Jo’s style of cooking is all about improvising and making your meals work based on what you have on hand. On a recent trip to Michigan we stopped at one of those side of the road farmer market stands and bought some gorgeous produce, including half a peck of peaches. Eek! How did I think we’d eat them all before they went bad?! We’d eaten all but 5 and they were a little worse for the wear. Then I remembered that Jo has a simple recipe for roasting pears and thought, “Why couldn’t peaches work too?” So I preheated the oven, washed them gently, cut out the bad spots and the pits, left them in halves, drizzled them with a little honey and roasted them in the oven for 30 minutes. Talk about a treat! They were stunning while warm and made an even better addition to breakfast the next day chilled. I poured myself some high fiber cereal, put two halves of the roasted peaches on top, dolloped with plain yogurt, walnuts and some ground flax seeds. Yum!
Everyone loves to snack. Why not be sure it is an important part of your daily diet? Good-for-you snacks are more satisfying and a great way to get variety in your diet. And did you know nature provides the perfect fast food? Wrapper included!
Some delicious Grab and Go fruits and veggies to try:
• Pea pods
• Cooked Edamame
• Green Beans
• Cherry Tomatoes
• Sliced Zucchini
• Sliced Yellow Squash
• Snap Peas
• Baby Leaf Lettuces
I’ve spent several days on my own exploring Oregon and had WAY more adventures than anticipated, let me tell you. One of the best things I have experienced is the sense of calm while you’re on a 9 mile hike, miles from another human and there is nothing but you and nature. The only sound is your own footfalls, a few twittering birds and the soothing sound of water tripping over itself to get down the side of the mountain. There is plenty of time to breathe and refocus beyond all the “noise” that surrounds us every day. It’s essential and I don’t know about you, but I could use more of that in my life. Oh, and this. I want to fall asleep to this every night.
Did you know that the proper hydration level is:
Half your body weight in ounces = amount of water needed each day
• crave sweet or salty snacks
• fuzzy memory
• foot cramps
Here’s a positive way to change your mindset AND your hydration habits!
Write messages or words on your favorite mug or drinking vessel, affirmations, goals, thoughts you want to ponder but be sure they are all positive—now drink in these messages each time you take a sip.
Feel the positive impact as you hydrate. The power of words and thoughts are immeasurable.
Guess who’s headed west next week? Yep, I’m Pacific Northwest bound for the first time in my life. I’ve been wanting to visit Portland and Seattle for most of my adult life and because of time, money, and life in general, just have not been able to make it happen. This time, the stars aligned. My roller derby season is at an end (oh, you didn’t know I was on a team? More on that later!), my work schedule is pretty fluid (read: I write for this blog, do freelance and have a part time job so I make my own hours. Yay me!), and miracle of all miracles, my husband has to be in Oregon for work for 2 weeks AND we had a free airline ticket to use. What’s a girl to do??
My first order of business is always to hit the library and the internet. I spend a few days or more reading, post-it noting things/places/activities I think I might enjoy, and poring over the maps of the vicinity. A few days later, I go back and edit my list to an amount things/places that might actually be accomplished in the allotted time I have.
My major goal on every trip is to see the most interesting local sites, do the most interesting local things, and EAT the most amazing local food. I go on vacation to soak up the culture and get local! I frequent the grocery stores, coffee shops, or anywhere else I’m bound to find off the beaten path gems in the local scene. I jump in head first and I’ve yet to be a disappointed traveler. Life is about experiencing new things, so why not?
How do you travel? Any time tested tips for packing? Recommendations for food or culture in Portland, Seattle or the vicinity?
I am so pleased to announce my first collection of recipes cards. A collection of 12 of my favorite comforting, delicious and nutritious recipes to add to your rotation of mouth-watering foods for fall! Full color, double-sided, 4×6 inch cards perfect to fit in your recipe box or into your binder of “must try” recipes. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how and where to purchase these gems.
Hello internets! Let me introduce myself. My name is Ann. I’m an artist, adventurer and a lover of all things—especially food! While I don’t have any culinary training, I have passion for food. Some people eat to live, but I truly live to eat. This happens to mean that after a moment of clarity while discussing a project Jo and I already had in the works, I knew that I would and could help her spread her message about food, passion and life by becoming a contributor on the blog. I also happen to be one of her nieces! We like to keep it in the family! I’ll be posting a variety of things including quotes, stories, Jo’s recipes and photos, many of which will be taken by me.
The other thing you should know about me is that in a year—two tops (depending on the market! Eep!)—my husband Josh and I are starting a long-term sailing lifestyle. Once we get underway next year, I will be posting about food and culture from a variety of places all over the globe. I hope to bring you new perspective on food and life abroad. And if you’re interested in following our journey from a more technical perspective, you can read along at our blog (admission: it’s a little out of date, but stay tuned, new entries will be added soon).
Between now and then, visit us often to learn about amazing healthful food and talk about life around our “kitchen counter”.
This is the beginning of a wonderful new venture for me and I can’t wait to share it with all my current fans and clients as well as many new people I hope to reach all across the world who are HUNGRY for a change in their food lifestyle. But first, an introduction is an order.
I’m Jo Cessna, a natural cook with a passion to empower people to learn how to prepare and eat whole foods and learn about ingredients through education. The techniques that I have created are simple, easy and fun to implement, making every day eating enjoyable but most importantly healthy.
As a little girl I was fascinated with the process of putting ingredients together using only what was available on our family farm. But what really stirred my passion was sharing the food with the special people in my life and the great feeling it gave me knowing I could show how much I cared through the gift of food. I baked hundreds of hours under my Easy Bake oven light bulb to have stacks of cakes and cookies waiting for my family and neighborhood friends.
In 2008 I left my career in the food industry, ready to explore how I could make a difference using my gifts as an educator and cook. This curiosity led me to study in Boulder Colorado at “The School of Natural Cookery”, opening my palate to the amazing world of natural foods. This was the first major step on my journey—it tested my years of traditional cooking experience and methods and helped me learn to trust my intuition (we all have amazing inner knowledge we do not tap into). Upon returning home to the Midwest I decided to start my own cooking school from my home kitchen. The response has been tremendous, as the work from my kitchen counter has led me to working with cancer patients and caregivers, moms of preschoolers, high school students, factory employees, opera students at the local university and hospitals and health care clinics. The connections that are made around my kitchen counter are heartwarming. People are hungry for knowledge on how to eat cleaner but also hungrier for the community of gathering, learning and experiencing with surprise the wonderful taste of real food.
Also, I’ll let her introduce herself, but my niece Ann will be a regular contributor to the blog as well. Together, we hope to give you a wide range of exciting and interesting topics to discuss. I hope this blog will act as my virtual “kitchen counter” where we can all gather together to share food, love and life!