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EATING WELL ON THE ROAD: IMPROMPTU MUESLI WITH GINGER, CACAO NIBS AND DRIED CHERRIES

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Two weeks ago, I submitted the manuscript for my cookbook. I don’t feel as though I’ve had enough space from it yet to entirely understand what that means or how I feel. I’m proud as heck of what I did, and relieved that the stress and anxiety are mostly over. I was in over my head a lot; it’s hard to tread water in that place, but I did. Towards the end, I realized that the bulk of this year has been boot camp: recipe development boot camp and photography boot camp. I’ve been deep-diving into this work, and coming up, I feel a little blinded. I’ve learned a ton. I can see how my ability to think about recipes has been fine-tuned. I can see how much my photography has grown and evolved. The process, for me, was kinda like what some of my friends like to call Type 2 Fun. It was not always fun when I was in the thick of it. Sometimes it outright sucked. It was hard and stressful and overwhelming and brought all of my insecurities acutely to the surface. But in retrospect: Eff yes. It was also fun and gratifying and challenging and pushed me in ways that made me stretch. I had a hard time feeling gratitude for that while I was in the thick of it, but I’m feeling it now.

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Now I’m out here in the deep wilds of northern Montana, where I like to get a little lost every year in order to come back to myself. It has never felt more urgent or well-deserved or perfectly-timed.

The first week of my travels were spent heading north through Oregon and Washington, catching up with old and new friends and documenting some farms for my cookbook. After so much time focused on getting the book made, all these long hours in good conversation with good people were deeply gratifying. Again and again I was on the receiving end of such kindness and giving. People feeding me, taking me in, making sure my needs were met.

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You know how to eat well on the road? Reach out to folks. Your old cousins, or that awesome person you connected with once, years ago. Or, here in the 21st century, your new bestie on Instagram. Bring along a bottle of wine when you come to their table. Or some cheese. Or salt. Or blueberries. Some of the people who took me in hardly knew me, and I felt so well cared for. It was undoubtedly the best expression of the kindness of strangers. The photos interspersed here are from some of those afternoons and evenings.

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Being on the road requires a little flexibility, a lesson that has been hard won on my end. It’s taken me a long time to appreciate a sense of spontaneity, of trusting that where I’ll sleep and what I’ll eat will all work out. I love to visit the tiny health food stores that you find tucked away in the most unlikely of places. And muesli is perhaps the easiest of breakfast items to cobble together with a handful of bulk bin staples and some creative flexibility. This recipe is adapted from one that I made for Etsy last summer. I am a firm believer in the magic power of crystallized ginger in this otherwise austere breakfast. And the cacao nibs and dried cherries bring it to a place of mild, wholesome decadence. It’s best with a lot of fresh fruit in the bowl. In fact, I’d say that fresh fruit is mandatory.

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XOXO gang. More soon.

MUESLI WITH GINGER, CACAO NIBS AND DRIED CHERRIES
adapted from Etsy

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed brown rice
1 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Store in a tightly sealed glass container. You can store these in plastic bags if traveling, but eat it quickly, because the plastic permeates the muesli and makes it stale quite quickly.

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - August 19, 2013 - 7:14 am

    This is fabulous!! So bright and colourful and a great breakfast idea!ReplyCancel

  • Dan from Platter Talk - August 19, 2013 - 8:04 am

    Beautifully done, as usual. Best of success to you with your new cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - August 19, 2013 - 8:15 am

    What a beautiful post full of delicious and kindness! These pictures remind me of good friends and times to remember. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Brian - August 19, 2013 - 10:47 am

    Congrats Kimberley! This is a much deserved road trip!ReplyCancel

  • erin @ yummy supper - August 19, 2013 - 11:15 am

    Kimberley! Huge congrats to you!!
    I love these photos you have for us today. It looks like you are getting the deep restoration you deserve from the unique beauty that summer has to offer. Enjoy.
    xoxoxo
    EReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - August 19, 2013 - 1:40 pm

    Congratulations on finishing the manuscript and I’m glad you’re getting some time to unwind and recover from the experience. Can’t wait to see the finished book!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - August 19, 2013 - 2:42 pm

    I love this – the photos, the idea of adding cacao nibs to muesli, the spirit of connecting with people to eat well on the road (which likely applies also to eating and living well, generally) and, perhaps especially, the fact that you’re taking this time for yourself to let the last year sink in, to process that fantastic thing you just created, to evaluate your hopes and dreams for the next season. YES to all of that.ReplyCancel

  • Erica Julson - August 19, 2013 - 8:56 pm

    First off, CONGRATULATIONS on your HUGE accomplishment! Can’t wait to see the book. Obviously it’s going to be great :) How long will it be?
    Keep up the fabulous work. You are always my favorite blogging inspiration (your pictures are just divine!)ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - August 20, 2013 - 1:07 am

    Congrats on finishing your book. Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can be so painful, but it’s so worth it in the end. I’m experiencing a lot of those emotions right now. Your photos here are really great. Enjoy the last of the summer!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - August 20, 2013 - 7:18 am

    Congratulations to you! What an amazing accomplishment. I am so looking forward to the cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Linda@There and Back Again - August 20, 2013 - 8:10 am

    Good for you! You made it through the hardest step…until the edits start. :) I love your way of exploring food and the world in general.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - August 20, 2013 - 8:13 am

    I can only imagine how intense the experience of writing a book must have been. But you did it, hooray! I must say that reading your blog and following your Instagram I always think to myself, that girl is really living the seasons. I look forward to your return to San Francisco.ReplyCancel

  • Stefani Greenwood - August 20, 2013 - 10:07 am

    congratulations K! i am so very excited for you and for me to get my hands on your book and dive into all of your hard work. your words and photography always transport me. xo ps. i love that saying “type 2 fun” – i will most definitely using it.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - August 20, 2013 - 10:41 am

    I am so happy to hear that book is almost there! And your thoughts on learning to be spontaneous while traveling really resonated with me. I hope your time in Montana is every bit as perfect and chill as it looks. You certainly deserve the rest! Xoxo, eReplyCancel

  • Sara - August 20, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    Yea girl!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ann - August 20, 2013 - 1:37 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe. You have pepitas listed twice, just wondered if there is 1/2 cup of something else or just a accidental repeat!

    Thanks and congrats on your book.

    Mary AnnReplyCancel

  • Nicole - August 22, 2013 - 7:46 am

    I cannot even imagine what a challenge it must have been, but I’m so happy for you and eager to see the results! These photos are gorgeous and the muesli sounds perfect. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Eve - August 23, 2013 - 2:03 pm

    Splendid indeed! Nice colors arrangement.ReplyCancel

  • kelsey - August 26, 2013 - 9:04 pm

    People are going to FLIP when they get their hands on your granola recipe with the crystalized ginger in it. You made me a mega-believer of the austerity of the stuff in breakfast foods. Can’t wait to see you SOOOOOOONN!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne - August 29, 2013 - 2:26 pm

    So glad to hear you’re on the other side now, Kimberley, and I cannot wait to see the finished product! Type 2 fun… a perfect description.ReplyCancel

  • Claudia Karafotas - September 2, 2013 - 1:55 pm

    I read a recent interview on ‘New Potato’ where you describe the importance of salt in food. I would like to send you a sample of my product, Sal del Mar gourmet sea salt.
    It is hand-harvested from the Sea of Cortez and has a rustic, intense flavor that I think you will like.
    The packaging is another feature that I think would appeal to your sense of style. Sal del Mar is packaged in a natural muslin bag, hand-embroidered by women in a small village in the Sierre Madres Occidental, Mexico. The women benefit from the sale of the bags and help to support their families.
    You can learn more about Sal del Mar on my web site: http://www.saldelmar.com.I‘m also on Etsy.
    Please send me your address if ou would like to sample Sal del Mar.
    Buen Provecho,
    Claudia Karafotas, Top Salty, Sal del MarReplyCancel

  • Shobelyn - September 5, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    I am so amazed of your accomplishment and I wish you blessings and luck for your new book You deserve all the good things you got now and will get in the future. I read through your archives since you started and your photos as you said improved a lot, and I noticed that too. That gives hope to me since my photos are mediocre and my blog is still like a baby. Like you, I will also improve and maybe I can get a hold of your book and be inspired some more. Great things will be coming your way, and maybe there will be conferences that you will become a speaker and , I will be able to finally meet you .Keep on writing, I am a biggest fan.ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn - October 14, 2013 - 5:42 am

    Beautiful pictures! I’m seriously in love with that top photo!ReplyCancel

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