Monday, June 17, 2013

All quiet.

It's been a while. A really long while. And it's bad blogger etiquette to be this quiet but I have good reason, I swear.

I got a new job. A full-time job. One I really like it. How cool is that, right?

But I find that with this new job (you know, the kind where you have to go to work every day) and my freelance work on the side, there is little time to create, photograph, and share new recipes. I am still  cooking, still tasting, but I find that most of the time I am lucky if I get a healthy meal on the table, as I am sure many of you can understand. I also find that most of my creative energy is going to my work, leaving little left to put towards an exciting new dish.

I have been avoiding writing this post, because I was hoping for some sort of clarity. Am I just too busy now? Will I want to write again in the future? Am I all blogged-out?

I don't have the answer now, but what I do know is that a good blog is consistent. A good blog speaks to current trends, seasons, and happenings. A good blog is dependable.

So it is with a little bit of sadness that I will be closing my blog for now. I will keep Sprout published so you can access any of the old articles, photos and recipes on here. Some of my favorite foods are on this blog and I hope you can still find them useful.

This blog started as something share with my family and friends. Over time, it grew to something more.  I met strangers who thanked me for a recipe. I got emails from all over the country asking me how to prepare certain foods. I became a freelance food writer. My photography was published on national food websites. What began as a hobby gave me purpose and direction when I needed it, and for that I am grateful.

So I want to say thank you to all of you who read it over the past five years. If it helped you just once to try something new, make a healthier choice, or grow in your culinary abilities, then I achieved my goal.

Thanks for being my foodie friend.

Signing off (for now),

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Local Bites with Lynchburg Living

I am really, really excited to be writing for Lynchburg Living. They have a beautiful publication, and can really showcase the food. Happy to share my first article with you!

Lynchburg Living's Local Bites

Originally Published Jan/Feb 2013

Winter soups are a given. On a cold, frosty night, there is nothing that can nourish you, body and soul, like a piping hot bowl of brothy goodness.

But instead of opening the closes can of chicken noodle, consider making your own yummy concoction. Homemade soup is not only more exciting, it’s often much tastier, too.

This Spicy Black Bean Soup is the perfect winter comfort meal. It’s savory, satisfying, and super healthy. It’s also a great dish for a big family or dinner party. Everyone gets a bowl, and they can make it their own by topping it with an infinite number of choices. Cool it down and give it a creamy richness by adding sour cream, crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, or avocado. Add some bite with chopped fresh white, red, or green onions. Up the comfort factor by mixing in shredded white cheddar or queso fresco. Give it crunch by sprinkling with sliced radish or jalapeno. Or add additional flavor with fresh lime juice, red wine vinegar, or a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve this soup alone, or on top of long grain white rice. Enjoy!


Serves 6-8
1lb bag dried black beans (alternatively, 6 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sherry or dry white wine
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4-5 cups vegetable broth

1. (Skip steps one and two if using canned beans). Place dried black beans in large pot along with twice as much cold water. Cover and soak overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
2. Drain beans, place back in pot and cover with fresh water and a handful of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
3. In large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, sea salt and pepper. Sauté until edges begin to brown. Add sherry, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Stir to combine, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
4. Add vegetable broth and cooked (or canned) black beans. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Puree roughly one cup of soup in a blender and mix back into pot to thicken the soup. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
5. Serve in soup bowls topped with any combination of the suggested garnishes.

Burg Article: Revamping New Year's Food Traditions

For the past few years, I have watched with curiosity as my husband made himself a bowl full of ramen at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Ramen? I mean, it’s not exactly a party food, and it doesn’t really pair that well with champagne.

When I first asked him about this tradition, his explanation was simply: “It’s a Japanese thing.”

Now, I am not a superstitious person, but the idea of eating specific foods for luck or prosperity on New Years has always intrigued me.

Read the full article and get the recipes for Moroccan-Spiced Black-Eyed Pea Salad and Spicy Soba Noodles at