On Being Jewish + GF Honey Cake

On Being Jewish + GF Honey Cake

This year Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, took me entirely by surprise, as we were unpacking our boxes (yes! our container has finally arrived!) and putting things in place. Last week I wrote about baking with no equipment; well, by now my stuff was finally here and the least I could do was bake a honey cake, if nothing else. Honey is a traditional Rosh Hashanah food, symbolizing a sweet entrance into the new year.

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The Zen of Empty Space + Banana-Oat-Cacao Cookies (GF)

The Zen of Empty Space + Banana-Oat-Cacao Cookies (GF)

On a culinary front, this post could also be called: What you do when you’re sick of waiting for your container to arrive from the other side of the world, you’ve been living in an empty house for 8 weeks, you really want to bake something for your kids (and maybe yourself too) on the last lazy Saturday afternoon of the summer, but you have no kitchen utensils to work with.

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A Day with Jacko

A Day with Jacko

Jacko is a farmer. He lives and farms in a village at the foothills of the Montseny mountain called Arbúcies, about an hour north of Barcelona. Jacko is a permaculturist avant la lettre; but he doesn’t like to call himself that. He has been practicing farming in this way long before the term permaculture because popular, but he also makes a point to draw a line between himself and a movement, which he casually scoffs as trendy. Jacko is a man of firm values and opinions. He just farms. I like that. 


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On the Ground + Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Saffron Rice

On the Ground + Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Saffron Rice

Sorry for the long silence here. In case you hadn’t noticed from my recent Instagram posts, we have moved back to Barcelona. It’s been exactly three weeks now, enough time to realize how freakin’ intense the past seven months have been, trying to live in two places at once. Coordinating the many moving parts of a whole family’s move across the world left me depleted, but landing in one place has renewed my energy and enthusiasm.

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Are Americans Catching on to Sobremesa?

Are Americans Catching on to Sobremesa?

Although sobremesa truly means the time we spend at the table after we've finished eating, I believe the spirit of sobremesa can be enjoyed throughout the meal, and even during its preparation. Sobremesa is time spent in conversation and lingering, communal bonding time. In fact, I like to think that the aperitivo, another favorite pass-time in Spain, is also part of sobremesa.


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Comfort Food for Times of Change

Comfort Food for Times of Change

Lately, especially in the afternoons when blood sugar levels tend to drop, I have been craving sweet. I'm generally not big on sweet; a small piece of very dark chocolate usually does the trick, and I will always go for a savory treat over a sweet one. But these days, maybe because winter is seeping into spring (today, as I write, is the first day of spring and it's grey and rainy in the Bay Area), or because I'm still trying to get my energy back after recovering from the worst flu of my life, I have been drinking sugary beverages like chai tea lattes and kombucha on a daily basis, and craving baked goods (which, when you can't have gluten, is not all that easy).

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Sobremesa in Japan I: Why We Travel

Sobremesa in Japan I: Why We Travel

Visiting Japan had been my lifelong dream; throughout my 30s, I envisioned the trip to Japan happening to celebrate my landmark 40th birthday. Not only did that not happen, but 3 months after I turned 40 we moved to the US, i.e. in the opposite direction. My sweet family, to make it up to me, simulated a trip to Japan on the day of my 40th birthday in Barcelona: they decorated the house with Japanese paper props, made a Japanese dinner, and even sat me in a chair and made me close my eyes and pretend I was on an airplane headed straight to Kyoto. 

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More Lingering in 2017

More Lingering in 2017

I recently got back from a 5-week trip to Spain. It was an intense time, spent teaching (mostly here but also here), doing research (for this and this) and, in between, squeezing in as much time as possible with my dear friends in Spain.

As soon as I landed in Barcelona, it felt like home. And yet when I returned to the Bay area a few weeks ago, I was so happy to be home! It's funny how that works; once you have lived a long time in different places, home is a moveable feast, and yet you can never truly go home again. These thoughts were on my mind all the time as I walked the streets of Barcelona, streets I know so well and yet, there have been changes (both external and internal ones) in the 3 years I've been gone. 

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Camila is off to Spain!

Camila is off to Spain!

I am about to leave for Barcelona, to teach the second yearly round of the Mediterranean Food & Culture program for University of California EAP.

The upcoming weeks will be quite busy; the followers of Desayuno con guisantes, the company I ran when I lived in Spain, want to hear from me as well -and learn about some of my California cuisine tricks. I have been invited, while in Barcelona, to teach a series of hands-on cooking classes and nutrition talks for Obbio and Still Cooking. It's a good thing I absolutely love what I do! 

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Blessings in Disguise

Blessings in Disguise

Our unpredictable human lives don't play out like a neat, well-composed work of fiction. Though we may attempt to read events as good or bad for us, the path will teach us otherwise, as things just don't stop twisting and turning. Awareness and acceptance of the transitional nature of everything around and within us is the only way to make peace with our place in the world.

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Alice Waters and sobremesa

Alice Waters and sobremesa

A few days ago I was fortunate enough to attend a session of Edible Education 101 at UC Berkeley guest starring Alice Waters and The Kitchen Sisters. No matter how long I live in the Bay Area, I hope I always live it as a newcomer, and take advantage of the many exciting events this place has to offer, without just settling into the fact that famous people I am interested in happen to be local, around and about.

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