An Icy Creamy Wrap-up

As the summer winds down, I thought it might be fun to do a little round-up of some of the recipe features, press and kind words that my book has received. I’ve been so overwhelmed with the outpouring of excitement over Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet. I’m so very thankful- seriously, it is such a thrill….

press for Icy Creamy As the summer winds down, I thought it might be fun to do a little round-up of some of the recipe features, press and kind words that my book has received. I’ve been so overwhelmed with the outpouring of excitement over Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet. I’m so very thankful- seriously, it is such a thrill. Let’s dive in to this deliciousness…Maple+Pecan+Crunch+Ice+Cream+-+Sprouted+Kitchen*Sara and Hugh Forte of Sprouted Kitchen made my Maple Pecan Crunch Ice Cream. I’m such a fan of their work so this really made my day. They had the genius idea to add chocolate. When in doubt, always add chocolate! Above photos by Hugh Forte.

*Design*Sponge featured my Roasted Peach Pops, one of my favorite recipes in the book. Stone fruit season is still happening so do yourself a favor and give these a whirl!

*Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant made my whole fruit pops (below, right). Just look at those chubby little fingers! 2016-08-26_0002 *Erin of Reading My Tea Leaves made my Roasted Peaches and Cream pops with cashew cream instead of yogurt and they turned out beautifully (above left)!

*Over at Eat Boutique my Frozen Yogurt Bark got packaged up for a sweet frozen gift!

*I was very honored that Sweet Paul included Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet in both his 25 Books I’m Loving Spring and Summer editions! Blueberry Ice Cream*Megan Gordon of A Sweet Spoonful went blueberry picking and made this vibrant blueberry ice cream!

*Kim Kinzi of Motif Magazine wrote the kindest review. When I came to work one day, my boss had pinned it to my bulletin board. That totally made me blush- I keep my school work self very separate from my writing work self!

*My friend Xan wrote the kindest words about both Little Bites and Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet over on her blog, The Conscious Caterpillar. I love that both of my books have earned a spot in her kitchen, and I especially love seeing them stained and ear-marked, just how a cookbook should look!

*Elizabeth interviewed me for her incredible Mornings on the Dock podcast. We talk books, babies, creativity, and what my month of July is like in Northern Michigan. If you can handle my strong Michigan accent, have a listen! And while you’re there, listen to them all…each one is fabulous and inspiring.

Icy Creamy in Self I have been so thrilled to receive some great press mentions as well, including a few of my recipes being featured in the July/ August issue of Self. As one of the first magazines I ever read, and one of the few that I continue to read on a regular basis, I can tell you that seeing my recipes in Self (and photographed by the one and only Johnny Miller) was a career highlight.  2016-07-07_0002 I also had the pleasure of shooting the COVER of The Coastal Table (above left). It is my first cover, and I am incredibly grateful to Karen, the founder and editor, for her support. The entire issue is gorgeous, and inside you’ll also find a fun ice cream story with several recipes, some from the book and a few brand new additions. I’ve been really appreciative of the Edible community for spreading the Icy, Creamy word. A big thank you to Edible Rhody, Edible Cape Cod, Edible Jersey, Edible Memphis, Edible Indy, Edible Toronto, Edible East Bay and Edible Boston for their features. 2016-07-17_0001 I’ve received other wonderful press coverage, including really nice features in The Improper Bostonian and Vegan Life, among other publications. I was also incredibly honored to win The Readable Feast’s People’s Choice Cookbook of the Year award, and a subsequent feature in The Boston Globe! Thank you so much for all of your votes! How thrilling. I also have an original recipe and thoughts on what it is like to write about food for a living in the current issue of Remedy Quarterly, issue #21.2016-07-11_0001 Finally, after waiting so long to join Instagram, I have to admit that I joined at the right time. I’ve loved seeing people enjoying my recipes! So, late to the party, but I’m fully here and loving it! Here are just a few of my favorite Insta images, above, top row (l to r): Sarah Waldo, Edible Manhattan, Jenn Elliott Blake. Bottom row (l to r) Floret, Marisa Dobson, Golubka Kitchen. Below, top row (l to r): Punkpost, With Style and Grace, The Book Larder. Bottom row (l to r): The Conscious Caterpillar, Megan Gordon, Amy Chaplin. Keep sharing your treats and make sure to tag me ch_chitnis and use #icycreamy. Thank you so much for all of your enthusiasm and support! And finally, if you missed my book tour recap be sure to check out my Seattle and San Francisco posts!2016-07-11_0002

Icy Creamy at The Pantry

The final event during the West Coast leg of my book tour was a party held at The Pantry. It was a gorgeous afternoon in Seattle and I spent the morning at Pike Place Market stocking up on local flowers and produce. The moment I walked into the space, I was hit with such a…

julieharmsen_C001 copy The final event during the West Coast leg of my book tour was a party held at The Pantry. It was a gorgeous afternoon in Seattle and I spent the morning at Pike Place Market stocking up on local flowers and produce. The moment I walked into the space, I was hit with such a feeling of calm. The space was so warm and inviting- it felt like walking into the kitchen of a good friend. I knew it was going to be a great party.julieharmsen_C30 copyjulieharmsen_C011 copyjulieharmsen_C033julieharmsen_C026 copy julieharmsen_C030 (1) copyjulieharmsen_C029 copy julieharmsen_C050 copy As the guests arrived, they were greeted with delicious eats from Rain Shadow Meats, and tall, icy glasses of homemade celery soda. It sounds strange, but trust me when I tell you it was incredibly refreshing. The group that gathered was so interesting- food bloggers, restaurateurs, stylists, chefs- a really eclectic and interesting crowd. We all easily fell into conversation. I actually had to be nudged to start my demo, or I would have spent the entire party chatting away.julieharmsen_C12 copy julieharmsen_C012 copyjulieharmsen_C087 copyjulieharmsen_C15 copy julieharmsen_C039 copy I was thrilled to partner with Seattle ice cream phenom Molly Moon for the event, so along with the fresh peach syrup and almond coconut chocolate chip cookies that I made, we had incredible, homemade ice cream (without me having to lug my ice cream maker along for the ride)! After the demo, we all feasted on fruit-syrup drizzled sundaes and ice cream sandwiches.  julieharmsen_C16 copyjulieharmsen_C18 copy julieharmsen_C095 copy julieharmsen_C103 copy I’m so grateful to everyone who took the time to come and celebrate with me, including Jenn, Megan, Lisa, Deborah, Heather, Janti, Leslie, Marisa, Kellen, Di, Paul, Grace, Phillip, Jess and Andy. A special thanks to Julie Harmsen for the gorgeous photographs that you see here. Thank you to The Pantry for the use of your beautiful space. And a huge thanks to Molly Moon for those incredible tubs of ice cream! Finally, my deepest appreciation to Vitamix, for making this leg of the tour possible. Lots of love for you, Seattle!julieharmsen_C104 copy

Icy Creamy in San Francisco

It’s a bit hard to put into words the whirlwind adventure I’ve been on this past month. Going into my book tour, I had no idea how I was going to pull off numerous events in multiple cities. My itinerary was three pages long, with multiple flights and accommodations to keep track of, as well…

IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-20It’s a bit hard to put into words the whirlwind adventure I’ve been on this past month. Going into my book tour, I had no idea how I was going to pull off numerous events in multiple cities. My itinerary was three pages long, with multiple flights and accommodations to keep track of, as well as all of the food preparation and grocery shopping that took place. I boarded a plane to San Francisco with two 50 pound suitcases loaded to the brim with kitchen tools, stacks of books, gift bags, and personal effects. The moment the last event ended I let out a huge breath, my stress melted away and my shoulders finally stopped hovering around my ears. But then I see these gorgeous photographs, and I remember all of the amazing people that came out to support me and my book, and I think…yep, I’d do all over again in a heartbeat! I am so incredibly thankful to my sponsors, Vitamix and HawaiianShavedIce.com not only for supporting me on my book tour, but making products that are an absolute joy to use. Okay, so San Francisco…besides a book signing at the incredible cookbook store, Omnivore, I also held a private party for local tastemakers. We had the best time- a gorgeous venue (thanks Cookhouse), a super talented, inspiring crowd and a shaved ice bar with homemade syrups! Plus…Prosecco and pops! cyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-2 IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-51 IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-49 I greeted my guests with homemade strawberry pops served in a wine glass filled with Prosecco. Not only was it delicious but it served as such a great ice breaker! While I had a rough idea of the recipes that I would demo at the party, I let a trip to the Ferry Building Farmers Market inspire my final choices. The strawberries were at their peak, and locally grown. Plus I splurged on some gorgeous local wildflower honey. The pops were so vibrant and delicious…plus soaked in Prosecco, so there’s that! After mingling and sampling some catered fare, I demoed a Strawberry and Basil syrup recipe, which I made with the help of my new Vitamix (the smaller size makes it so travel friendly!). And then we all went crazy drizzling homemade Peach, Watermelon Mint and Strawberry Basil syrups over fluffy shaved ice from my HawaiianShavedIce.com machine! Snow cones, you guys! Best party idea- seriously, it was a blast!IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-56 IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-11IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-72 IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-67IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-62IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-59 I want to personally thank all the wonderful people that came out to help me celebrate Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet including Nik, Stephen, Molly, Jessica, Alexis, Marisa, and Kim. You sure knew how to make a girl feel welcome San Fran. And a final, huge thank you to Nanette Wong for the gorgeous images you see here! Have a lovely Fourth of July weekend, folks, and if you’re up for some fun, give this frozen treat thing a whirl 😉cyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-1 IcyCreamyHealthySweet _ Nanette Wong-3

Jamaica, Local Flavor

Now that we’re back in Rhode Island it’s hard to believe that somewhere out there the sun is beating down on white hot sand while the ocean waves roll lazily on the shore. It’s hard to believe that somewhere out there it is 80 degrees with the slightest breeze blowing in off the ocean, rustling…

Jamaica, at the market2Now that we’re back in Rhode Island it’s hard to believe that somewhere out there the sun is beating down on white hot sand while the ocean waves roll lazily on the shore. It’s hard to believe that somewhere out there it is 80 degrees with the slightest breeze blowing in off the ocean, rustling the leaves of the palm trees. But what is really hard to believe is that we choose to live here in New England when we could be living there (joking…kind of)! Our trip to Jamaica was heaven on earth. It was so nice to escape the winter sickness that had descended on our family during the last few months. Digging our toes into the sand, basking in the sun and swimming the day away in the ocean proved to be immensely healing. We’re back and feeling good!Jamaica fish

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Jamaica lobster

Jamaica menu Of course all of the Vitamin C helped too. We indulged in fresh pineapple ever morning, and coconut water straight out of the coconut every lunchtime. Jamaica is a place of such abundance in terms of local food offerings. We ate so well while we were there- lobster, fish, jerk chicken, tropical fruits and avocado as big as our heads- it was all so incredibly fresh and delicious. I spent an afternoon wandering the market and trying all kinds of interesting fruits: soursop, custard apple, sweetsop, guava and naseberry. I also bought bags of sugar cane for swirling in our nightly piña colada (made with fresh coconut meat and fresh pineapple- heaven on earth).

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Jamaica, at the market The seafood offerings made for some memorable dinners. Curry crab and jerk lobster were the crowd favorites, served alongside fried plantains and rice and beans. There is also a Jamaican fish dish called Escovich, which is best described as lightly fried red snapper served with vinegar pickled vegetables. It is so tasty.

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Jamaica fishing boats

Jamaica crab Tomorrow I’ll share with you a bit more of our trip, like where we stayed and a glimpse of the gorgeous sunsets that I am now missing terribly!

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Little Bites

A few weeks ago, I took a day trip to Boston to meet with Jenn, my editor at Roost, and pick up a copy of Little Bites.  It’s hard to describe how it felt to hold the actual book in my hands after working on it tirelessly for the past few years.  It surpassed all…

littlebitesA few weeks ago, I took a day trip to Boston to meet with Jenn, my editor at Roost, and pick up a copy of Little Bites.  It’s hard to describe how it felt to hold the actual book in my hands after working on it tirelessly for the past few years.  It surpassed all of my expectations.  The paper quality is gorgeous, the pictures translate beautifully, the size is perfect, and the design is spot-on.  The team at Roost has such vision and I could not be more thrilled to be one of their authors.  I’ve been showing off the book to friends and family, and everyone that has held it and flipped through the pages has fallen in love with the recipes, the words and the pictures.  As one friend said, “This book was made with such intention.”  I love that.  That is what I aspire to both in life and work; creating with intention.

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050115_0101_uncroppedI had the idea for Little Bites when Vijay was about 18 months old.  He is now closing in on 5.  To say that this book was a labor of love would be an understatement!  What’s funny is that I need this book in my life now more than ever.  I have two hungry, active boys to feed and a large part of each day goes into preparing them nutritious and delicious food.  I’m thrilled that Little Bites now lives in my kitchen, where I can browse through it at any given moment for snack-time inspiration.  Below is a peek at what you’ll find inside…in addition to 100 recipes for healthy, kid-friendly snacks, there is a jam-packed introduction and seasonal field trip ideas scattered throughout.  The idea is to make seasonal eating fun, wholesome and accessible!  Children associate snacks with fun, tasty, easy-to-eat foods, but as parents, we know that the very best snacks are all that and more. Snacks, when done right, serve an important purpose–they give our kids a needed boost of energy. Instead of settling for processed crackers or bags of sugary treats, we used our creativity and love of food to develop wholesome snacks that are easy to pack and simple to make.  Sarah is a genius when it comes to feeding kids; her recipes are both inventive and approachable.  It was truly an honor to work alongside her for the past few years.  Without a doubt my culinary skills have improved greatly just from cooking alongside her!  I simply can’t wait for you to try these recipes in your own kitchen.  I can promise there will be much more book talk in the months to come.  Little Bites releases in July, but you can preorder your copy now!

(top three photos by my fave, Forrest!)

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An Island Escape

When I talked of having a stressful year in 2014 much of that had to do with my husband leaving his position at Brown University to strike out on his own.  There were ups and downs, as there are whenever you take a risk and start your own business, but he landed on his feet…

_MG_0759When I talked of having a stressful year in 2014 much of that had to do with my husband leaving his position at Brown University to strike out on his own.  There were ups and downs, as there are whenever you take a risk and start your own business, but he landed on his feet as we knew he would.  And not only did he land on his feet, but he has been given the opportunity to work on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands for the next three weeks.  Of course we followed him here.  You can’t pass up an opportunity like that!  And so we are camped out in a small cottage on an organic farm perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean.  It is rustic, and I am slowly making peace with the mosquitoes, spiders and roaches (eek!), but we are having such an adventure.

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_MG_0937We begin our mornings on the porch eating breakfast, feasting on fresh fruit from the farm.  The boys enjoy picking our daily pineapple and bunch of bananas.  Most mornings there is a light rain and we are greeted with a rainbow that soars over the green mountains and lands somewhere out in the ocean.  It is quite magical.

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_MG_0808We then pack our bags full of beach toys and snacks and head to one of the many pristine, hidden beaches around the island.  We spend the day crashing in the waves and building sand castles.  It is a simple and beautiful daily routine and it tires the boys right out.  We find ourselves turning in early, around 7pm after a dinner of jerk chicken or grilled fish and veggies.  I’m writing this from a small coffee shop- the only one on the island- as we have no internet or cell service anywhere else.  It is so refreshing, but I did want to take a few minutes and share a slice of sunshine with you.

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Outstanding in the Field

Let me start by saying that they are not overselling it with the title- it really was outstanding.  As with any good story I’ll start at the beginning, for there is a tale to tell when it comes to our Outstanding in the Field experience. I’ve been eying the Outstanding in the Field events for…

2013-09-04_0004Let me start by saying that they are not overselling it with the title- it really was outstanding.  As with any good story I’ll start at the beginning, for there is a tale to tell when it comes to our Outstanding in the Field experience.

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_MG_0534I’ve been eying the Outstanding in the Field events for years, but given the hefty price tag  (and the whole pregnant/ nursing thing that has been going on for the past four years!) I could never quite pull the trigger.  When I realized that this year’s Rhode Island event fell two days after our anniversary I decided it would be our gift to each other.  Tuesday’s forecast called for thunderstorms throughout the day, and as we drove to Sweet Berry Farm it was pouring rain, thundering and lightening.  I was completely crushed as I saw my vision of that long white table in the field vanish as the rain increased to torrential.

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_MG_0586_2When we arrived, everyone was huddled under tents, sipping wine and enjoying hors d’oevres.  While the atmosphere was as jolly as could be expected given the weather, it was clear that there was a general feeling of disappointment.  I was feeling rather low when we bumped into a good friend…a welcomed distraction from the rain.  We got to talking, and laughing, enjoying more wine and swapping summer stories.  Pretty soon we took our seats indoors, under the tent.  The first and second courses came out and were stunning- the roasted carrots stole the show.

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_MG_0585As they cleared away the second course, the light inside the tent suddenly shifted, the sun broke through and miraculously, the rain stopped….just like that.  The crew decided that it was safe to venture out, and as we walked across the sopping fields, they moved our tables and chairs into the most picturesque of arrangements.

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_MG_0633The sun began to set over the orchards, in a dazzling display of pinks and oranges.  It was the most beautiful night imaginable- the air cool and crisp, the wine plentiful, each dish better than the one before.

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IMG_0601We talked and laughed late into the evening, hardly noticing when the candles had to be refreshed.  Oh you guys…it was magical.  Truly and utterly magical.  And perhaps we appreciated it all the more given the less than desirable start to the night.  We were so thankful to be eating food fresh from the farm, beautifully and simply prepares, and to be in a setting so gorgeous, with each other, and a great friend.

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_MG_0653We celebrated six years together in style, that is to be sure.  This one will go down in the books.  Six years, two kids, plenty of ups and downs, and more love than I knew was possible.  Here’s to the next six, and sixty more after that, my love.

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A New Website and a New Book!

It’s been an exciting summer to say the least.  As I’ve hinted in the past weeks, I have been working away on a few amazing projects.  The time has finally come to share…starting with a brand new look and feel to my website.  I adored my old site design, but felt it was time for…

_MG_0091It’s been an exciting summer to say the least.  As I’ve hinted in the past weeks, I have been working away on a few amazing projects.  The time has finally come to share…starting with a brand new look and feel to my website.  I adored my old site design, but felt it was time for a makeover.  I wanted a lighter, cleaner feel which would allow my pictures to take center stage.  Working with the lovely Aprile Elcich was such a pleasure, and she made my vision a reality with a watercolor hand-lettered logo, and a clean, bright website design.  I also decided to switch over to WordPress for a bit more behind-the-scenes control.  I’m pretty thrilled with the outcome, and I sincerely hope you like it…I know change is hard, but I kept things simple, so navigating and finding your way around should be easy.

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But the most thrilling piece of news is that I am working on a second book.  Just writing that  gives me goosebumps.  This book is something I have been working towards ever since my first book came out two years ago.  It will be published by Roost in 2015 (pinch me, this is my dream publisher)!  The premise of the book is wholesome, simple, seasonal snack recipes for active families.  I am passionate about teaching my boys to eat with the seasons, and I make a big effort to educate them about where their food comes from, whether by having them help me in the garden, shop by my side at the farmers market, or come along to pick berries at a local farm.  I hope this book will inspire families to incorporate a sense of seasonality into their cooking routine.  As a mom, I am always on the go… the playground, pool, beach…wherever we go, the boys inevitably ask for snacks.  I’m raising two ravenous little ones, so I’ve had to step up my snack game.  This book will include 100 original recipes for easily packable, kid-friendly, wholesome snacks.  And let me tell you, as I cook my way through the recipes, my boys are thrilled with the results!

The idea for this book came to me shortly after Vijay started solid foods, but I knew I needed the perfect partner to make it happen.  I’m thrilled to be co-authoring this book with my good friend Sarah Waldman.  She brings her amazing recipe development skills and nutritional knowledge to the table, while I’ll be handling the writing and photography.  We already have our spring and summer shoots wrapped, and the results are making us mighty proud.  I can’t wait to see it all come together, and I really can’t wait to share it with you.

As always…thank you for reading, and thank you for your encouragement.  Your comments after my rough winter were what pushed me to make this all happen- thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Here’s to new beginnings!

(if you follow me using Bloglovin, or another reader, you might need to update your subscription…just a heads up!)

Early Summer at the Market

The colors of early summer…jeweled cherry tomatoes, ruby red strawberries, bright yellow flowers.  I go with a shopping list in mind, and end up buying based the colors of the rainbow instead.  Luckily, I win out either way, coming home with my market basket overloaded with beautiful, ripe produce. Dinners have been veggie and fruit…

The colors of early summer…jeweled cherry tomatoes, ruby red strawberries, bright yellow flowers.  I go with a shopping list in mind, and end up buying based the colors of the rainbow instead.  Luckily, I win out either way, coming home with my market basket overloaded with beautiful, ripe produce.

Dinners have been veggie and fruit forward- pasta with chopped tomatoes and peas, topped with crumbled feta, followed by berry cobbler (made with the first blueberries of the season!).  Kitchen sink salad (every green you can imagine, topped with goat cheese, chicken, and quinoa), followed by chocolate ice cream topped with strawberries.  As for lunch- bagels smeared with ricotta, and topped with loads of fresh vegetables.

I feel my best when eating this way…light, fresh and keeping with the rhythm of the season.