rosehip - vegetarian recipes

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rosehip vegetarian recipes

Self-Care Interview Series: Adriana Ayales

April 28 2019 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Adriana Ayales Adriana Ayales is a rainforest herbalist from Costa Rica and the founder of herbal apothecary Anima Mundi. We are in love with Adriana’s world and creations, and so excited to share this interview. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? Although I love the grounded power of routine, I’m living in a phase of being open and free. With kids, and a beyond full time devotion to running a business, I just ride the waves as they come. I’ve learned to surrender that not everything has to look the way it should look. Lifes situations and patterning moves around like the seasons. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning. I love getting up before the kids, and sneaking into the kitchen to make myself a healing cup(s) of medicine. First thing I do is a big ole cup of vitamin C rich goodness, sometimes its mangosteen hibiscus with a lemon squeeze, or fresh picked turmeric from the garden grated with ginger, along with camu camu and lemon water. Then I make a seasonal fruit bowl of sorts, with oatmeal, or homemade granola loaded with mineralizing herbs (like nettle or mesquite powder). Followed by my favorite, and not so healthy friend, Coffee. Ah coffee. I cant tell you how wonderful locally grown heirloom coffee is here, paired with deliciously fresh cacao and medicinal mushrooms and homemade almond. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? Massaging the face, forehead and skull with warm oil at night is one of the simplest and most restorative practices we can do to induce deep sleep. I love using a mix I make at home of jojoba oil, with rosehip, infused with clary sage and a fine sandalwood. Another one of my all time favorites for evening relaxation is blue lotus. -- Do you have any kind of mindfulness practice?  Sipping tea mindfully in nature, witnessing time in silence is one of my favorite things. I tap into my feelings, breath, mind, and begin to clear energy. Sustenance -- Do you do caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? I do love caffeine. Growing up in Costa Rica has woven me into loving a good cup of locally roasted coffee. Depending on the day, I love adding reishi, or a mix of medicinal mushrooms, raw cacao with mucuna, along with a homemade plant based milk. I also love having an aged puerh, or traditional matcha with added herbs for nourishment, like moringa. -- Do you have a sweet tooth and do you take any measures to keep it in check? Sometimes I do, especially when I’m tired or running on low energy. When im over-worked, or running on stress I definitely crave more carby and sugary things, and this is usually due to skipping a meal, or needing a quick-fix. Some tips I bare in mind during stressful moments that ignite the sweet tooth (or just in general!) are: always go for fruits before you opt for a sugary dessert, always choose low glycemic sweeteners vs. sugar (some faves are coconut sugar, maple syrup, and real stevia extract -- not the synthetic ones!) For carbs avoid empty carbs and refined flours, and opt for ones that are more easily absorbed, like coconut, almond and cassava flour. -- Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/­­tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness?  Oh my, so many! I seasonally change my herbal intake, but certainly stick with some favorites. I love having my potent singles (single herb tinctures) on me at all times, like shisandra berries and blue lotus. A Brain tonic while I’m working, usually with herbs like gotu kola, ginkgo, brahmi and lion’s mane mushroom. Two that I dose with very often are the Happiness tonic (st johns wort, mucuna, ashwagandha, etc.) and euphoric/­­mood elevating herbs like catuaba, mucunam muira puama and damiana. I also love our Liver formula for daily cleansing and nourishment, like the moringa, burdock, nettles, chlorella. And of course beauty herbs like He Shou Wu, Mangosteen and more! Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  Absolutely, I love doing a mix between yoga and pilates. -- Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it? I love the torture! When I feel a little lazy and not like suffering in an intensive workout, I just remind myself how excellent I feel when I finish it. Not just seeing physical results, but especially the mental peace and happiness after working out. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? A feeling of wholeness. When your mood is high, your gut is vibrant, and you feel confident and beautiful. When there is no sense of lack, imbalance or deficiency. When you feel aligned. -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? I love making my own body and face oils. I usually infuse collagen boosting herbs, and skin strengthening herbs and lather up. I also like to keep things simple, like using cacao butter with coconut oil, or just a fluffy shea butter for deep moisture.  -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? Yes! I’m a big fan of eating herbs and supplements that protect the skin, increase our own collagen receptors and help activate our natural glow. The herbs I designed for the vegan collagen formula have been my go-tos for quite sometime. Horsetail, He Shou Wu, Calendula, Nettle seed + leaf, Comfrey, and others like Mangosteen, Camu Camu and Hibiscus are great for the skin too. -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? I love making edible masks. Infusing a high potency extract into a raw clay and avocado, along with an activating source like apple cider vinegar, or more protein like flax, and making a smooth paste to lather all over the face, body and even hair is one of my all time favorites. Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress?  Visualization is huge for me. Sitting in silence and tuning in is vital, along with the help of nervines and adaptogenic herbs that assist in de-compression like skullcap, blue lotus and ashwagandha. -- If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? I like taking a walk or hike in nature, get in the ocean/­­lake/­­river or any kind of body of water. I completely unplug from work, the phone, or computer. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? Before the cold kicks in, I take strong echinacea extracts in a soothing tea, mixing turmeric, lemon, grated ginger, apple cider vinegar, garlic and aloe in warm water. It works every time. I make a large batch and dose all day long --  even my kids love it!  -- How do you reconcile work-time with free-time? Do those things overlap for you or do you keep them distinctly separate? This certainly overlaps for me, which can honestly be a bitter sweet reality. I love everything surrounding plants, and its medicinal uses, as well as teaching, and medicine making. I love that my business is all about honoring ancestral ways, plant medicine, the art of herbalism, righteous cultivation, and medicine making. Yet, like any business owner would understand, there are many tasks to the job that are exhausting and certainly not what made you fall in love in the first place. For me personally, Ive learned to reconcile by doing what I love doing the most, medicine making and wildcrafting. I made a commitment to myself in making space for this no matter what, and not disregarding it by prioritizing business with the things that dont really matter in life. Its vital that we take moments in our free time that refine our focus and intention in life, re-align to what inspired the dream, without getting side swept with busy-ness. Motivation -- Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself? Over the last couple years Ive struggled with this because of having babies. Which Im sure a lot of new moms can relate to this! Every time I get a moment between being a mother, wife and business owner, my priority to feel more self loving (and more human!) is yoga. The simple act of getting oxygen, doing conscious breathing, and distracting the monkey mind from its patterning, you become yourself again.  -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? Herbs. Integrating plant medicine into everything has significantly changed my body mind and soul. -- A book/­­movie/­­class that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care. Off the top of my head I love these: Healing with Whole Foods with Paul Pitchford, Gabriel Cousens’ Spiritual Nutrition, The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates, and of course The Medical Medium by Anthony William. Knowledge -- What was your path to becoming an herbalist and starting Anima Mundi? Growing up I learned closely with curanderos on plant medicine and rainforest herbalism overall. I then attended herbal schools in California where I learned a lot of native, northern and european herbalism. Life somehow took me to NYC (a place I NEVER thought I would ever go to) after living in California for quite some years, and I started practicing privately as an herbalist. I kept noticing the common trends, symptomology and imbalances folks that came in had, and started developing mother formulas to be able to make large batches. -- How do you approach sourcing herbs for Anima Mundi?  First and foremost we try to create a direct relationship with the people/­­farmers that cultivate. Although we value certification of prime ingredients, there are many ethical wild crafters and farms that do not have special certifications, yet cultivate sustainable practices and have quality products that we also like to support. We are also adamant of supporting local economies as much as possible, particularly with rainforest herbs sourced directly from indigenous people, supporting their craft as well as ethically crafted botanicals. -- What are some of Anima Mundis best sellers? Our plant-based Collagen Booster, Happiness Tonic, Adaptogenic Immortality Tonics, Curam Beauty Elixir, our 100% Coconut Cream Powder, Mushroom Mocha Milk and more...! Fun and Inspiration -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – Women Who Run with Wolves Song/­­Album –  Cuatro Vientos /­­ Danit Movie –  Loving the The OA lately! Piece of Art –  Ayahuasca art by Pablo Amaringo Photos by Renee Byrd and from Anima Mundi’s IG /­­ This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. The post Self-Care Interview Series: Adriana Ayales appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Pasta e Ceci – The Coziest Pasta and Chickpea Soup from Abruzzo

January 24 2019 Golubka Kitchen 

Pasta e Ceci – The Coziest Pasta and Chickpea Soup from Abruzzo We had the most transcendent experience eating this simple, Italian peasant soup during our retreat in Abruzzo this past fall. We had just returned to our b&b from a beautiful mountain hike, where we foraged rosehips and mint, and everyone was very ready for lunch after that good dose of exercise and fresh air. Our hosts at the bed and breakfast served a homemade pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpea soup), and it really hit the spot with its coziness and simplicity. There are still spots open for our retreat in Abruzzo this coming October! You can read all about our past retreat here, complete with photos and testimonials. This time around, we will be focusing on re-centering and relaxation, together with exploring beautiful Abruzzo. We are super excited to have an on-site yoga/­­meditation instructor and an on-site acupuncture physician, both offering daily services. There will be lots of fun and useful cooking workshops with us, as well as visits to an olive grove, winery, and a family truffle plantation. You can see our whole sample itinerary below, and book here! Click Here to book a spot at the retreat! Abruzzo 2019 Retreat Sample Itinerary *details are subject to change /­­ all meals are vegan with a vegetarian option DAY 1 – Pick up in Rome at 1:30 PM, Piazza Bologna – Drive to Abruzzo – Unpack and relax – Aperitif and dinner prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team DAY 2 – Morning yoga and meditation with our on-site certified yoga instructor – Breakfast prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, with superfood latte/­­smoothie demonstration (different recipe every day) – Diagnostic consultations, facial and/­­or body gua sha massage, and acupressure with our on-site Acupuncture Physician (1 individual appointment included in the cost of the retreat, additional charge for all follow-up appointments) – Lunch prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team – Time to relax, forest bathe, and hike the grounds after gua sha/­­acupressure appointments – Dinner at a local restaurant – Optional evening meditation DAY 3 – Morning yoga and singing bowl meditation – Breakfast prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, with superfood latte/­­smoothie demonstration – Diagnostic consultations, facial and/­­or body gua sha massage, and acupressure with our on-site Acupuncture Physician (1 individual appointment included in the cost of the retreat, additional charge for all follow-up appointments) – Lunch prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team – Foraging walk to gather herbs + medicinal jam and herbal tea workshop with the Golubka Kitchen team – Dinner prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team – Optional evening meditation DAY 4 – Morning yoga + sun gazing/­­A.M. sun therapy – Breakfast prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, with superfood latte/­­smoothie demonstration – Visit to an olive grove with 600 year old trees + meditation and grounding in the orchard – Sample olive oil made with the olives from the grove + light picnic-style lunch – Plant-based cooking & meal planning workshop with the Golubka Kitchen team – Dinner – Optional evening meditation * Option to bypass any of the P.M. activities for an additional gua sha massage/­­acupressure appointment with our on-site Acupuncture Physician (at additional cost). DAY 5 – Morning yoga and singing bowl meditation – Breakfast prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, with superfood latte/­­smoothie demonstration – Truffle hunting in Villa Santa Lucia – Truffle lunch in a locals home – Pasta-making workshop with an Abruzzo local + vegan cheese workshop with Golubka Kitchen – Pasta and vegan cheese dinner – Optional evening meditation * Option to bypass any of the P.M. activities for an additional gua sha massage/­­acupressure appointment with our on-site Acupuncture Physician (at additional cost). DAY 6 – Morning yoga and meditation – Breakfast prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, with superfood latte/­­smoothie demonstration – Visit a 200-year-old family-run winery + wine tasting and light lunch – Magic Moisturizer + homemade skincare workshop with the Golubka Kitchen team – Goodbye dinner at a local restaurant – Optional evening meditation * Option to bypass any of the P.M. activities for an additional gua sha massage/­­acupressure appointment with our on-site Acupuncture Physician (at additional cost). DAY 7 – Breakfast – Head back to Piazza Bologna in Rome (12:30 PM drop-off) Click Here to book a spot at the retreat! Let’s talk more about the soup! Pasta e Ceci is not a strictly Abruzzese dish, it’s made all over Italy, in slightly different variations. This recipe is inspired by the Abruzzo version. This soup completely blew us away with its ratio of simplicity to flavor. All the ingredients are very, very modest. You start out by making a good broth, with chickpeas and some aromatics. Then while the broth simmers, you make a very rustic, eggless pasta dough, which is then cut into short, flat noodles, called sagne pasta. The pasta then gets cooked right in the chickpea broth, and everything is served as a chunky soup, with plenty of olive oil and some spicy red pepper on top. There’s also an ingenious, crispy element that helps switch up the textures in the soup. Some of the fresh pasta gets toasted on a dry skillet, until it turns into crispy strips, that are then used to garnish every plate. It is so good. This is a great time to say that you can totally use store-bought pasta here! The eggless sagne pasta is easy to make, but it’s still much more of a project than just opening up a package and being ready to go (just skip the crispy pasta element). If you’re ever craving something resembling chicken soup from your childhood, this is a great, vegan version that still hits all of those comfort notes. Enjoy! Pasta e Ceci - The Coziest Pasta and Chickpea Soup from Abruzzo   Print Serves: 4-6 Ingredients for the soup 1 cup chickpeas - soaked overnight in purified water, with a splash of apple cider vinegar 2 ribs celery - sliced in half 1 yellow onion - quartered, skin on 2 cloves garlic - smashed 2 bay leaves 10 cups water sea salt black pepper 2 medium carrots - grated red pepper flakes - to taste handful chopped parsley - for garnish olive oil - for garnish fresh sagne pasta (recipe below) or about 12 oz dried store-bought pasta for the sagne pasta 1½ cups spelt, whole wheat, or sprouted spelt/­­wheat flour ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup purified warm water, plus more as needed Instructions to make the soup Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large soup pot, combine the chickpeas, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and water. Bring up to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat and simmer, covered, or until the chickpeas are cooked and tender (this might take up to an hour or even longer for older chickpeas). Make the pasta while the broth is cooking. Salt the broth well at the end. Remove the aromatics (celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves) with a slotted spoon and discard. Add black pepper to taste to the broth, along with the carrots and red pepper flakes. Bring everything up to a boil, then simmer for 10 more minutes, or until the carrots are cooked through. Meanwhile, heat a dry pan over medium-high heat. Add ¼ of the amount of the pasta to the pan and toast, stirring often, until the pasta becomes crispy. Use the crispy pasta to garnish the soup. Bring the soup back up to a boil, add in the rest of the pasta (recipe below) and cook for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, until al dente. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Serve the soup, topped with crispy sagne pasta, parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. If using dried store-bought pasta, cook it into the soup until al dente, and skip the crispy pasta step. to make the sagne pasta Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl with a fork. Make a well in the center and pour in the oil and water. Begin to mix with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour into the well of oil and water. When all the flour is mixed in, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. All flour takes on water differently, so add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if your dough seems dry. It should feel smooth, but not too wet, with no cracking. Form a ball with the dough and tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, or cover with a damp kitchen towel in the bowl. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Place the dough back on the well-floured work surface and knead it for another 10 minutes, until even more springy. Cut the dough in half and keep one half covered with a damp kitchen towel while you roll out the pasta. Keep your working surface well-floured. Roll one piece of dough at a time into a paper-thin sheet. Cut the rolled-out dough into the sagne pasta shape, about 1½ x ¼, using a pizza cutter or a knife. Transfer the pasta to a parchment-covered tray, sprinkled with plenty of flour to prevent sticking. Continue rolling out and cutting the rest of the dough. 3.5.3226 You might also like... 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Abruzzo, Italy 2019 Retreat Open for Registration + 2018 Retreat Recap

January 23 2019 Golubka Kitchen 

Abruzzo, Italy 2019 Retreat Open for Registration + 2018 Retreat Recap We are so excited to announce that registration for our next retreat in Abruzzo, Italy is now open for the Fall of 2019! We hosted our first foraging and cooking retreat there this past October, and it really exceeded all of our expectations. We are elated to announce that this time around, we will have an on-site Acupuncture Physician and an on-site Yoga Teacher! In addition to cooking, eating, foraging, hiking, and sightseeing in the beautiful Abruzzo countryside, we will be exploring the ways to inner balance through yoga, meditation, and ancient techniques of Chinese Medicine. Read on for retreat registration, testimonials, and a photo recap of our first retreat. We hope to see you in the fall :) Forage, Cook and Re-Center Retreat 2019 with On-Site Acupuncture Physician and Daily Yoga/­­Meditation (September 30th - October 6th, 2019) Activities and Services will include: one-on-one appointments with on-site Acupuncture Physician (diagnostic consultation, acupressure, deeply relaxing facial and body gua sha massage), daily yoga with on-site certified yoga instructor, meditation, forest-bathing, plant-based meals prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, foraging, truffle hunting, meditation in a 600 year old olive grove and olive oil tasting, winery visit and wine tasting, plant-based cooking, medicinal jam, and herbal tonic classes with the Golubka Kitchen team, cooking with Abruzzo locals, and more! Click to Book | Click to See a Sample Itinerary Testimonials “Having the opportunity to explore a lesser known region of Italy to find its hidden gems in the Culinary arts was such an enriching experience! Getting to see first hand how the people in these areas live, visiting locals in their homes... From truffle hunting to tasting oil from 600 year old olive groves... Wild foraging for greens & making pasta in an Italian womans kitchen.... Not the typical trip to Italy. It was a delightful & delicious experience!” – Rachel, Alabama “I loved the retreat. It was well managed, we had the best food, awesome accommodation, great people, perfectly sized travel group and great tour guides. I had looked very much forward to this retreat and it was even better than I imagined. You created an amazing experience, with wonderful and very unique accommodations, the best meals I have ever had, set in a beautiful landscape, off the beaten path. The silence was palpable and so welcome to step out of the noisy and hectic lifestyle most of us have these days. I seriously consider joining you again, so I can have more of those meals, go back to the medieval village of Santo Stefano and the unique scattered hotel. We also had an awesome group, which made it even more special!” – Claudia, Massachusetts “It was a trip of a lifetime. Abruzzo could not have been more beautiful! I loved the diversity of the land, the hiking, cooking and loved loved loved the food. I also was glad that it was not a large group…I liked the intimacy of the smaller number of participants. It truly was a remarkable 6 days and you all were so kind, knowledgeable and pleasant to be with.” – Helen, Michigan “Thank you for the wonderful trip. It was so much more than I thought it would be. A deep dive into the food, culture and people of Abruzzo. I had experiences that I could never have on my own. I thought we were a good mix of ages, interests and countries. Diversity makes things so interesting.” – Maudia, Michigan “I’ve been to Italy before but never like this! We visited magical places that I’d never know about on my own: Santo Stefano with its fairytale charm, the beautiful truffle plantation, ancient olive grove, a winery located right in a family home’s basement… Every single one was a unique, unforgettable experience. Thank you!” – Katya, Sochi Truffle Hunting & Tasting We visited a family truffle plantation, where the sweet truffle-hunting dogs Rita and Nina dug up about 1kg of summer truffles right in front of us. We then got to have home-cooked lunch at the truffle plantation owners’ house, where we sampled the day’s harvest, as well as the family’s line of truffle pastes. Hiking and Foraging We hiked up beautiful mountain paths to see historical castles, churches, and hermitages, and foraged for wild herbs, berries, and fruit along the way. We foraged rosehips, wild mint, wild chicory, figs, and even jujube dates. Exploring Local Villages & Towns Pictured below are the breathtaking towns of Pacentro, Sulmona and Santo Stefano (we stayed in Santo Stefano in this experience of a hotel), where we had the pleasure of sightseeing and visiting local artisan businesses, as well as a bustling farmer’s market. Visiting Local Artisans We visited a local wine producer (also a family business) and sampled their exquisite wines. We also had the transcendent experience of wandering around an olive grove with trees up to 600 years old, and got to taste incredibly fresh olive oil, made with the olives from those trees. Cooking, Eating & Drinking! Eating well was the main mission of this retreat, and I think it’s very safe to say that the mission was accomplished. We tasted vegan and vegetarian food from a variety of cozy restaurants, cafes, artisans, and local’s homes. We foraged and ate wild chicory, learned to make pasta and cookies, and got to know famous Abruzzo ingredients, like their local lentils, solina flour, spelt, and more. You might also like... Abruzzo, Italy: Join Our Vegan/­­Vegetarian Forage and Cook Retreat Pasta e Ceci - The Coziest Pasta and Chickpea Soup from Abruzzo .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Abruzzo, Italy 2019 Retreat Open for Registration + 2018 Retreat Recap appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Magic Moisturizer is Here! + Orange-Tahini Mousse

January 9 2019 Golubka Kitchen 

Magic Moisturizer is Here! + Orange-Tahini Mousse Happy 2019, friends! Hope you’ve been having an inspiring beginning to the year. Today we’re excited to announce that a small batch of our Magic Moisturizer is now available for sale, as per your amazing feedback. You can read all about it here (and get the recipe if you want to make it yourself), but basically, it’s been our go-to skincare product for the past few years. It’s made with all-natural ingredients that we find to be super nourishing and hydrating for all different types of skin, and it has the most luxurious texture and scent. Click here to go to our shop. Since Magic Moisturizer is like skin food, made with all food-grade ingredients, we were inspired to create a dessert recipe, celebrating two of the star ingredients in the formula: cacao butter and citrus. The result is this dreamy Orange-Tahini Mousse that takes minutes to put together. The lush ingredients in the Magic Moisturizer are: organic raw cacao butter, organic virgin coconut oil, beeswax, organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil, organic calendula oil, organic vitamin E oil, organic rosehip oil, distilled water, and essential oils of blood orange, Italian lemon, lavender, carrot seed, and clary sage, all of which have balancing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. Our friends love it, and it’s been reported to help with cold sores, eczema, and chronically dry skin. We’re so excited to share it as a physical offering! Now on to the mousse. To make it, shredded cacao butter, orange juice and zest, tahini, cashews, and maple syrup get whipped into oblivion in a high-speed blender. Distribute that mixture among little cups or ramekins, let it set in the fridge for about an hour, and you’ll have the most amazing, cloud-like mousse that tastes like pure heaven. We have people coming over tonight, and I’ve got a batch cooling in the fridge for a simple but elegant finish to our meal. Seriously can’t wait. Hope you enjoy the recipe, and look out for a new meal plan coming next week :)    Orange-Tahini Mousse   Print Serves: 4 Ingredients 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice (from about 3 organic oranges) zest from 1 organic orange, plus more for garnish ½ cup cashews - soaked in purified water for 1-2 hours or in boiling water for 15 minutes ¼ cup maple syrup 5 tablespoons shaved or finely chopped raw cacao butter (leveled, not heaping) 4 tablespoons tahini (leveled, not heaping) Instructions Combine all the ingredients, except the orange zest, in a high-speed blender. Blend on high for about 30 seconds to a minute, until completely smooth. Add the orange zest and pulse on low, until just incorporated. Distribute the mixture between about 4 ramekins or small cups. Refrigerate for an hour, or until completely set and enjoy, garnished with more zest. After the mousse has been refrigerated for a while, remove from the refrigerator about 5 minutes prior to eating. 3.5.3226 You might also like... Spring Tea Party by The Rose Journals Super Decadent Vegan Chocolate Walnut Spread Sweet and Savory Energy Bites, What to Do with Leftover Nut Milk Pulp Raw Chocolate Layer Cakes with Black Cherry and Orange .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Magic Moisturizer is Here! + Orange-Tahini Mousse appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Haynes

January 1 2018 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Haynes Lauren Haynes is a folk herbalist, medicine maker, plant enthusiast, and the founder of Wooden Spoon Herbs, a small apothecary line based in the Appalachian mountains. Take a look at Lauren’s shop offerings, and you’ll be immersed in a world of plant-powered tinctures, salves, oxymels, and teas, each one more magical than the other. In this interview, Lauren tells us about self-care as a form of self-respect, kindness as a form of beauty, her favorite plants for stress, beauty, and colds (and more!), the importance of sourcing her ingredients locally and working with what’s available, as well as exercise, sustenance, inspiration, procrastination, and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? Oh, open and free, absolutely. Since I work from home, things end up being pretty routine: tea, emails, breakfast. But if I have my way I love to see how the day unfolds uninhibited. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning. Most mornings start with a hot tea or something creamy with raw milk and occasionally marshmallows. I check and return emails first thing, then Ill meditate and make some breakfast and get to work. On lazier mornings well go into the small town nearby and eat eggs benedict and read the paper. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? My new favorite nighttime tool is the Flux app for my computer. It gradually turns your screen from blue light to orange with the arc of the day, so the blue light doesnt deter melatonin production come bedtime. Other than that, just reading a great book until my eyes get tired. Living out in the county where its dark and quiet helps me sleep soundly every night. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast – smoked salmon omelette with sauteéd greens Lunch – egg salad sandwich with a bowl of good soup Snack – fruit or hummus or a little chocolate Dinner – soul food: pinto beans, cornbread, a baked sweet potato and collard greens, topped with hot sauce and ferments and a slice of blue cheese -- Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? I drink tea most mornings. Sometimes matcha or Earl Grey, or sometimes just ginger and lemon balm, to ground and calm myself before a hectic day. -- Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check? Um... yes, check. I have a major sweet tooth and Lilys stevia-sweetened chocolate bars save my life. -- Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/­­tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness? Right now my regimen includes fish oil, Mothers Best beef liver pills, a tincture of medicinal mushrooms, and evening primrose oil. I also love using lymphatic herbs steeped in vinegar throughout the year. Every spring I steep whatever edible herbs are coming up naturally in raw apple cider vinegar: plantain, violet leaf, dead nettle, dandelion greens, chickweed and cleavers. That lasts me all year and keeps me feeling vital, just a spoonful a day. Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly? I try to exercise but if I have a full schedule its the first thing I cut out. I live on a tract of wilderness, so walking a few miles a day is super easy and I do that interspersed with yoga when Im feeling too tired to get outside. -- Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it? A little bit of both! Its definitely hard to make the time for it since I work from home and just go, go, go. I definitely find walking in the woods pleasurable, so that keeps me motivated to exercise. I cant even imagine going to a gym... Maybe someday. Exercise is something Im starting to get excited about. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? True beauty is when someone makes you feel like your soul is illuminated by the way that they treat you. Thats what is beautiful to me. If I want external beauty, Ill just scroll Instagram for a bit, you know? But true kindness is actual beauty. -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? Laidback is how I would describe my skincare routine. See also: erratic. I use a rosewater and witch hazel toner daily (Poppy & Someday), followed by a blend of rosehip and carrot seed oil (Zizia Botanicals). Sometimes I use a gentle rose quartz scrub on my face (Aquarian Soul), followed by oil cleansing, but usually Im pretty lowkey. -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? Yes! Nettle and alfalfa infusions, and also evening primrose oil internally. -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome. Drink tons of water, sleep as much as you can, and wear red lipstick. Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress? Consistent routines are hard for me, but I am constantly checking in to make sure I dont get overwhelmed by stress, even if that means five minutes of yoga in the middle of the day. -- If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? I really love regular acupuncture treatments and massage, as well as daily meditation and moxibustion. Calming teas that ease tension, like ginger and chamomile. Also just goofing off as much as I can get away with. You cant be silly and stressed at the same time. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? My first line of defense is a few dropperfuls of fire cider. I make one called Sunshine Cider with turmeric and rosehips, but my friend Gretchen made me some with habanero peppers and that always helps me stay on the right side of health. Fire cider, a shot of elderberry syrup and then some red root tincture, an amazing lymphatic herb that relieves a sore throat. -- Do you strive to maintain a healthy work/­­life balance or do those things overlap for you? What is your approach? They definitely bleed together, as I work from home and run my business with my partner. I try to take the weekends off and get out of the house daily to break up the work mode, even if its just a drive to the post office. Luckily, I love my work because its a huge part of my life. Motivation -- Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself? Honestly, mindfulness is key. Just checking in with myself constantly to see how Im feeling, why Im feeling that way and what I need. I just take little tea or chocolate breaks or go put some sun on my face or make a nourishing meal. A hot shower if Im feeling cold. Self massage if Im feeling anxious. Shutting the computer if Im getting tired. And making time for the little things that make me happy, like reading a book. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? Cleaning up my diet was key for me in resolving a lot of health issues. In college I was just eating garbage and drinking alcohol and doing all the teenage things. Once I realized that youre literally what you eat, and started treating my body with respect, a lot shifted for me. I really feel like that small change helped align me with the path Im on now, which is 100% what Im supposed to be doing. -- How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination? Im usually brimming with ideas and running myself ragged trying to make them all happen, so if I struggle with anything its occasional procrastination. Usually this looks like doing the easier things on my to-do list before the hard-hitting work chores, which isnt such a bad thing. I just kind of let myself have some slower times, because I work really hard. I may sip tea and pull tarot cards and then eventually get a burst of energy. Or sometimes I do nothing for like two full days. -- A book/­­movie/­­class that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care. So, so many. I love The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz, as well as so many books from the 70s by obscure hippies and natural living advocates. Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel, for example. Knowledge -- What was your path to studying herbology and founding Wooden Spoon Herbs? I came to herbs when looking for a path to self-sufficiency. I romanticized living off the land, providing all that I would need for myself through my connection to the earth. And thats basically how it happened. I got all the books I could find about herbalism, read them, and started making herbal remedies. I started selling them slowly and it just kind of took off. Then I got to put my business hat on and thats been such a rewarding challenge. -- Can you talk a little bit about your decision to work only with herbs native to your home region of Appalachia? Theres so much to say about this. When I started opening my eyes to the bounty that surrounded me, it struck me as absurd to order herbs from suppliers that sourced from the far corners of the earth, when we had so many of the same herbs that could be sourced from the bioregion of Appalachia. For example, why am I going to order nettle that comes from Croatia when my friend has an acre of it on her farm? And no offense to Croatia or the herbalists that use those sources, but it just wasnt for me. I saw the opportunity to create a righteous supply chain and source from local farmers and forage my materials. To this day I still source directly from small organic farms around the country. Appalachias medicinal herbs are legendary: ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot. People from all over the world use these herbs exclusively. And many of the herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine grow in Appalachia, because when the continents were Pangea parts of what is now China and parts of Appalachia were the same land. The geography of these regions is still very similar, and that is really special. So I wanted to learn about these plants for myself, because they are my neighbors and we share the same space. Not to mention that my family has been on this land for at least five generations, probably more. Its my most recent ancestral tradition, and I think its really important to learn about the traditions of your own ancestors so that youre not co-opting someone elses. Our pasts are precious. Finally, I believe in slow, local medicine for the same reasons I believe in slow, local foods – because theyre more potent and they taste better. -- What are some of your best-selling products and what herbs is your customer most excited about at the moment? My bestsellers are the Anxiety Ally, Brain Tonic, Moontime Magic and Migraine Melter tinctures. Elderberry Sumac Syrup is always a hit, as well as the Golden Cocoa (adaptogenic golden milk meets hot chocolate). I also have some new, more esoteric offerings based on the elements, and the Spirit one has been selling really well. I think my customers are just always after herbs that ground and expand the spirit, which is super beautiful. That and herbs for stress, always. Fun and Inspiration -- What is something you are particularly excited about at the moment?  Podcasts! All the podcasts: Medicine Stories, Thats So Retrograde, So You Wanna Be A Witch, Being Boss. That and the color cobalt blue. -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? I love seeking out hot springs, getting massages and acupuncture, going to the movies with my partner and eating at good restaurants. In the summer, swimming in the river behind my house and lying in the sun. -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – The Caravan by Stephen Gaskin Song/­­Album – Tried So Hard by Gene Clark Piece of art – the entire Motherpeace tarot deck -- We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours? My favorite mohair cardigan, a striped shirt, high-waisted leggings and denim, Poppy & Somedays Gypsy Rose Toner, whatever books Im reading, a notebook and Uniball pen, magazines, calming tinctures, bagged tea, thermos, Ricardo Medina botines, charcoal toothbrush -- Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series? Jess Fuery, Beatrice Valenzuela, Shiva Rose, the founders of Cap Beauty, Ashley Neese, Connie Matisse of East Fork Pottery, jeweler Annika Kaplan, Erica Chidi Cohen, Rachel Craven, Beth Kirby of Local Milk, Rachel Budde of Fat and the Moon, Kristen Dilley of Nightingale Acupuncture, and, naturally, Ilana Glazer Photos by Beth Kirby and Lauren Haynes You might also like... Self-Care Interview Series: Pauline Chardin Self-Care Interview Series: Tonya Papanikolov Self-Care Interview Series: Sarah Britton Self-Care Interview Series: Chi San Wan .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Haynes appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Abruzzo, Italy 2019 Retreats Open for Registration + 2018 Retreat Recap

December 2 2018 Golubka Kitchen 

Abruzzo, Italy 2019 Retreats Open for Registration + 2018 Retreat Recap We are so excited to announce that registration for two of our retreats in Abruzzo, Italy is now open for the Spring of 2019! We hosted our first foraging and cooking retreat there this past October, and it really exceeded all of our expectations. We are elated to announce that this time around, we will have an on-site Acupuncture Physician (for one of the retreats) and an on-site Yoga Teacher (for both retreats)! In addition to cooking, eating, foraging, hiking, and sightseeing in the beautiful Abruzzo countryside, we will be exploring the ways to inner balance through yoga, meditation, and ancient techniques of Chinese Medicine. Read on for retreat registration, testimonials, and a photo recap of our first retreat. We hope to see you in the spring :) 1) Re-Center Retreat 2019 with On-Site Acupuncture Physician and Daily Yoga/­­Meditation (May 27th - June 2nd, 2019) For the wellness enthusiast and vegan or vegetarian (or plant-loving) foodie looking to relax and re-center. Activities and Services will include: one-on-one appointments with on-site Acupuncture Physician (diagnostic consultation, acupressure, deeply relaxing facial and body gua sha massage), daily yoga with on-site certified yoga instructor, meditation, forest-bathing, plant-based meals prepared by the Golubka Kitchen team, foraging, truffle hunting, meditation in a 600 year old olive grove and olive oil tasting, winery visit and wine tasting, plant-based cooking, medicinal jam, and herbal tonic classes with the Golubka Kitchen team, cooking with Abruzzo locals, and more! Click to Book | Click to See a Sample Itinerary 2) Forage, Cook & Yoga Retreat (June 4th - June 10th, 2019) For the vegan or vegetarian (or plant-loving) foodie, who also enjoys daily yoga and meditation. Activities and Services will include: sampling the best of Abruzzo’s plant-based fare, truffle hunting, wine tasting, 600 year old olive grove visit and olive oil tasting, pasta-making class with Abruzzo locals, cooking classes with the Golubka Kitchen team, foraging and cooking local edible plants, mountain hikes and visits to mountain villages, daily yoga with on-site certified yoga instructor, meditation, and more! Click to Book | Click to See a Sample Itinerary Testimonials “Having the opportunity to explore a lesser known region of Italy to find its hidden gems in the Culinary arts was such an enriching experience! Getting to see first hand how the people in these areas live, visiting locals in their homes... From truffle hunting to tasting oil from 600 year old olive groves... Wild foraging for greens & making pasta in an Italian womans kitchen.... Not the typical trip to Italy. It was a delightful & delicious experience!” – Rachel, Alabama “I loved the retreat. It was well managed, we had the best food, awesome accommodation, great people, perfectly sized travel group and great tour guides. I had looked very much forward to this retreat and it was even better than I imagined. You created an amazing experience, with wonderful and very unique accommodations, the best meals I have ever had, set in a beautiful landscape, off the beaten path. The silence was palpable and so welcome to step out of the noisy and hectic lifestyle most of us have these days. I seriously consider joining you again, so I can have more of those meals, go back to the medieval village of Santo Stefano and the unique scattered hotel. We also had an awesome group, which made it even more special!” – Claudia, Massachusetts “It was a trip of a lifetime. Abruzzo could not have been more beautiful! I loved the diversity of the land, the hiking, cooking and loved loved loved the food. I also was glad that it was not a large group…I liked the intimacy of the smaller number of participants. It truly was a remarkable 6 days and you all were so kind, knowledgeable and pleasant to be with.” – Helen, Michigan “Thank you for the wonderful trip. It was so much more than I thought it would be. A deep dive into the food, culture and people of Abruzzo. I had experiences that I could never have on my own. I thought we were a good mix of ages, interests and countries. Diversity makes things so interesting.” – Maudia, Michigan “I’ve been to Italy before but never like this! We visited magical places that I’d never know about on my own: Santo Stefano with its fairytale charm, the beautiful truffle plantation, ancient olive grove, a winery located right in a family home’s basement… Every single one was a unique, unforgettable experience. Thank you!” – Katya, Sochi Truffle Hunting & Tasting We visited a family truffle plantation, where the sweet truffle-hunting dogs Rita and Nina dug up about 1kg of summer truffles right in front of us. We then got to have home-cooked lunch at the truffle plantation owners’ house, where we sampled the day’s harvest, as well as the family’s line of truffle pastes. Hiking and Foraging We hiked up beautiful mountain paths to see historical castles, churches, and hermitages, and foraged for wild herbs, berries, and fruit along the way. We foraged rosehips, wild mint, wild chicory, figs, and even jujube dates. Exploring Local Villages & Towns Pictured below are the breathtaking towns of Pacentro, Sulmona and Santo Stefano (we stayed in Santo Stefano in this experience of a hotel), where we had the pleasure of sightseeing and visiting local artisan businesses, as well as a bustling farmer’s market. Visiting Local Artisans We visited a local wine producer (also a family business) and sampled their exquisite wines. We also had the transcendent experience of wandering around an olive grove with trees up to 600 years old, and got to taste incredibly fresh olive oil, made with the olives from those trees. Cooking, Eating & Drinking! Eating well was the main mission of this retreat, and I think it’s very safe to say that the mission was accomplished. We tasted vegan and vegetarian food from a variety of cozy restaurants, cafes, artisans, and local’s homes. We foraged and ate wild chicory, learned to make pasta and cookies, and got to know famous Abruzzo ingredients, like their local lentils, solina flour, spelt, and more. You might also like... Abruzzo, Italy: Join Our Vegan/­­Vegetarian Forage and Cook Retreat .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Abruzzo, Italy 2019 Retreats Open for Registration + 2018 Retreat Recap appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Travel Notes: Italy

November 6 2014 Golubka Kitchen 

Travel Notes: Italy It’s been a long time since we’ve done the last Travel Notes! This one is very special and close to my heart. Recently, I was invited to TBDI 2014, a travel and blogging related conference in Italy. I’m not normally the conference type, but couldn’t refuse this opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful places on earth. I left Paloma and her papa at home, promising to send photos of my every step. I had no idea what to expect, but luckily it turned out to be an amazing experience, and I am very grateful to the hosts for the invitation. The conference hosts put us up in a beautiful historic hotel in Cesenatico, an Adriatic sea side town in the Emilia-Romagna region, right next to a charming port canal surveyed and drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. The organization of the conference was great, I met many interesting people and the energy of the whole event (which was gigantic) was truly contagious. We were very well fed – I was generally amazed at the consistent freshness of the food anywhere we visited. It seemed as if I was the only attendee who wasn’t fluent in Italian, even the Americans I met were completely Italianised. My lack of language skills didn’t prevent me from enjoying every minute of the time spent there. The conference presented many business and personal opportunities, but best of all, I met the wonderful ladies who introduced me to the region of Abruzzo. Anna and our food and wine cluster leader Emiliana both live in Abruzzo and promote local food and traditions. I was so taken by their stories that I decided to spend a few days in the mountains of Abruzzo after the conference. After much strategizing, a friend of mine and I worked out quite an extensive travel plan, which involved several train rides, renting a car and hiking in the mountains. I decided to leave my camera in the safety of home and let my phone do all the work. We had a brief visit to Venice first, where we stayed in a great airbnb, right off campo San Polo, in a very green and quiet cul-de-sac. We followed Valentina’s recommendation and had the most amazing lunch at Paradiso Perduto in Cannaregio. From Venice, we took a train down south to Pescara and then drove our rental Fiat to the town of Sulmona in the region of Abruzzo. It was love at first sight. Sulmona didnt resemble any other place that Ive been to before – it was all like a dream. It combines the charm of a small, historic town with an innate kind of sophistication. It felt very homey and relaxed, but being there was very exciting at the same time – there is definitely an energy running through the streets. I felt like a very dear guest to all of its hospitable inhabitants – there were no other tourists in sight. It was surprising to see that this true gem of a town, as well as the whole region of Abruzzo, is still completely off the beaten path and hugely undiscovered. Its the place to see the true Italy, unencumbered, in all its glory. We couldn’t pick a better season to visit and enjoyed perfect weather and delicious fall mountain air even in the most narrow old streets of town. The locals, all of them unbelievably elegant, gave us the feeling of home when so far away from home. All that combined with the architecture and food, made me never want to leave. Every morning, we woke up to the cathedral bells ringing right across the street from our charming b&b and delicious cappuccino made by Oscar, our host. We were eager to visit the big farmers market which is held every Wednesday on Piazza Garibaldi. All the produce photos in this post are from that market. The local produce was breathtaking, it was peak season for local persimmons, apples, figs, citrus and grapes. It felt so incredibly romantic to stroll through the colorful market stalls in the middle of the most poetic Piazza Garibaldi surrounded by the mountains, in the gentle October sun. We didnt see anyone but the locals, and the vendors were a great pleasure to converse with. I dont think Ive ever bought or eaten as many persimmons in such a short period of time. We also sampled a variety of pastries, and I even snuck some leftover potato focaccia on the plane ride home. If you’re ever in Sulmona, make sure to have lunch at La Locanda di Gino at Piazza Plebiscito for the best fresh, local food. From Sulmona, we drove higher up the mountains to visit several medieval villages – Pacentro and Santo Stefano di Sessanio are the most well known of them. The overlook of Pacentro in the soft afternoon sun put us into a sort of trance. The air was still and sweet, and there was a feeling of complete happiness radiating from the village. We climbed its ancient streets up and down, witnessing signs of everyday life of the locals who seemed perfectly content. Among the others, we saw a lady who must have been in her 60s, in shape and dressed up elegantly, sitting in a tiny rocking chair right by her front door. The street was quite narrow, so her view was pretty much limited to the neighbor’s wall. “Buon giorno!” – she greeted us with the most welcoming smile, leaving us to wonder why she didn’t feel the need to rush anywhere and whom she was dressed up for. Of course, we realized that we got a glimpse at a slice of her daily life just as it is, no special occasions. Our next destination is located on the territory of one of the three national parks in Abruzzo. The narrow road to Santo Stefano di Sessanio kept climbing higher and higher between olive groves, and we were glad that we didn’t come across any cars on the entire stretch. We stopped often for the most picturesque views or for foraging wild flowers and rosehips, which were everywhere. Santo Stefano has been named one of Italy’s most beautiful villages and impressed us as a little heaven on Earth. We wandered through the never-changing streets, lively with beautiful dogs and well fed cats. A memorable meal there was homemade fettuccine with zafferano (saffron) from the nearby fields of Navelli, local olive oil and zucchini from the host’s back yard. The area is most famous for their lenticchie (lentils), of course we tried them too. We both noticed that after enjoying homemade pasta, we never felt too full, sometimes not even full enough, nothing like after eating pasta back home. I actually lost quite a few pounds after eating that food and running around in the fresh air. From there we made our way to Rocca Calascio, the highest fortress in the Apennines, then to Campo Imperatore, an alpine meadow that lies next to the Apennines’ highest peak, Corno Grande. By the time we reached the vast pastures of Campo Imperatore, we realized that our car navigator had died, and we only had about an hour of daylight left. We were in for an adventure, facing a very realistic possibility of spending the night in the mountains, right in our tiny rental Fiat. If you’ve ever driven in that area, you know what I mean. On top of being pitch dark at night, the road signs are rare and not very clear for newbies like us, the roads are narrow and winding. To make things even more interesting, it’s the season for thick night mountain fogs, and cattle often wander onto the roads. Throw in the lack of any cellular or internet connection, cold temperatures and all kinds of wild animals residing in the national parks and you’ll get the picture. We had no choice but try to find our way back to Sulmona on our own. Miraculously, by the time our eyes caught the view of the village of Santa Lucia, our GPS decided to come back to us. It directed us down a serpentine road between olive trees – we would have never guessed to take that road on our own! The sunset we saw then was especially memorable, with soft silhouettes of cypress tress down in the valley and shady layers of the mountains surrounding us. We got back in Sulmona safely, right in time for dinner. Our last destination was Bologna – sadly I did not get to spend much time there, as it was time to go home to my family. As I learned from the locals in Abruzzo, I only got a very brief glimpse of the area in the few days I was there, and it may very well take years to explore all of it. From what I saw, Abruzzo is incredibly diverse – from beach resorts on the Adriatic coast to green pastures, lakes and breathtaking mountain views, from lively towns to remote, medieval villages. There is no question as to why Abruzzo holds the title of “Greenest Region in Europe,” with one third of its territory being set aside as national parks. Diverse topography leads to diverse food traditions, there is lots of variety in the form of fresh seafood, delicious local saffron, truffles and unique kinds of pasta, to only name a few. The local cuisine is centered around sustainable agriculture and seasonality, which always leads to delicious meals. From this visit arose an opportunity to organize a retreat centered around exploring the culinary beauty of Abruzzo. We’ve been thinking about bringing very small groups of guests to stay in places like Sulmona, Pacentro and Santo Stefano di Sessanio, to forage wild herbs, asparagus and mushrooms, to hunt for truffles with truffle growers and to harvest saffron. To learn from locals how to make true Abruzzian dishes while incorporating our findings into our own meals. We’ll be photographing our every step and learning how to style beautiful plates of food. And of course we won’t forget to sample the region’s famous wine – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I left my heart in Abruzzo and would like to see if there is any desire for such culinary retreats. Please email me at hello@golubkakitchen.com if you would be interested in participating.


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