The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

You can’t get to Cordova, Alaska, over land. You can’t go there on a whim, at the last minute, turning south onto the road that heads to town, because there is no road that will take you there. You choose to go there, by boat or by plane. And that one little hiccup in the ease of transportation eliminates the throngs of cruise tourists that seem to dominate so many of Alaska’s summer destinations. It changes the tone of the town completely. It makes it feel likes its own place, a living and breathing community built largely around the fishing industry, and especially around salmon fishing. For that sense of place that wasn’t built around tourism, and for the good luck of getting to know the town a little more intimately than the average tourist, Cordova won my heart.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Plenty of folks do make the effort to get to Cordova, most of them groups of men: fathers and sons and uncles and cousins and friends, heading in for a week or two on annual fishing trips. The intimacy and rhythm of this yearly ritual made for a warm, relaxed tone on the plane. Men boasting numbers around fish size, years there, locals known, but only the most good-natured of boasting. There were very few women on the plane.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova is a place that’s defined by the presence of water in so many forms: the frequent strings of wet, drizzly days, the mountains and the valleys forged over millennia by glaciers and rivers, and the grand mud flats, braided rivers, and meandering tributaries of the Copper River Delta. Not to mention the sea.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

We spent an incredibly soggy first morning fishing along the Eyak river. No waterproof gear was immune to the insidious power of the rain. We waded into the water to our thighs; a few of us wrangled salmon. I wrangled something at the end of the line a number of times, but lacked the finesse to reel those wily biters in.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

In the afternoon we went foraging for mushrooms and berries. Alaska’s wild food abundance is ridiculous. And it’s because of all that rain. I have never witnessed more berries, or more varieties of berries, anywhere: blueberries, huckleberries, high bush cranberries, raspberries, crowberries, nagoonberries, and on! Cordova is at the edge of a temperate rainforest. It’s brilliantly green, damp, mossy, ferny, and ripe.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Langdon Cook discovered a rare black chanterelle.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Our group was composed of chef Stephen Beaumier, his partner Katy Oursler, who’s been deeply involved with Outstanding in the Field since its inception almost a decade ago, and author, educator, and forager extraordinaire Langdon Cook. I was really happy to be in such company; they all brought their own expertise and rich life experience to the week and it was totally inspiring to hang out with them.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

We toured the docks. A busy place of net-mending, gear-gathering, and general prep for the next opener – the next day that the US Fish and Game gave the go-ahead for a 12, 24, or 36 hour stretch of fishing for Cordova’s commercial fleet. We were there towards the end of the season, but at the season’s peak, the boats often stay out fishing for unbelievably long stretches of time. Fishing is regulated for sustainability, ensuring that the salmon aren’t overfished.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Happening alongside our Coho Tour was a weekend mushroom festival. Stephen and Katy were prepping the feast for the event, incorporating as many local and foraged foods as they could gather, including some of the yellow chanterelles pictured above, lots of berries, and of course, some unbelievably fresh Coho salmon.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Above, Stephen removes some steaming hot cedar planks with salmon from the grill, in a serious downpour.

The evening was amazing. It was a community coming together to socialize and celebrate around the things that they hold dear. It was also a fundraiser for the Copper River Watershed Project. And it was a tremendous feast, with a salad of nasturtium leaves and flowers, that amazing salmon, and a slew of delicious vegetables.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

The next morning we went in a small floatplane for an aerial tour of the delta. It was amazing. I love the topography of the delta, with its many serpentine waterways, diluvial mud flats, braided rivers, and, higher up, the glaciers that feed them. That amazing turquoise cast to the water is from glacial flour, fine sediment ground from glaciers and suspended in the water. It only sparkles that color on a sunny day.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

At the last minute, I decided to extend my trip by a couple days so that I could get on a commercial fishing boat – the openers aren’t determined ahead of time, so there was no way of predicting that over the course of our 5 days there, none would be able to go out. And I really wanted to get out on a boat. Ashton, above, was awesome enough to let me tag along for a 12 hour run. We left a little before 5, and he was in place and ready to cast his net by 6 AM, the official start time of the opener.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

It was a slow day. The end of the season was approaching quickly, and Coho don’t run in such impressive numbers as the sockeye that peak in the middle of summer.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

The sea is a place full of easy, rich mythology. I loved being out on the water all day; not a whiff of seasickness on the boat, just a serious case of sea legs on solid land when we returned in the evening.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

Michael and Austin prep some fillets for making into salmon jerky.

Cordova, Alaska + Copper River Salmon // the year in food

A huge thank you to the delightful Nelly Hand for inviting me out – it was a dream trip. And to Blair Hensen; the two of them worked their butts off to accommodate us and it was no small feat. Thanks to the Copper River Marketing Association for building such a tremendous trip into their budget; we are so lucky to be able to participate. And thanks to Ashton for taking me out on his boat, the fishing community for welcoming us, and to the great company of Langdon, Katy, and Stephen while there. Copper River Marketing covered the costs for the trip but the writing and photography are entirely my own.

  • April - October 27, 2014 - 8:12 am

    Your photography is breathtaking, crisp and rich and balanced. Beautiful job on the writing and the photos!ReplyCancel

  • Erin @ - October 27, 2014 - 8:13 am

    Holy moly, this is gorgeous. I would love to go to Alaska. I feel like my poor little “Get to Alaska” savings fund will take much longer than I would like! :)ReplyCancel

  • Donna - October 27, 2014 - 9:23 am

    Amazing photos and a wonderful story! Thank you for an inspiring and visually stunning post.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - October 27, 2014 - 9:42 am

    What a stunning post – beautiful images and words! I’m so glad you were able to go on this amazing trip.ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen - October 27, 2014 - 9:45 am

    What an amazing trip, Kimberley. Gorgeous photos! I would love to go there some day. It looks magical!ReplyCancel

  • Patti Panuccio - October 27, 2014 - 9:52 am

    Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • sara forte - October 27, 2014 - 9:55 am

    and magical place, indeed. I hope to make it back there. Nelly and Blair sure do make the whole experience quite spectacular. So glad you made it and enjoyed your time! Only wish we were on the same trip!ReplyCancel

  • alanna - October 27, 2014 - 9:55 am


  • Greg Buck - October 27, 2014 - 11:11 am

    We love seeing the details of your life and the place you love .
    Beautiful work with the pictures and the text.ReplyCancel

  • French Toast Tasha - October 27, 2014 - 12:38 pm

    Holy smoke, those photos are beautiful! I love the last one especially. Maybe Alaska should be on my list too …ReplyCancel

  • Millie | Add A Little - October 27, 2014 - 1:23 pm

    I can’t get over the beauty of these photos! So gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • todd wagner - October 27, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    UNREAL!!! These photos just made my day :)ReplyCancel

  • Sara from Sabzi - October 27, 2014 - 4:15 pm

    Holy moly, what beauty!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - October 27, 2014 - 4:39 pm

    This is one of my favorite projects you created! Eat Retreat Alaska?ReplyCancel

  • cheri - October 27, 2014 - 6:23 pm

    I just added Cordova to my traveling bucket list, love the pics. Also would like to find a black chanterelle.ReplyCancel

  • Christie - October 27, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Beautiful-my home town-born & raised! Now in WA State & miss it terribly!!!!!! I am wondering if I could please get/purchase a copy of the first pic here. That Grebe boat in the pic is my dad’s former boat, and he also built one of the houses there, so it captures a an amazing view of my heritage I miss. Please, please, please let me know!!! :-).ReplyCancel

  • Marilyn - October 27, 2014 - 8:51 pm

    Love! Makes me very homesick. Beautiful photos. The first looks like a Nancy Stonington watercolor! Beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - October 27, 2014 - 9:17 pm

    These pictures are gorgeous. I think I need to plan a trip to Alaska.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - October 27, 2014 - 9:53 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! We’ve been to Alaska many times. Would love to plan a trip in your area. Could I get more information? We are planning a trip early 2015. Thanks!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kimberley - October 28, 2014 - 3:12 am

      Hi Cindy,

      I don’t live there but was invited to visit as mentioned above, so I don’t have much travel advice to offer beyond what a guidebook or some internet research might reveal. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie - October 27, 2014 - 11:33 pm

    What beautiful photos!! Makes me want to visit…ReplyCancel

  • Montse {Rhu & Sam} - October 28, 2014 - 1:59 am

    what a beautiful land!!! the forest and fishermen’ images are astonishing, can’t imagine a more perfect place to be right now…ReplyCancel

  • Sher - October 28, 2014 - 9:23 am

    wow – i love these photos! especially the aerial shots. so pretty


  • Emily - October 28, 2014 - 11:09 am

    You create the most beautiful images! This sounds like an amazing trip.ReplyCancel

  • C Hand - October 28, 2014 - 11:57 am

    You captured the beauty in your photos and you captured the unique spirit that is Cordova in your narrative. It is a place that draws you back.ReplyCancel

  • thefolia - October 28, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    Cheers to foraging in wide-open barely touched by human hands places!ReplyCancel

  • Joan Littlefield - October 29, 2014 - 9:54 pm

    The pictures are so very ” Amazing”, the descriptions and commentaries are extraordinary … Thank you so very much , I must come and visit Alaska. Joan LittlefieldReplyCancel

Harvest Tacos // the year in food

It wasn’t my plan to step away from this site for so long, but doing so honestly felt really good. I marvel at how my foray into blogging was the antidote to what I was doing at the time (which I loved, but needed a break from.) And now, it’s being off the internet, and ideally out in the woods or dining with friends, that is the antidote. Really, it’s just being present in the world in a way that engages all of my senses.

Summer is, more than any other season, best off the internet. Best outside. I wasn’t completely offline, far from it. But that bold missive by Patton Oswalt at the beginning of the summer – Summer is upon us, and I’ve got a bad case of the spurts – never left me.

Harvest Tacos // the year in food

Anyway, the season is shifting and I’m back, home from an epic trip to Alaska, with a whole bunch of exciting new projects lined up, and my face against a screen. There are a few more Bay Area book dates too:

This Sunday, September 14th, in conversation with Erin Scott at Book Passage in Corte Madera.

Thursday, September 18th, at Books Inc in San Francisco.

Saturday, September 20th, 2pm, a demo at Macy’s in Union Square, San Francisco.

Harvest Tacos // the year in food

I love September’s clash of summer glory and autumn quiet. It’s such a great time of year for produce. These tacos embrace the middle place that is so very September. It doesn’t have to be corn, cauliflower and tomatoes. The spirit of these tacos is in celebrating the transition from summer to fall. Delicata squash, brussels sprouts, and heirloom peppers would be equally perfect.

Makes about 6
inspired by The Forest Feast

A couple months ago, Erin Gleeson and I collaborated on a dinner. She made some awesome tacos from her cookbook, The Forest Feast. I think that that’s part of the magic of Erin’s book: it is so delightfully simple, in the best possible, most dynamic way. I followed that simplicity as a jumping off point, and added some Sungold cherry tomatoes, because we need lots of those while they’re around, and some cilantro, because a taco feels incomplete to me without cilantro. (Cilantro haters of the world will disagree, no doubt.)

1 small head cauliflower, diced
2 ears fresh, sweet corn, kernels removed from cob
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Tabasco smoked chipotle pepper sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To serve:

Corn tortillas
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Greek yogurt
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Tabasco jalapeño green pepper sauce

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower and corn with the chipotle pepper sauce, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 15-20 minutes, mixing once or twice, until golden brown and cooked through.

While the veg roasts, warm the corn tortillas, either directly over a low flame on the stove, or wrapped in foil in a toaster oven.

To serve, spoon some of the corn and cauliflower mixture into a warmed tortilla. Add a dollop of yogurt, some cherry tomatoes, the feta and cilantro, and finish with the green pepper sauce.

*This post is made as part of the Tabasco Tastemakers series, following my amazing visit to Tabasco headquarters in March of this year.

Harvest Tacos // the year in food

  • Nicole - September 10, 2014 - 11:00 am

    I hope you enjoyed your time away, it sounds wonderful. What beautiful corn! I love tacos of all kinds and these are especially pretty. Welcome back :)ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - September 10, 2014 - 11:07 am

    So many awesome flavours in these tacos. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Christina - September 10, 2014 - 11:25 am

    YUMMMMMMMMMMY! I want to come over! :)ReplyCancel

  • Sara - September 10, 2014 - 1:18 pm

    I love the flavors of the transition period too. September is magical! These tacos look great.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - September 10, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    Oh hey, welcome back :) Hope some real-life living was kind to you (it sounds like it was). This time of year is my favourite for the “middle space” aspect that you mention. I live for that cozy and bright September duality. Sweet tac’s dude! xoReplyCancel

  • thefolia - September 10, 2014 - 8:41 pm

    Viva la taco…always a hit in our nest. Happy Nesting.ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae - September 10, 2014 - 9:04 pm

    Summer is certainly best off the internet, but I’m happy you’re back. With tacos.ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen - September 10, 2014 - 10:21 pm

    Welcome back! It must have been wonderful to unplug for a little bit, even if only partially. These tacos look perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - September 11, 2014 - 3:23 am

    Oh, I’m so with you. Summer is so fleeting that I feel like the only way to try and capture it, even if just for a moment, is to be totally present in the world. I hope you’ve had a great few months and have had a chance to reflect on all the amazing stuff you’ve done this year. Plus, I’m never going to turn down a taco…ReplyCancel

  • PassTheKnife - September 11, 2014 - 11:35 am

    What a glorious summer it was, I’m coming into fall refreshed. Perfect tacos to celebrate the beginning of a new season!ReplyCancel

  • Erin - September 12, 2014 - 7:11 am

    This looks delicious! Simply blissful!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - September 13, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    What brand tortillas? I haven’t found any that are soy freeReplyCancel

  • Elenore - September 15, 2014 - 2:39 am

    Kimberley, you write “being present in a way that engages all of your senses” and there really is nothing else to it.

    I’m happy that you’ve filled your soul with some real life awesomeness and these tacos, gorgeous.. OMG!!! I can’t wait to get to SF and meet you for realz very soon!

    and I’m SO crazy excited for your True Nourishment photo essay! Wihooo flippin’ amazing!

    Lotsa love,

  • Elenore - September 15, 2014 - 2:41 am

    ..I forgot to mention: These pictures! Incredible! I think you just outdid yourself <3ReplyCancel

  • Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen - September 15, 2014 - 7:19 am

    These tacos look delicious – I love the idea of roasted cauliflower in a taco – genius!ReplyCancel

  • Gaby - September 15, 2014 - 4:23 pm

    How can I get a plate of that?!ReplyCancel

  • Valeria - September 16, 2014 - 1:53 pm

    I am with you here – I tried to live summer more deeply and in a more present way. It really goes in the blink of an eye, leaving us missing it for nine more months. Love these tacos – so vibrant and nutritious! xReplyCancel

  • Angela Brown - September 17, 2014 - 5:43 pm

    Loving these corn pics–beautiful light!! And I totally agree–I love how this time of year my local farm stand is a perfectly balanced combo of the best of both summer and fall :)ReplyCancel

  • ami@naivecookcooks - September 23, 2014 - 6:56 pm

    This looks so so delish!!ReplyCancel

  • Meg @ Beard and Bonnet - September 25, 2014 - 7:18 am

    These tacos are brilliant!!! Pinning.ReplyCancel

  • Emilie@TheCleverCarrot - September 25, 2014 - 6:40 pm

    Hi Kimberley! I am so glad I stumbled upon your site. What a treat for the senses and such gorgeous, healthy recipes. Love love love. Glad you’re back on the scene (breaks are definitely much needed) and looking forward to reading some more :)ReplyCancel

  • Kristen Cottrell - September 28, 2014 - 8:32 am

    I am twenty four year student who loves to eat healthy. However, when it comes to cooking I am not very good at it. I decided it is time to start to learn how to cook and eat others foods besides yogurt and salads. I went online and look for healthy recipes and came across your blog. Your Harvest Tacos look delicious and not hard to replicate. I am exciting to put my “not so experienced” cooking skills to the test. Thank you so much for this recipe. Cant wait for the outcome.ReplyCancel

  • Arika M. - October 2, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    That looks so fresh and amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen - October 12, 2014 - 4:20 am

    These tacos look absolutely amazing! The perfect food to serve to friends and family.
    I also want to say how much I’ve loved your book so far; I finally got it a few weeks ago. I’ve already made a bunch of recipes, such as the candied ginger granola (my mom says it’s the best granola she has ever had), and will make the red bell pepper soup tonight. Thank you so much for sharing your food with us on both your blog and in your book. xoReplyCancel

  • Caroline - October 23, 2014 - 6:15 pm

    These are beautiful. I love simple, fresh tacos that come together quickly.ReplyCancel

  • Sabrina Modelle - October 28, 2014 - 10:02 pm

    Kimberly, these photos are so beautiful. Felt like I was there with you… well almost.
    We are still getting some summer produce at the farmers market, but I’m afraid the corn is all gone. Oh well, saving this in my file for next summer.ReplyCancel

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines and Corn

PORTLAND, OREGON! I’m heading your way. I love summers in the Pacific Northwest and I’m so excited to be there. I’ll be demoing 2 vibrant summer recipes from my book: Green Rice Salad with Nectarines and Corn (pictured, above), and Sweet Corn Fritters with Avocado Crema (below.) All that, plus a taste of the Rhubarb Ginger Fizz, for the price of the book! It’s a total steal, and it’s gonna be tons of fun, and it’s my only event in Portland, so please do come out! Tickets for the event can be found here.

Sweet Corn and Squash Fritters from Vibrant Food

And! Speaking of good and great times, here are a few photos from the collaborative dinner that Erin and I hosted last week at 18 Reasons. Such a fun night!

My Summer Squash Pasta and Erin's Cauliflower Corn Tacos for 18 Reasons Dinner

18 Reasons Dinner

18 Reasons Dinner

18 Reasons Dinner

Erin and I in the kitchen for our 18 Reasons dinner!

(Check out our unintentionally coordinated footwear! Worishofers ftw.)

  • Ileana - July 23, 2014 - 5:09 am

    I wish I could go to this. Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • Francois de Melogue - July 23, 2014 - 2:41 pm

    Wow! Congrats on the book! We’ll be in PDX Saturday for the farmer’s market… unfortunately (or fortunately) I am cooking dinner at home…


    • Natalie - August 11, 2014 - 2:24 am

      Hi Francois! Is there a book with their recipes?ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - July 24, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    I SO wish I could go! Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Leighty - July 25, 2014 - 7:09 am

    I absolutely love your blog and can’t wait to get my hands on your book! I’m just beginning my cookbook, and your work has been so inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche - July 26, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    beautifully captured post, wish i could have gone. love the book!ReplyCancel

  • Montse {Rhu & Sam} - July 29, 2014 - 12:56 am

    OMG Where did she get that Mallorca apron? It’s so kitch and I love it ;-) Congrats for the book btw!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - July 31, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    I just received a copy of your book to review and it is BEAUTIFUL!!! I so enjoyed reading it and look forward to following your blog! Blessings!ReplyCancel

  • di from the culinary library - August 1, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    You might be interested in the definitive and most comprehensive sauce cookbook available on the market, MASTERY OF THE SAUCES. Following their highly successful Alchemy of the Mortar & Pestle and Edible Flowers & leaves, volume 3 has just been published by The Culinary Library and is available world wide on Amazon with a LOOK INSIDE function.ReplyCancel

  • Jess @ A Pinch of Thyme - August 8, 2014 - 9:02 am

    Wow! Both dishes look delish! Wish I was in Portland so I could come to the demo!ReplyCancel

  • Ursula - August 11, 2014 - 2:22 am

    I definitly have to visit you when I comet o Portland, your dishes look so deliscious! :)ReplyCancel

  • Des - August 18, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    The event looks like it was a huge success. Well; good food and good company just goes well together.ReplyCancel

  • Tamara - August 20, 2014 - 10:15 am

    Wow. The food looks amazing. I am definitely adding this to my bucket list!ReplyCancel

  • Makelesmouthful - August 21, 2014 - 11:11 pm

    Nice looking dishes . I will hopefully review Portland restaurants at some pointReplyCancel

  • lisbeth | spoontang - August 23, 2014 - 2:19 pm

    I just put the book on order at B&N. everything looks killer amazing and I absolutely cannot wait to start cooking! and please let me know if you come to new york on your book tour!ReplyCancel

  • paseo - September 6, 2014 - 1:07 pm

    Good thing you did not accidentally drop something on those great shoes. Open toes in a commercial kitchen? Not a good idea.ReplyCancel

  • Jill @ Haaps & Barley - September 10, 2014 - 7:31 am

    So lovely!ReplyCancel

Summer Berry and Peach Crisp

First off: LOS ANGELES! I’ll be in Pasadena tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at Vroman’s Bookstore, 7 PM. Please come and say hi and ask me weird, unexpected questions about vegetables and color and blogging and photography and other things! It’ll make me so happy to see you.

Vibrant Food Launch Party

Vibrant Food Launch Party

Vibrant Food Launch Party

Also. I had a launch party for Vibrant Food. It was all friends and family, and it kinda blew my mind to have all of these folks coming together from so many different arenas of my life. My family flew up from San Diego. My dad became BFFs with everyone. It was a splendid shitshow pulling it all together. But nobody noticed that, which is amazing. With the tremendous help of my friends Emily and Jason, we served some dishes from my book: Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing, Red Beet Risotto, and Summer Berry Peach Crisp. I am so deeply indebted to my friends and family for all of their support. More on that when I have a moment to breathe. Meanwhile. Eat some crisp, enjoy summer. Happy 4th!


(Originally, I put lemon verbena in this crisp, which is what the green flecks are in the image above. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it! It’s lovely either way.)

Check out Megan’s version of this crisp. And Shanna’s!

And check out Adrianna’s version of the Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing!

This is all perfect 4th of July eating.



(Pictured throughout are outtakes of the Summer Berry Peach Crisp for Vibrant Food.)

  • Nader Khouri - July 1, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    I don’t know how you do it all so well!! Great party, that was fun!ReplyCancel

  • Jacki - July 1, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    I tried the links to look at the recipe(s) and the link for “Shanna’s!” says error, page not foundReplyCancel

  • grace - July 1, 2014 - 4:42 pm

    Love this recipe! (I’m posting a version of it tomorrow!) The party was so beautiful and so much fun.ReplyCancel

  • PassTheKnife - July 1, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    Wow, these recipes look great!! Such a great idea to do a lighter pasta in the summer time. Also the crisp looks to die for.. I think I will make it over the fourth!ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - July 1, 2014 - 5:57 pm

    I really love the way your blog flows with the big pictures and less writing. And I just might try some of your recipes! They look delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • Millie l add a little - July 1, 2014 - 10:08 pm

    Looks so gorgeous and love the sound of your dad – he seems super friendly!

  • CINDY OWINGS - July 2, 2014 - 6:08 am

    Love berry cobblers. I try to put a surprise herb in cobblers, too! Basil works nicely with peach/blueberry, for instance. Also, try lavender! Have a great party! Maybe you will make it to Montana for a book opening?ReplyCancel

  • Gaby - July 2, 2014 - 4:35 pm

    Looks perfect for the fourth of July!! Would love a bowl right now :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - July 3, 2014 - 1:46 am

    This is definitely the next recipe I’m planning to try from your book – maybe even tonight! I had such fun seeing all the pics from the launch party on instagram; it sounds like it was a brilliant night : )ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats - July 3, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    Assumed the green in the fruits was mint. Lemon verbena is infinitely more interesting. Will have to get my hands on some.ReplyCancel

  • Angela Brown - July 4, 2014 - 5:46 am

    Congrats on your book launch party! It looks like a blast! This is definitely my kind of summer dessert recipe! I still have a few baggies of frozen lemon verbena left over from last season (how I still haven’t used it all up is beyond me…), so a few rounds of this Crisp will be a good way to finish it! Enjoy the thrill of your book events!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - July 4, 2014 - 7:06 am

    Everything looks perfect – stunning dishes! Also I wanted to say I received your book the other day and it is just lovely – it met all of my sky high expectations! //SonjaReplyCancel

  • Joyti - July 4, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    It was awesome. And your decor was gorgeous. Congrats!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen - July 5, 2014 - 9:53 am

    Congrats on your book launch party! Looks like everyone had a lovely time and left the party with bellies filled with delicious food. This crisp looks like the perfect summer dessert. Bilberry season is just starting here in Scandinavia, and soon I can be found in the forests picking those blue jewels… I would love to make a bilberry version of this and share it with my loved ones!

    Wishing you an exciting July (which I’m sure you’ll have)

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche - July 6, 2014 - 9:52 pm

    wow beautiful post & photography, gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Paloma - July 14, 2014 - 2:19 am

    What a stunning recipe!!! And I love the pictures too.

    Thanks for sharing it.


  • Thefolia - July 15, 2014 - 3:10 am

    I love lemon verbena…I just bought one and placed it in my new kitchen. So far I have enjoyed the perfume it gives after brushing by it, I have photographed it for my blog post and used it for tea. Thanks for sharing this recipe can’t wait to use these scented leaves for this dish. Happy Nesting.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - July 16, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    This all looks fabulous — I just bought your cookbook, can’t wait to try everything!ReplyCancel

  • Irene @ {a swoonful of sugar} - July 16, 2014 - 10:58 pm

    Your book looks amazinggg! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Congratulations :)ReplyCancel

  • Ami@NaiveCookCooks - July 18, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    I have been wanting to get my hands on your book!!I have been hearing so much good stuff!ReplyCancel

  • bryan farley - July 20, 2014 - 12:10 pm

    Your book is fantastic, though you have created more than an excellent book.
    It was a thrill meeting you today.

  • Jose Gomez - July 21, 2014 - 3:33 am

    Excellent! Everything amazingReplyCancel

  • Chiamatemizia - July 21, 2014 - 5:36 am

    Oh, i love your photos (also your recipes!).
    I bring them as inspiration for my food blog “Chiamatemi Zia”

  • Matt - July 30, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    Wow this looks great. Glad I stumbled onto thisReplyCancel

  • Beauty Follower - August 12, 2014 - 11:38 pm


  • Maria Lopez - August 14, 2014 - 1:10 am

    The food and presentation looks amazing and delish! do you wear protection gloves whenever you prepare these dishes or just your bare hands?ReplyCancel

  • Fee - September 14, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    Congrats for being a finalist in the Best Food Blog this year … it’s how I’ve found you. Yummm, will be watching this blog!!! Shame I won’t be in San Fransisco until November, but have a blast and good luck :)ReplyCancel

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

With a summer of road trips ahead on my book tour, I’m gathering ideas for recipes and snacks that are ideal for travel. The Eating Well on the Road series is one of my favorites – perhaps because the anticipation and joy of travel is built into planning snacks and meals for the road. Thinking about food on the road means thinking about all the places I’ll be visiting.

Backpacking in Glacier national Park

Some quick news:

Speaking of that book tour, I’ve added a bunch of dates! A dinner at 18 Reasons, some solid Portland events, and more bay area events. Go check that out.

I’m having a small book launch party on Friday, June 20th in San Francisco! There are a few tickets still available! Use the code VIBRANT to gain access to the RSVP page.

The price of Vibrant Food will go up when it’s released – 6 days from now! – so now’s the time to jump on that pre-order if you’d like to secure the lowest price.

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

Things are crazy around here, and I’ve got my nose solidly to the grind for the next two weeks. I hope to have a big blowout post next week celebrating the book process and sharing some outtakes. The countdown is on, and despite being really tired, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in my life. It’s totally unreal.

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

Yield: 18-20 bites
inspired by Bike Camp Cook

A couple months ago, I received an email about a cookbook that piqued my interest. It was a self-published book about a couple’s round-the-world journey by bike and the food that author Tara Alan prepared while they traveled. It’s filled with great ideas for using what you find locally, and making the most of what you have, and which ingredients to keep on hand when space and weight are precious. Being on the other side of a book now, I have a ton of respect for the amount of work that went into this project. The book is great for all kinds of travel eating and cooking inspiration. And this recipe is a great starting point for improvising – use your favorite dried fruit, nuts, and other crunchy tidbits, keeping the ratio roughly the same, and you’ll be a happy camper this summer. These are perfect for any kind of summer travel: a plane ride, long trips in the car, an epic backpack, or a stroll in the woods.

1 1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
2 generous tablespoons cacao nibs
2 generous tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, cherries, almonds, coconut, caao nibs, and crystallized ginger and set aside. In a medium pot, combine the honey, almond butter, coconut oil, sea salt and cinnamon. Warm over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is hot. Pour in the dry ingredients, turn off the heat, and stir to thoroughly combine everything. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Use a tablespoon to make round balls. Press them together very firmly to help them hold their shape. Store in the fridge. They may become a little soft if taken along on a very hot day. But they’ll still taste good!

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

  • Allyn - June 11, 2014 - 6:24 am

    I tend to make our granola ( and I was intending to make a big batch for an upcoming 11 hour flight (yikes!), but these seem like such a less messy alternative. They look so good!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - June 11, 2014 - 6:36 am

    Delicious! These look like the perfect thing to have on hand when you’re not sure what quality coffee the road will present…ReplyCancel

  • Yummy - June 11, 2014 - 7:31 am

    I really love it :) ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats - June 11, 2014 - 8:43 am

    Using cherries instead of raisins, flaked coconut instead of shredded and adding crystallized ginger to boot…I think I’m in love ;)ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon - June 11, 2014 - 9:16 am

    Yeah, girl! That book tour line up is looking good (insert “pound it” emoji here). So happy for you and so in love with the book (there is a fruit crisp in my future this evening). Also: these are right up my alley. Love their versatility and adaptability — and they’ll be a lifesaver on book tour. I was a trail mix machine…I have a feeling, these would’ve been a smarter choice :) xoxReplyCancel

  • millie l add a little - June 11, 2014 - 9:33 am

    These look delicious – especially with the addition of almond butter!ReplyCancel

  • Alanna - June 11, 2014 - 9:46 am

    These sound so delicious what with the cherries and nibs. So excited for the book!ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - June 11, 2014 - 10:21 am

    What a very cool sounding book – I love your travel bite ideas! Also, how exciting….good luck with your book tour!ReplyCancel

  • Our Food Stories - June 11, 2014 - 11:20 am

    looks SO good!! love it!

  • Lindsey - June 11, 2014 - 12:59 pm

    So super happy for you, Kimberley! I’m sure this is such an exhilarating time! Congrats, and can’t wait to get my copy next week!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - June 11, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    I have a ton of road trips ahead of me too, These are perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Five O'clock Shallots - June 11, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    Congrats! Sounds like it’s a wonderful experience! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - June 12, 2014 - 1:47 am

    I love your Eating Well on the Road series so much – it’s always so inspiring, especially when I have a few weeks of travel ahead of me. These sound perfect and I’m always super keen to add ginger to my travel snacks for all the benefits that it has. I hope you manage to enjoy the craziness of the next couple of weeks! xoReplyCancel

  • shanna mallon - June 12, 2014 - 11:59 am

    So happy for and proud of you! High fives and big hugs from Nashville! xx -sReplyCancel

  • Jill Chapman - June 12, 2014 - 6:45 pm

    Hi Kimberley!
    I’m a BIG fan of your blog and recipes. I recently started my own blog (last week!) and I tested this recipe and posted my results! I’d love to hear what you think and any advice you may have.

    Can’t wait for your cookbook!


  • Ami@NaiveCookCooks - June 13, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    Kimberley, it’s all praises for your cookbook! Way to go girl! I am waiting to buy mine SOON!ReplyCancel

  • kristie @ - June 14, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    These looks so delicious! I must add them to my back country snack recipe list. And congratulations on the book! I can’t wait for my copy.ReplyCancel

  • Pearl - June 19, 2014 - 9:20 pm

    These look fantastic. I just managed to get a camp ground reservation in Northern Ca and will have to give these a whirl. Hope to make it to Omnivore’s Books to buy your BOOK!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - June 21, 2014 - 10:37 am

    Oh, so excited to try this! Perhaps my kids will like these better than the usual fruit/cacao balls I make… Looks and sounds terrific!ReplyCancel

  • PassTheKnife - June 23, 2014 - 9:52 am

    These look delicious and energizing. Excited the give them a try!ReplyCancel

  • Gaby - June 25, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    What a good to go snack…send some this way!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - June 29, 2014 - 9:55 am

    So many of my favorite ingredients in one recipe! YumReplyCancel

  • Lauren - June 30, 2014 - 8:17 am

    We go camping almost every weekend (spoiled, I know) and these would be great! A healthy treat with lots of flavor and some protein to boot. Perfect for around a campfire after a long hike. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • adrian @ the food gays - June 30, 2014 - 11:11 am

    these look fantastic! and full of such wholesome, good for you things. i’m going to raid my pantry and make these this week.ReplyCancel

  • Eliza - July 1, 2014 - 2:04 am

    Kimberly, fantastic idea, bites on the road. Creative photos mmm. ElizaReplyCancel

  • Chloe - July 2, 2014 - 7:52 pm

    This recipe looks delicious, but when I baked them it turned out extremely crumbly. Do you have any suggestions?ReplyCancel

    • Kimberley - July 3, 2014 - 9:07 am

      Hi Chloe,

      I’m sorry that you had trouble with these. I think the problem is that you baked them. They’re not meant to be baked; just cooled to room temp, pressed tightly into balls, and chilled. They can tend to be a little crumbly in hotter climates, which I noted in the recipe. If it’s really hot where you live, perhaps that affected them as well.ReplyCancel

  • jennifer - July 5, 2014 - 4:34 pm

    very healthy and amazing. i have to try this soon :)ReplyCancel

  • MJ - July 7, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    totally love the flavor of these but trying to make them into balls was sad sight…could be because it’s pretty hot here in LA today. but i pressed them into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and hoping that will make them more managable to consume though i’d be happy just to stick a spoon into the pan and go from there :) sad i missed you at vromans, 10 minutes from my place!ReplyCancel

  • Blake Holman - July 8, 2014 - 12:53 pm

    This is the best treat! I will be bringing this to the office and make my day a happier one! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Linda@OnPleasurefulPastry - September 6, 2014 - 12:42 pm

    Seems like a flavor bomb! I love almost anything with cherries, particularly red tart; however, I ran across a cherry grower I love at Portland Farmers Market. Cherry Country, Bought a dried Bing/Royal Ann/Tart cherries melange that’s fantastic. No additives, sulfites, oils, sugar. I sound like an advertisement.

    Anyway, great work!ReplyCancel

  • ellie | fit for the soul - September 30, 2014 - 1:08 pm

    I don’t know why, but I’m particularly digging these photos! They make me feel like I’m right there hangin’ out together :)ReplyCancel

  • Avianti Jewelry - October 2, 2014 - 12:31 pm

    This looks amazing! Definitely going to save this!ReplyCancel

  • Foodivine - October 15, 2014 - 3:07 pm

    Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites, this name alone is quite appetizing.ReplyCancel