just slice up the tomatoes and peaches, toss them in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and serve on toasted baguette slices. If you want to add some extra flavor, cut open a garlic clove and smear it across the baguette slices before toasting them. And that’s all there is to it! The peaches make this snack a tasty combination of sweet and savory and are sure to get your tastebuds tingling. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Bon Appetit!


P.S. Comment with your favorite Friday afternoon snack.

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all photos taken by Maddy Rotman


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Today after school, my lovely friend Lilla and I went to a local cafe called Bookends. It’s tucked away on a breath taking terrace above Antioch University near downtown Santa Barbara. We sat at one of the comfy, shaded, outdoor couches and practically devoured our usual three scoop order of beet salad, kale tabbouleh, and potatoes. You would think this combo is a no go, however, the flavors are explosive and pair perfectly together!

This cafe offers some of the most mouth watering, yet organic and healthy foods Santa Barbara has to offer. I could try to describe them but would not be able to do them justice, so I’ll just let you look at the pictures and drool. However, some of my favorites include the kale and barley salad, the tuna salad, and the roasted veggies. If you go, make sure to talk to the owner about the French potato salad (he really likes the French potato salad!) and he sure as hell as a good reason to, ITS AMAZING. They also have a great arrangement of coffee, pastries, and even ice cream. There is indoor seating at either a family style table, individual tables, or a bar and outdoor seating at a variety of large tables, couches, and chairs. 

Overall, this place is a combination of the three perfect cafe elements: great service, great space, and great food. Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself! And be sure to comment below with your favorite cafe.


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indoor family table

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all photos taken by Maddy Rotman


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Hello there!

Similarly to most teenage girls, some of my favorite things to do in my limited free time are

1. eat (duh)

2. listen to music

3. be inspired

This past weekend I was able to do all three of these things at the same time! As you may have seen from my previous post, I spent the four day weekend bundled up in my family’s cuddly and cozy Colorado condo. This was a great chance for me to kick back and relax after a fast paced week of school.

It was also an excellent opportunity to catch up on some of my favorite magazines, my tumblr, and my pinterest, all of which I seem to rarely have time for these days. I was so excited to make some time dedicated to these things, as they are primarily where I find inspiration for my blog posts. (For the food part, I made an arugula and spinach salad with avocado, goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds and washed it all down with a steamy, spicy chai latte.)

If you don’t have a pinterest or a tumblr, I would strongly suggest trying them out! Tumblr is for those who like to keep things simple. Your tumblr is basically just a compilation of photos, songs, and links that you selectively “reblog” from a feed. The material on your feed is what is being reblogged by people you follow.

Pinterest on the other hand is a little bit more complex. The basic structure of pinterest is the same as tumblr where you have a feed of photos that you “re-pin” based off of who you follow. However, with Pinterest you are able to re-pin that photo into a specific category or “board” that you create. You are able to create as many boards as you want and can name them whatever you want. Another cool thing about Pinterest is the photos you re-pin have links to their sources. This means if you come across  a picture of food that makes you drool, you can click on the source link and it will take you to the website it was originally posted on, which usually contains its recipe!

Here is an example of what a tumblr looks like: (this is screenshot of one page of mine)


And here is what Pinterest looks like:

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view of an individual board:

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What I love about Tumblr and Pinterest is the ability the two sites have to constantly educate, entertain, and inspire others. It’s like creating your personalized, perfect world through a series of images and then living in it virtually!

Thanks for reading and make sure to follow my Pinterst/comment and let me know what inspires you!



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My beautiful friend and food shopping buddy, Ava, with her favorite Farmer’s Market flowers.

 This song has been specially selected for you to listen to as you read this article. Press play.


This past week I took a visit to one of my favorite food spots in Santa Barbara, the local Farmer’s Market. Located near downtown SB, the Farmer’s Market is filled with some of the most unique people Santa Barbara has to offer. It is also the best place to purchase fresh produce that is guaranteed to be locally grown and organic. The unbelievable aromas and vibrant tones of the food being sold overwhelms me more and more with each visit.

What I love about the market is its welcoming energy. Even if it is your first time going, the positive vibes make you feel as if the sellers have been your friends for years! There is also always a wide arrangement of street musicians jamming out and collecting tips wherever they can. This incredible communal unification is what keeps me and so many others coming back week after week.

Some of my favorite, in season foods being sold at the market this month include beets (check out my beet hummus recipe), dates, blood oranges, and a variety colorful carrots. Another FM favorite of mine is the Solvang Pie Company’s olive bread. When topped with some lemon goat cheese (found at one of my favorite FM cheese stands), it makes the perfect picnic snack!

Check out some of the photos I took at my most recent visit below and comment with some of your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies.

Thanks for reading!


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my lovely friend Ivy, working the tomato stand

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all photos taken by Maddy Rotman


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Over the weekend I found an AWESOME recipe on one of my favorite blogs, BLDG 25. The recipe makes a beautifully colored and delicious pink hummus. Read on to see how I made it!


4 medium sized beets (I got mine at my local Farmer’s Market)
2 tablespoons sesame tahini (found alongside the peanut butter at most health food stores)
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large pinch sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

The first step is to prepare the beets. The quickest and easiest way to cook beets is to microwave them, so that is what I decided to do! Chop off the leaves, leaving about in inch of the stems attached to the head of the beet. Put the beets into a deep, microwave safe dish or bowl and add  1/4 cup of water. IMPORTANT: Pierce small slivers into the beets to prevent them from exploding (I learned this the hard way!). Microwave on high for 2 minutes per beet, (8 minutes total if you are following the measurements listed above). Remove the beets from the dish, peel, and dice into cubes.

Put the beets in a blender or food processor and add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend until you get a smooth, hummus-like consistency. I served mine with carrots and tortilla chips, but comment below what you would have served it with!

Bon Appetit,


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all photos by Maddy Rotman


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Hello Food Lovers!

Today for lunch I made a quinoa and arugula salad topped with balsamic roasted peaches and crumbled goat cheese. And BOY it hit the spot. Here are some pictures I took and the recipe if you want to try it at home!

Ingredients: (the amounts are a rough estimate)

– 1 and 1/2 cups of arugula

– 1/4 cup of quinoa

– 1 cup of sliced peaches

– goat cheese (amount is up to you)

– balsamic glaze

– olive oil

– pomegranate vinegar (optional)

The first thing to do is bring a cup and a half of water mixed with a cup of quinoa to a boil in a medium sized sauced pan. (However, I ended up only using a quarter cup of quinoa for my individual salad; yay leftovers!). Once this boils, turn the heat to low and let the quinoa simmer with a cover for about 15 minutes or until the outer ring of the quinoa becomes apparent. While you are waiting for the quinoa to simmer, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, on a baking sheet spread out your sliced peaches and drizzle on some balsamic glaze (you can get this at Trader Joe’s), olive oil, salt & pepper, and my personal favorite touch, pomegranate vinegar. Stick these bad boys in the oven until they start to get a golden glow, or in my case until your oven starts to fill with smoke :). Once they are ready, top the arugula with a scoop or two of quinoa and add on the peaches and goat cheese along with your favorite dressing (I just used olive oil and balsamic glaze).

Bon Appetit,


P.S. Comment with your favorite salad recipe!

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shoutout to mi madre for snapping this shot ^^^

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All photos taken by Maddy Rotman