Lentils with mushrooms, kale and eggs from Ashley Rodriguez’s “Date Night In”

Lentils with mushrooms, kale and eggs | Cannelle et VanilleAshley Rodriguez's "Date Night In" book | Cannelle et Vanille

I am so excited to share with you that my friend Ashley Rodriguez of award-winning blog Not Without Salt has published her first book Date Night In. I have been cooking from it since the day it arrived and I cannot rave enough about it. The chicken and pumpkin seed posole has become part of my regular repertoire now and I am in love with these braised French lentils with kale and mushrooms.

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Citrus cake for the winter blues

Citrus and yogurt cake | Cannelle et VanilleIndian Beach, Oregon | Cannelle et Vanille

A few days ago I received the most generous gift from my friend Terisa in California. A box filled with infinite varieties of citrus, guava and persimmons, which grow right on her property. See the array on my last post. Quite remarkable. Also quite hard to visualize given the lack of sunshine in the Pacific Northwest this time of the year. And my days in Florida feel like a dream these days.

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New year inspiration

Citrus | Cannelle et Vanille

I hope you had a great holiday and new year. I welcomed 2015 in Seattle. It has been definitely a time of hibernation with haze, rain and all the elements one imagines when thinking of Seattle. There is a reason winter exists, I remind myself. To gather strength and ideas. I thoroughly love a time when I feel no obligations or the urge to fill my time with doing. We are such a society of busy-ness, always the need to prove our worth through how busy we are – me included. Winters here are about gathering quietly and embracing the darkness in a strange way.

Having said this, there are many things I would like to get accomplished this year.

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London before Christmas

London before Christmas | Cannelle et VanilleLondon before Christmas | Cannelle et Vanille

Two weeks ago, I was invited by the Andaz Liverpool hotel in London to come experience the hotel and everything its neighborhood had to offer during the holiday season. It had been ten years since I had spent time in London and I had been eager to visit during Christmastime. The lights, the holiday markets, the hearty eats, mistletoe and wreaths in every corner… I loved the darkness too. Something so cozy about it although it did make it difficult to photograph some food and interiors. Such a magical time of year.

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pumpkin brown-butter cakes

Pumpkin brown-butter cakes | Cannelle et VanilleMontana | Cannelle et Vanille

I love winter for its silence.

I have this need to regenerate, so I hibernate. Partly due to exhaustion, but mostly because of darkness. I feel a lack of words lately and I mostly show the world around me through images. So I leave you with them. The images of snow and these brown-butter, spiced-pumpkin cakes.

And mostly, I hope you are enjoying the holiday season with all its bustle, peace and lights. xo

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