Archives for posts with tag: Food

I recently discovered a great (and seasonal!) way to lighten up your favorite guacamole recipe. Just substitute half of the avocado for mashed spring peas. It make a nice springy appetizer, that isn’t as likely to ruin your appetite.




 Homegrown has finally been released, and I couldn’t be more excited! I was such a long time in the making that it feels amazing that it’s finally a real thing out in the world. Oh, and people have been saying some really nice things.  To celebrate,  I wanted to share an excerpt with you, and do a giveaway of the book!

This Fava Bean Crostini recipe is from the Spring chapter of Homegrown.  In the book, this recipe is accompanied with information of how to grow fava beans, and an illustrated how-to peel fava beans. I hope you enjoy it!

Fava Bean Crostini

Serves 4 to 6

Shelling fava beans certainly takes some effort, but their buttery texture and nutty flavor are worth the trouble. Once the fava beans are shelled, this appetizer comes together quickly and maximizes your efforts, literally spreading the reward around. The nuttiness of the fava beans is complemented by the clean, crisp flavors of the lemon juice and mint, and the crunch of the toast adds a great contrast to the soft spread. If  you’re planning a dinner party, you can shell the beans the night before and the whole thing can be prepared in 15 minutes. You can substitute lima beans or edamame for the favas if you’d like.

  • Baguette, sliced on the bias
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup shelled fava beans (1 1/4 pounds / 570 g in shell)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Mint leaves for garnish (1 per toast)
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 2 ounces/55 g)

ib_favacostini_spots1Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle them with the 1 to 2 tablespoons oil. Slice the clove of garlic lengthwise and rub the cut side all over the top of the bread slices. Put it aside. Toast the bread in the oven for 9 to 10 minutes, until golden.

ib_favacostini_spots2Peel the fava beans from their outer shell. Put the fava beans, the remaining   cup (60 ml) oil, the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until you have a mixture that is blended but still has a little texture (it shouldn’t be completely smooth like hummus). Put a healthy dollop of the fava mixture on each piece of toast. Top with some cheese and a mint leaf and serve.


I want all of you know how appreciative I am of your support of this blog. I started Illustrated Bites came at a time in my life when I was struggling to get on my feet after school, and trying to figure out how to make it as an illustrator. Some of you reading this have been with me since the very beginning. All of you who pinned my images, shared the posts on Facebook, or elsewhere really helped to get me on my feet. The fact that I got a book deal was directly due to you helping me spread the word. Thank you so much, y’all are amazing.


To say thanks, I would love to give one of you a copy of my book. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below. The giveaway will be open until May 1st. I’ll announce the winner on that Friday.

If you would like a second chance to win a book for yourself and a friend, I’m also do a giveaway on Instagram. Just follow me there, and check out the instructions on the giveaway post.

UPDATE: Congrats to R Moore! You are the book give away winner! Thank you to everyone for your kind words and support. I wish I could send you all a copy :)

Types of Basil

supreme an orange web


Guide to Onions

kinds of sugar

Homegrown Cover

Hey y’all. It’s been awhile. After two years of working on my book based on this blog; I’m excited to announce the book is finished. HOMEGROWN : Illustrated Bites from your Garden to your Table will be released mid-April! YAY!  It was a long haul, but it’s finally done and I’m looking forward to sharing more soon.  (You can check out some sneak peeks on my Instagram.) I’ve added an Illustrated Bites Book tab to the menu, so you can order yourself a copy. Tell your friends!

The last year was definitely a difficult one, and when you’re super busy it’s really hard to eat right and make meals at home. I found myself spending the whole day writing and drawing about cooking, but not actually doing it . When you eat out a lot, or just eat badly, it ends up dragging you down and making you sluggish. It’s hard to get stuff done with a pizza hangover.

Mason jar salads SAVED ME.  I’m sure you’ve seen these by now (they’re all over Pinterest.)  They’re a great solution for eating right with a busy schedule. You can make a weeks’ worth of lunches on Sunday, and then it’s just grab and go during the week. I’m a hungry person, and not exactly a “salad girl”, but these are amazing. Just be sure to load the salad up with plenty of protein, whole grains, and nuts to keep you from getting hungry by mid afternoon.

Mason Jar Salad



Best Mac & cheese

The last few months have been a whirlwind. I’ve recently started a big project that I’m really excited to share with you. Earlier this year I signed a book deal with Stewart, Tabori & Chang, to turn Illustrated Bites into a book! I’ve been delaying announcing the news, because for a long time it seemed too good to be true. Last week I turned in my first chapter, so it finally feels real. Now that the ball is rolling, I felt ready to tell y’all about it.  The book is organized by season with four, five course meals that exemplify seasonal cooking. Like the blog, it will have illustrated recipes and how-tos, but it will have added emphasis on how to grow the produce yourself.  The working title is Illustrated Bites, From Garden to Table, to be released spring 2015.

2015 still seems like an unrealistic future date, but it will be here before I know it.  In the meantime, working on the book has totally consumed me. I’ve been trying hard to stay balanced, eat healthy, and get some exercise. To be honest though, all I want to do is eat comfort food and drink wine.  This mac & cheese recipe is comfort incarnate. It’s rich, flavorful, warm, and nostalgic. Also, it’s pretty easy to make. The last time I brought this to a pot-luck everyone went nuts for it.  If you’re looking for a crowd pleaser this Thanksgiving, I promise this one is a winner.

  • 1 lb. macaroni pasta such as cavatappi
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mild cheddar
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  1.  Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2.  Boil and salt a large pot of water. Cook your pasta, until it’s super al dente. Your pasta box will have a recommend cooking time for al dente, just subtract a minute or two from that. Drain the pasta, rinse it with cold water, and set it aside.
  3.  In a sauce pot, combine the cream and the milk.  Add the bay leaves and gently warm, but don’t boil.  Set it aside.
  4.  In another sauce pot, melt the butter. When it’s foamy add the flour, and stir continuously until the mixture begins to brown. Remove the bay leaves from the half and half, and stir in about 1/4 of it into the flour and butter. Continue to stir, when the mixture is smooth, add a little more of the liquid.  Continue to slowly add the half and half, until it’s all incorporated.
  5.  Mix the gorgonzola and the cheddar into the sauce.  Stir in 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  6. Butter a 9x13in pan.  Put in the pasta, and pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss in the parmesan cheese and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top.
  7.  Bake for 15-20 minute until it’s bubbling, and the breadcrumbs are brown. Serve hot!

I’ll continue to do new posts here, and give you updates on the book.  You can also follow my progress on Instagram and Twitter. I hope y’all have a great Thanksgiving!


Hey Y’all!

Thank you so much for sticking with me these last few months. I know I’ve been a bit of an absentee blogger (and by absentee, I mean I haven’t posted in two months. Whoops!)  BUT I’ve got a big project that I’m working on, and I think you guys will be excited to hear about it! (Hint, it starts with B, and rhymes with look.)  Can’t wait to tell you more!  As always, I appreciate you visiting my blog. Take care everyone, and I’ll be sharing more soon.


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