{Feast Events!}

These are my next three Feast events + book signings! I hope you'll come see me ~ consider yourself invited.


{Feast} A Modern Thanksgiving

photo by Yunhee Kim 

Throughout childhood, my mom's annual Thanksgiving was utterly classic-- a Butterball turkey, mashed potatoes, bagged stuffing, grandma's cranberry relish, turkey gravy, warm buttery dinner rolls, and two pies: pumpkin and pecan. The only discussion was whether to make mom's version of sweet potatoes (candied) or dad's (smashed with marshmallow topping), or both (the answer: both!).

The first Thanksgiving after I graduated from culinary school, my siblings put me up to making the whole meal. The mashed potatoes were riced (read: luxuriously lump free) and extra rich (yes, cream). The turkey was brined and the gravy herbed. The rolls were homemade, of course, and the stuffing a decadent, wild mushroom and sage number. My family said it was the best Thanksgiving meal they'd ever had. And then, agreed that they still wanted mom's henceforth. Ah, tradition. 

Truth? That's been a great deal for me--it's the one day of the year I usually don't cook. Plus, Thanksgiving cooking is epic. Super intense. You need a trunk full of ingredients. You need counter space, oven space. You need to wake up early to put in the turkey (deal breaker.). By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I've already cooked  my heart out all year long; I'm more than happy to just show up to the meal, hungry. 

But somehow I always get lured into making dinner the night before. That's when I cook the meal I really want to eat--the meal I'd be making if I were hosting thanksgiving. This meal would star fish, my favorite protein, and would be decidedly autumnal and centerpiece-worthy. 

It would also be epically easy, because my days of ricing potatoes, folks, were over long ago. These days, I'm more likely to put that effort into getting the family to agree on what movie we'll watch after we've cleaned up, which, by the way, will take just minutes, since this whole meal roasts on one cookie sheet, unlike our beloved pilgrim's feast. 

This, friends, is the modern Thanksgiving. 


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 organic acorn or delicata squash, seeded and thinly sliced
8 oz oyster mushrooms, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 small shallots, peeled and quartered
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1 ½ -pound skin-on side of wild salmon or arctic char
1 handful sorrel or arugula, chopped
1 handful parsley, chopped
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Serves 4 {easily doubled or tripled} 

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Toss together 2 tbsp of the olive oil with the squash, mushrooms, and shallots in a medium bowl. Place in the bottom of a large oven-to-table baking dish and spread out evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until squash is fork-tender and the mushrooms mostly roasted, with some golden and crispy parts, about 20 minutes.

Coat the salmon with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the salmon on top of the vegetables and continue roasting until just cooked through, about 10 minutes more. The salmon should be pale pink on the outside, easily flaked with a fork and ever so translucent pink in the very center.

Meanwhile, stir together sorrel, parsley, pine nuts, and lemon zest and juice with the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the gremolata wildly all over the top. Bring the baking dish to the table still warm from the oven (or transfer the fish and mushrooms to your favorite platter before you add the gremolata) and serve portions of fish, squash and mushrooms with plenty of gremolata for each person. 


baked apples. easy.

photo by Yunhee Kim 

There are a lot of things I’m not good at. I recently forgot (yes, forgot) to vote, I never have the right boots for fall, I’m not blessed with the kind of easy humor that diffuses awkward meetings, and when it comes to pop culture, well, all my material is significantly dated. And that’s just the beginning. But there are a few things I do pretty well—keeping cool under the pressure of a crying toddler—especially on that’s not my own, is one of them. In fact, if you see me on an airplane and your wailing child has everyone turning, squinty eyed your way (as if, folks, that actually helps anything), you might as well pass her down the aisle to me. I likely have something—a song, a goofy face, squeaky toy or other surprise in my bag that might help.

Just last week on a plane to Birmingham, a mother sat down in my row with three kids under age four. She passed them each some some buttery crackers to keep busy, but just as we were wheels up, the littlest one burst into sobs. The mother cooed and bounced her babe on her knee, but the wailing only got worse. I could almost feel her sweating two seats away. Eager to help, I fished in my purse and produced a handful of Hello Kitty stickers. I passed them her way—instant awe and silence from the toddler (stickers are magic). The mother leaned over and mouthed a grateful “thank you.”

Of course, that’s not a talent, really. And just as often, other parents have entertained my child on an airplane or restaurant or other places we find ourselves without all the gear needed to keep things on the up and up. It took me nearly a year to learn we had to bring wipes, snacks and sunscreen everywhere we go (thanks, every mom I met in zoos, beaches and parks, who shared theirs until I got the hang of it), and there’s still lots I have to learn.

Where am I going with this? Ah yes, baked apples.

As women, we grow up believing that we should have a fulfilling career, a satisfying marriage, beautifully coiffed children who never cry on airplanes and all the answers for when they do. We expect ourselves to get our holiday cards out on time and make homemade Christmas gifts and bake, at least once a season, a perfect pie. But the truth is, we can’t be or do all things, no matter how hard we try. We can’t be poised, cultured career women and patient, prepared mothers and have nails that don’t chip or boots that are perfectly up-to-date. And we can’t all bake rustic, divine-looking pies, even if technically we could, given the time and energy, someone to entertain the children while we bake and clean up after us.

But we all deserve to have an easy, everyday dessert for pie season that’s just as good and infinitely easier. That’s baked apples: impossibly simple and nearly guaranteed to make you feel that, despite your shortcomings, or mine, we’re still darn good mothers, wives, and women. This is a dessert that promises that we can, sometimes, invite our friends (or our kid’s friends) over on a Sunday for sweets by the fire, and still have the energy left to iron our slacks, and pack lunches and ballet tights and mittens for the next day so that we can try in earnest to be, not perfect, but our own special breed of our very best. Here’s to agreeing that’s good enough.


A dessert this simple is hard to resist.  It relies on the exceptional taste of the apple itself, freshly picked and still dense with tart, sweet juice that concentrates to baste itself (with a little help from cinnamon sugar) in the oven. I bake mine in a very hot oven because it’s the crispy, almost–crème brûlée crackle on the top of the apple that makes this easy dessert one of my absolute favorites.

3 tbsp unsalted butter, plus room-temperature butter for the pan
6 crisp, sweet-tart apples such as Jonagold, unpeeled and cored
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 to 4 tbsp sugar, depending on the sweetness of the apples
Vanilla ice cream  (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/gas 6. Lightly brush a medium baking dish with room-temperature butter and place the apples, touching if necessary, in the dish, stem-side up. Stir together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Put a pat of butter inside each apple and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar.

Bake until the apples are sitting in their own juices and starting to sink just a touch and the tops are crispy and caramelizing, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool just slightly on the countertop, about 5 minutes. Spoon the apples onto small plates or shallow bowls and spoon the juices over the top. Serve warm.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite 


Genmaicha Granola Bars

photo by Yunhee Kim 

I really admire the women (and a handful of guys) I work with at Real Simple  they're funny, smart, totally real people who actually care about one another. Take Jackie, for instance, our deputy managing editor. When I wrote a email to note where'd I'd be next week (everywhere but in the office, between shoots in Birmingham and NYC), she wrote back: "What a week! Take a vitamin." 

For the week I have ahead, I might need more than a vitamin. I need constant, never-failing energy. That's when I turn to the granola bars in my new book, Feast. I took painstaking efforts to perfect them, because, let's face it, granola bars can be a real let down. Sometimes, though, you actually do need food on the goand the right granola bar is just the thing for that. It should be sustaining, absolutely satisfying, and with enough energy to last until the next meal, whenever that might (or might not) be. 

That's this guy. The meat of it: grains, nuts and seeds, like oats, millet, pepitas, sesame seeds and whole almonds, held together by dates, maple syrup and honey, which also work as natural sweeteners. These bars sustained me through wedding planning, book writing, baby rearing, and weeks of back-to-back video shoots among other things (long road trips, epic bike rides, and hikes I thought might never end). 

My hope for you is simpler. I hope these make the effort (and it's a little one, you'll see) to tackle DIY granola bars worthwhile; and that you'll find them addictively good and delightful to make, eat and share. Some days, they're better than a vitamin. 

A last little note: Genmaicha green tea leaves with roasted brown rice (found in Asian markets and specialty tea shops) adds depth, a malty richness, and a caffeine boost to these granola barsbut it's not essential. If you can’t find it, skip it. I love them either way. 


2 cups/170 g old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup/60 g millet
1/3 cup/30 g raw sunflower seeds
2 tbsp raw unseasoned pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup/50 g toasted pecans
1/3 cup/50 g toasted skin-on almonds
1 packed cup pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup/75 ml Grade B maple syrup, plus more as needed
1/4 cup/60 ml honey or brown rice syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp genmaicha tea leaves (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C/gas 3. Line an 8-in/20-cm square baking pan with parchment paper with overlapping flaps.

Stir together the oats, millet, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

Pulse the pecans and almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped (it’s OK if some nuts are coarsely ground and a little powdery). Stir into the oat mixture.

Pulse the dates in a food processor until a thick paste forms. Add the maple syrup, honey, and vanilla, and pulse until a purée forms. Scrape out the purée with a rubber spatula and stir into the oats mixture. Continue stirring (your clean hands work best), adding the tea leaves if using, until the oats and nuts are sticky and coated with the purée. If the mixture doesn’t clump together easily, add up to 1 tbsp of maple syrup.

Transfer the granola to the prepared baking pan and press into a smooth, even layer. Bake until just starting to brown around the edges, about 25 minutes. Transfer to the counter to cool slightly in the baking pan, about 15 minutes. Grab the flaps of parchment paper and lift out the whole batch transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 8 to 10 bars while still warm. Let them cool completely and serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite 

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.