Market Fresh Pea, Radish and Carrot Salad

by Jenn on June 22, 2011

in Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,No Cook,Photography,Salads,Vegetarian

Salad of fresh peas, radishes and carrots

What inspires you?

It seems I like to find inspiration in everything I see – whether it be vast expanses of natural scenery, fresh tastes in my kitchen, travels to experience new sights and sounds, little details of beauty or simply a stroll through my RSS reader to see what my favorite food photographers, writers, and blogging friends have been up to.  Sometimes I remember an emotion, and want to create a dish that evokes similar feelings and memories – or I see a photo that moves me so much I am compelled to cook something that emulates how I felt about that image.  Or sometimes, I just love the simplicity of nature and try to bring freshness and vibrance to my table.

I think inspiration can be everywhere – anywhere, really.   And that our perception of the world is based on the culmination and amalgamation of each of our own unique life experiences.  That every event leading up to this point has helped shaped me into who I am and each new experience, sight, sound, and the part I played in it becomes incorporated into my overall approach and outlook on life.

But sometimes in this fast paced competitive world, it seems like we all need to achieve certain things, have certain items, possess certain traits in order to be “successful” (what does that word mean anyways? and is your definition the same as mine?), and find ourselves with certain pressures of conformity – and it’s no different in the blogging world either. We should post this many times per week – these colors work best – promote yourself on social media without being too annoying about it – use diffused light, never use a flash on photos (I vow to break this one, in fact there’s flash in most of the pics in this post), make sure you’ve got your recipes in the stringent requirements of hrecipe formatting to please the Google gods…the list goes on.

Sometimes amongst all these preconceived requirements for success, it’s hard not to feel like another pea squished amidst all the others in the pod – and then where does that inspiration go?

Fresh Peas

Sometimes it’s easy to feel a bit lost in the “noise”, even if you’ve been doing this for awhile.

So how do I cope? I’ve learned (and am still learning) to have two things. Patience.  And a sense of self.

Patience that all things take time – and the longer you stick with something, the more likely you’ll get the hang of what you are doing and be able to build whatever it is you are dreaming to create.  Patience is something I search in vain for some days – those are the days when it’s good to go take a walk, clear my head, and remember there are other important parts of life :)

But what about that voice, where does that sense of self come in?  If there’s anything I learned by cooking, writing, and photographing, it’s to do everything from the heart.  To absorb what inspires me, and to incorporate it into my very soul – and then, when it comes time to create, to take everything I have been keeping in the back of my head and let it go – let every essence of myself free, to just be and see where my mind takes me.

Fresh Peas

Have I found my voice? I am working on it – I’ve learned that having a vision before I ever turn on the stove, press my shutter, or type a word on a page is a result of remembering those inspirations, and rather than simply recreating them, blending them into my own interpretation of the world. Because how I can truly be me if I am merely emulating someone else?  It is easiest when I write because I swear I write exactly how I think (I’m sure you’ve noticed the stream of consciousness feel to my rambling posts, haha).  And the actual food I cook is all a big game of “hmm I wonder what this will turn into” lol.  But the photos, that’s where it is tougher – and where that patience needs to come back in…it may be slow but I’m learning to observe, remember, and then later try to use it in my own vision – because I have visions, preconceived ideas – it’s just all a matter of executing them in a way that says “this is how I see the world” :)

I’ve learned that the camera, fresh ingredients, and my keyboard are all tools to express myself in various mediums.  Sometimes it’s complex and involved, and sometimes it’s outrageously simple.  This pea salad? Definitely on the simple end – I saw these gorgeous vegetables at the market, and knew there was a beautiful Summery fresh dish waiting to be created.  I remembered that freshness and the scents of all the produce in the stands when I staged my images and made a photo.  And even now, I can see myself walking amongst the stands, in one of the facets of Swiss society that I find myself most comfortable – because if there is anywhere to find inspiration, it’s the market seeing beautiful produce.

Salad ingredients

This is my favorite salad of late – fresh peas from the market, shelled and blanched, a few sliced carrots and radishes, a little grated cheese, and a sweet mustard dressing.  It’s the first day of Summer, and the weather is responding in kind – the sun shining brightly, the heat radiating through, and eating a dish that is piping hot just seems anathema to us in our very non A/C’ed  apartment.  So instead, we buy whatever looks good at the market, chop it up, and throw it in a bowl with some dressing and call it a meal.

Ha can you tell I’ve been on a salad kick lately? I actually love salads, which I know sounds funny from a person who isn’t usually a fan of lettuce or dark leafy greens like kale… but salad to me is just a term for veggies etc. mixed together & dressed with something.  We eat bean salads, tomato salads, avocado salads, pea salads, heck even watermelon salads! If it can be eaten cold and has fresh ingredients, I’ve probably made a salad out of it.  However, peas are quite possibly my favorite vegetable in the entire world.  I throw them into everything. Pasta, salads, soups, I’ll even eat them raw.  Though salads are one of my favorite ways to enjoy them.

One thing I love is that I never quite know what the salad will turn into until it’s in front of me ready to be eaten – the epitome dish for improvising, totally customizable for taste/whatever’s in the fridge that needs to be eaten/whatever’s available at the moment.  Each ends up having its own personality and individuality, and every now and then I find a combination of flavor and texture that I want to make again and again and again.  And just as ink on a page or light in an image creates the scene, so too do flavors, even in a simple bowl of salad.  The more I play, the more I find one medium inspiring creation in another, and that voice, that essence that is me, finally starting to speak.

Also submitted to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany June 22, 2011 at 12:43 am

Your peas pictures are gorgeous!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 12:58 am

Thank you!

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Móna Wise June 22, 2011 at 1:25 am

Gorgeous photo’s Jenn. Your hard work does pay off.
The peas, the carrots, the bowls……
I see it all and love it!
I love salad too.
Móna xxx

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 1:26 am

Thanks Móna!

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jas @ gluten free scallywag June 22, 2011 at 2:49 am

gorgeous fresh peas! I actually don’t like them straight popped from their shells…but they look sooo pretty! Love this fresh salad and your photography Jenn is just gorgeous!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 8:29 am

Thanks so much! Yeah I blanched them for the salad :)

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen June 22, 2011 at 3:25 am

Beautiful post on finding your voice and being true to yourself. It’s so easy to get lost in all the “noise” like you said. A truly inspirational post.

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 7:41 am

Oh thank you Sylvie!

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Lillian June 22, 2011 at 4:12 am

Thank you for sharing this – I’ve been struggling with much of what you mentioned about conforming to certain formats or requirements… I feel that so many new bloggers have the same “voice”, most of them trying to be witty (and most genuinely are) but they end up all sounding the same to me. What if I’m not witty? Do those witty bloggers have more readers/followers? Do I have to be funny to have more readers?

I tend to ramble too when I write (as you can see above), but I consciously make an effort to write “appropriately” on my blog…so I’m losing my “voice” along the way. It’s a constant struggle for me but I know that the more I write, the more I will discover my true voice. Thanks for the reminder!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 7:55 am

Ha I definitely am not witty – I think what’s important is that your personality shows through and that you are able to communicate what you are trying to say – and I’m learning practice definitely helps!

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Mairi @ Toast June 22, 2011 at 5:11 am

A fantastic post Jenn. And patience is indeed a virtue…some days I find it so hard!! And those photos of the peas in a pod…gorgeous!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 7:43 am

Patience has definitely been a learned entity for me… and it still is hard for me for sure!

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El June 22, 2011 at 5:15 am

Beautiful post and sentiment. Of course the salad is lovely too.

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 7:43 am

Thanks!

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Lori June 22, 2011 at 5:16 am

The fresh shelling pea season is over in Southern California, but I made sure to enjoy them while they lasted. I liked them best right out of the pod so much so they rarely made it into anything besides my mouth! The sweetness of the peas seems right at home amongst the carrots.
You’re right about inspiration; it’s everywhere. For me, if I see something and react to it, it becomes the inspiration.

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

Ha we’re a little behind SoCal’s seasons en Suisse – but I definitely have been enjoying them!

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Marla June 22, 2011 at 5:53 am

Such a great post Jenn & I feel inspired by your words. I often think about a lot of this stuff, but never write it down. So happy to be in this creative blog world with people like you :) Beautiful, healthy salad.

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 7:59 am

Aww thank you Marla!!

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Astrid June 22, 2011 at 6:07 am

Well said and gorgeous salad. :o) Love your pictures in this!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 8:01 am

Thanks Astrid!

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Lana June 22, 2011 at 6:55 am

It is nice to read another from-the-heart story and know that you are not alone. Yes, I torture myself with the same doubts and questions, but in the end, you are right, we need to be patient and keep our own integrity.
You have a lovely blog. Your writing is beautiful, even if you sat it follows your stream of consciousness exactly:) And your photography is inspirational and amazing. Just keep on being who you are:)

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

Thanks so much Lana!! Ha – ok so there is editing because I make a gazillion typos when I type – but I do just pretend I’m talking and what I want to say, that’s how the words come out lol.

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Rosa June 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

Inspiration is indeed everywhere! That salad is so pretty and appetizing. A lovely idea.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

Thanks Rosa!

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flo makanai June 22, 2011 at 8:01 am

Joli billet, Jenn, au contenu important. Your voice is there, keep letting all of us hear it!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 8:06 am

Merci Flo! :)

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Kulsum at JourneyKitchen June 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

I loved reading this post Jenn. I lately have been learning to do my best and let it go and it works wonderfully. Blogging can get crazy if you don’t learn to direct your energy in the right direction and remember your ‘true self’. And reading a post like this always makes you look at things with clear perspective :-) And what a beautiful, fresh salad. I LOVE eating peas fresh of the pod!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

Thanks Kulsum! I’m glad it gives some perspective, and I love what you say about directing your energy in the right direction – that is so true.

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Jessica's Dinner Party June 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

What an encouraging post. I feel the same way about inspiration and success. But you have a wonderful thing going on here. Keep up the great cooking/photographing/blogging/writing!

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Thanks!!

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meeta June 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

“Sometimes amongst all these preconceived requirements for success, it’s hard not to feel like another pea squished amidst all the others in the pod” Yes how true this is and like you I have been considering this for a long time. I am trying to break free of all the conventions and “must-dos” – it’s hard. You are ahead of me already in the fact that you have patience. This is not my best virtue. LOL!
Love these flavors. Salad is the way to go for sure! Mine coming up today too ;o)

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Ha I don’t always have patience, but I know I need it and try to focus on it… def. not my best virtue either!

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Natalie June 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Totally agree! I get my inspiration from walking & running with the dog. We walk past farms and see what is growing and being harvested. While I run ideas form in my head for recipes made with what I’ve seen. Your salad sounds so perfect for now, I can almost taste it! :D

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thanks!! yes I find exercise is so meditative, and if you have great scenery to inspire you even better :)

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Radhika @ foodfor7stages June 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I admire your can-do attitude and finding inspiration in everything you see. I have realized that steering the boat in the right direction is quintessential in blogging. If we paddle it wrong we might end up somewhere we don’t want to be.
Salad looks appetizing with all those fresh ingredients.

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm

aww thanks!! Yes I think finding that direction is a huge part of it….

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Tunde June 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I love this post !! We have to remain true to our self’s first. Guidelines are there to help, but it doesn’t always work for everyone !! If we all conform to some ideal, we all start to look alike. Vision, voice and inspiration comes from several places and its always to find new ones !! The grocery seems to me one source for me . The salad looks pretty amazing and healthy.

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 11:58 pm

thanks! and I agree, we should not all try to conform to the same images – our differences are what give each of us a valuable ability to contribute to the world…

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Ishay June 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Hi Jenn
I tried to reply last night but just couldn’t access your site. Odd! I love how fresh and tempting this salad looks and I imagine you browsing at the market stalls. I run into my local supermarket most of the time for produce nowadays and the weekends we had for markets and thinking over the weeks meals seem so far away. Anyway, I digress. Supporting your journey as you develop your writing and photographic voice, as I’m doing the same. But may I add, yours is just splendid and you aren’t just any little pea. xx

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm

hmm, sometimes my hosting co. takes things offline for random 30 min spurts… maybe you just got unlucky….

Thanks so much for the kind compliments – your voice is also wonderful – def. not just any little pea either – can’t wait to see where you go :)

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Barbara | Creative Culinary June 23, 2011 at 3:06 am

Love this post Jenn and share so many of your sentiments. In a nutshell…trying to copy someone else’s voice and photo style is really hard; so much easier to be yourself. When we try to be what we think our readers want (and really, they don’t ALL want us to be other, bigger bloggers!) that’s when it gets hard and that dreaded writer’s block sets it. No need to be funny every moment or witty…that can even get old. Just be honest; in the long run I think readers will know and will love you, me and other bloggers for who we really are!

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Jenn June 23, 2011 at 7:29 am

Thanks Barbara – ha I def. am not funny or witty, and I agree trying to do what we think everyone wants from us is not the best way to bring forth true development and creativity – and yes, being yourself is def. easier, and I think better for everyone in the long run :)

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N. June 23, 2011 at 9:41 am

This is the second time I stumple about your blog and enjoy your beautiful posts- I especially like that you blog from Switzerland.

Greetings from Fribourg!

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Jenn June 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

thanks so much! And greetings from Vaud!

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Gen June 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Woaw! The coloras are amazing and mouth watering! I love these kind of fresh and healthy salads!

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Jenn June 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Thanks so much !!

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Jeanette June 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Jenn – great post and I love your voice and your gorgeous photography. Congrats on top 9!

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Jenn June 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Thanks !!

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kitchenarian June 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Your images are beautiful – they capture the essence of summer vegetables. I love your no bake approach to summer cooking. Congratulations on Top 9

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Jenn June 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Ha I’m all about using heat as little as possible in the Summer months… maybe if I could grill outside that would change a bit, but for now loving cold salads and fresh fruits :)

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kankana June 24, 2011 at 4:18 am

that pea picture .. makes me feel like grabbing some right now. Congrats on Top 9 :) This is such a refreshing salad.

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Thanks! And thanks for the top 9 congrats, was such a nice surprise :)

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Darcy Jones June 24, 2011 at 5:43 am

What a gorgeous salad! So glad you are highlighting the simple pleasure of fresh peas.

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Peas are one of my favorite vegetables, glad you like them too :)

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Maureen June 24, 2011 at 6:50 am

I want some peas. You probably don’t have to do anything to them, I’m happy to sit on the floor, shell and eat them.

This salad looks delicious!

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Ha that’s how my husband likes them too – I like to blanch them just a little bit…

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InTolerantChef June 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’m glad you have found your voice and your niche too. People always respond when you speak- and cook- from the heart.

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Jenn June 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Aww thanks!!

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Nic June 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Truth be told, I despise peas – but that’s probably because I’ve never had them fresh. This salad looks not only gorgeous, but delicious and fresh!

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Jenn June 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Having them fresh is really different I think… even just blanched quickly like I did here is so much better to me – I think it also helps not to overcook them too much – overcooked peas are def. not as awesome.

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Amber Ellen June 24, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Your photos always inspire me (and make me hungry). Love the pea shots!

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Jenn June 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Oh thanks!!

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Toni June 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I happened to just stumble upon your website and am I impressed! I wish I had found this earlier! Your site is brilliant and I absolutely love, love, love your photography! I am trying to improve my food photography because I teach Indian cooking, and now I know where I could come for inspiration! You’re doing a fantastic job, Jenn, and please know that you’ll be a great inspiration to anyone that’s venturing into the realms of cooking/blogging/photographing.

Cheers!

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Jenn June 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm

oh wow, what kind and sweet words!! Thank you so much!!

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Rachel June 24, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Jenn, your pictures are awesome! They always make me hungry!

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Thanks !

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Nikki June 25, 2011 at 6:23 am

Your photos are so beautiful. YOU are a great inspiration!

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Aww thanks :)

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Barbara June 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Your photos are gorgeous, as always, but your words are truly inspirational.

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Aww thank you Barbara!

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Angela June 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Your photos always amaze me and make me so hungry! Luckily you make such amazing and healthy dishes so I actually crave the yummy healthy stuff! Great job!

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Jenn June 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Oh thanks!! Ha I don’t really think of myself as a healthy cook, but I guess lately I have been haha.

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Jeanne @ CookSister! June 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm

A great post, Jen. I agree that blogging can seem a little formulaic when hear people telling you what you MUST and MUSTN’T do. It is a great thing to be able to find and hold onto your unique voice in the midst of all this. Inspirational pictures, as always!

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Thanks Jeanne! Yes it seems there are so many rules about blogging… keeping that voice is the biggest priority though I think – whether it be with words or images – and thanks to Plate to Page I think I am developing a much better handle on that :)

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Emily @Cleanliness June 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Absolutely stunning. All of it.

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Thank you very much!

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Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets June 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

What a gorgeous salad!

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Oh thanks!

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Linda July 6, 2011 at 3:56 am

The colors are lovely, Jenn, and I love the picture of the close up peas.

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Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Thanks Linda!

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