Brussels Sprout Gratin with Potatoes & Spinach & Mollie Katzen's 'The Heart of the Plate' GIVEAWAY!

As promised in my article For the Love of Avocados and Other Vegetables: Mollie Katzen - The Heart of the Plate, I am giving away a copy of Mollie Katzen's newly released cookbook, The Heart of the Plate. The giveaway and my review cope are a courtesy of Mollie Katzen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Katzen's wonderful publicist who made it all possible. Thank you, Carrie.

I am sharing below a second recipe, Brussels Sprout Gratin with Potatoes and Spinach, from The Heart of the Plate, in addition to the Avocado-Grapefruit-Mango Saladita I posted earlier. I wrote about how much I adore Mollie's recent book. If I didn't own it already, I would wish to win it. The recipes, the illustrations and the photos are simply phenomenal.

In Season: Classic American Concord Grape Jelly & A Concord Grape Tart

My all time favorite jelly on toast is an American classic, the Concord grape.  The Concord grape was developed in Concord, MA by Ephraim Wales Bull. The original vine still grows in his original home.

I even like the commercially produced, sample size, mini glass jar grape jellies at indistinct hotel breakfast bars. You can just tell it's Concord by its signature deep magenta color. Homemade Concord grape jelly is even more tantalizing in flavor and color than commercial brands. It's not only tastier when home-made, but also healthier, without all the preservatives, artificial flavors and colors and added pectin.

Shakshuka (Poached Eggs) & 'Food Memory' Guest Post at Cake Duchess

When I wrote my very first post, Shakshuka, For Every College Kid's Hot Plate, I didn't really contemplate whether or not four years later, coming this November 4th, I would still be here at this space or not. Beginning this journey was a way of purging, cleansing. I had no idea if anyone would read it nor did the thought even cross my mind at the time. The writing of my stories and recipes were healing. A cathartic process. It was my therapy of sorts. Little had I known I would have you all with me on this journey and it makes mine the more special.

Seattle Eats & IFBC: Final Post

The highlight of IFBC two weeks ago was meeting my old social media buddies IRL and making new friends. Dorie Greenspan's keynote speech was super inspiring. Andrew Scrivani's photography sessions were very helpful. I have watched him online before, but it was nice to get the reinforcement in a real, not a virtual, room. Present. What brought this conference full circle for me, oddly enough, was the last session. As the conference was wrapping up on Sunday, I scurried back for Kim O'Donnel's session from a cappuccino, pastry and photographing at Pike Market. It's appalling to think that I almost missed the session. Pike Market was winking at me to linger just a moment longer. What left me in awe was the enormity of the talent these very friends I made over the weekend possess. You had to hear some of the exquisite writings. I also left encouraged to write even when un-inspired and when I have ten minutes at the doctor's office, waiting.

Avocado-Grapefruit-Mango Saladita: Mollie Katzen's 'The Heart of the Plate'

A version of this article was published in The Washington Jewish Week today 10/10/2013 with the Brussels Sprout Gratin with Potatoes and Spinach recipe from Katzen's 'The Heart of the Plate'. If you are a subscriber, or pick up a copy at newsstands in the DC metro area, find the article on page 30-31. You can also click the links above to access it.

For the Love of Avocados and Other Vegetables: Mollie Katzen - 'The Heart of the Plate'

Traveling from her home in Northern California, Mollie Katzen (62) kicked off her 12th cookbook, 'The Heart of the Plate' (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) whirlwind of a cookbook tour at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in DC on Sept. 17th. The Heart of the Plate dropped the same day. Katzen, with over six million copies of her books in print, is best known for 'The Moosewood Cookbook' (1977) and with it introduced, some say single-handedly, America to vegetarian food. Katzen, modest, waives her hand at these claims.

Pike Market, Seattle

Almost two weeks ago I attended my first ever food bloggers conference organized by Foodista and Zephyr Adventures. The conference couldn't have had a better backsplash than Seattle for the food loving crowd that attended, myself included. Every chance I got, every spare moment, I put my flat walking shoes on, sometimes flip flops and zipped over to Pike Market, just a few walking blocks from the W hotel, where IFBC 2013 (International Food Bloggers Conference) was held. I often arrived before the stalls were opened, or as the vendors were just about to unpack their wares, so I wouldn't miss out on sessions held at the hotel.