About Ashley Wilkins

Professional by day and fun-loving foodie by night. She and her husband live in Southern California with their dog Riggins. Ashley’s skills in the kitchen, her love for understanding food, and ability to write in complete sentences shines through in the blogs that she writes.

Another Reason I Eat Local + Jalapeno Leek Fritters

By | 2016-02-20T22:49:23+00:00 January 20th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Fish Free, Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Recipes|Tags: , , , , |

Last month I took part in an anonymous gift exchange and received the most amazing gift. My benefactor found a local roaster and decided to give me a pound of their mouth-wateringly fragrant coffee. Guys. It was delicious. The coffee, a Brazilian bean with flavors of maple syrup and almonds, was so rich and intense. I adored it--my adoration fueled in part by the fact that the roaster donates 10 pounds of food to local food banks (over 800,000 pounds [...]

New Year’s Intentions + Charred Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

By | 2016-01-13T12:28:49+00:00 January 8th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Fish Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Peanut Free, Recipes, Sauce + Dressing, Soy Free, Vegetarian|Tags: |

Recently, I was sitting with friends and discussing my hopes and plans for 2016. Like a lot of us, I begin my year with resolutions and plans to change aspects of my life. Sometimes my goals are specific--like last year, my goal was to do a headstand in yoga  (still no dice). Other times they are very broad--like notice more beauty in everyday life. As I sat with my friends, one of them mentioned setting his intentions for the year [...]

Anticipating Winter + Arugula Goat Cheese Flatbread

By | 2015-12-24T12:11:13+00:00 December 24th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Fish Free, Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Recipes|Tags: |

Some of my earliest winter memories involve me lying underneath a Christmas tree staring at the reflections of the lights. The colorful bulbs would cast overlapping shadows that formed a kaleidoscope of needles and branches on the living room wall. Each year since then, I have anticipated the lights that come with the winter season. Seriously, as stated on my Instagram the other evening, I have been known to actually squeal with joy when encountering a particularly good display; there [...]

Wendell Berry is One of My Favorites + Sweet Potato Tartelette

By | 2015-12-01T10:56:40+00:00 December 1st, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Fish Free, Food and Faith, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Peanut Free, Recipes|Tags: , , |

One of my favorite author-poet-farmers is agrarian writer Wendell Berry. He addresses food growth and production with a prophetic voice that denounces consumerism and commodification of food. Instead of treating what we eat as just another consumer good that can be used or wasted as we please, he urges readers step back and look at the larger picture. In his zoomed out perspective, the health and particularity of land and communities is the basis for the health of cities, people, [...]

French Roast Chicken + Ashley’s Typical Thanksgiving Feast

By | 2016-05-17T10:00:52+00:00 November 25th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Recipes, Soy Free|Tags: |

It has been several years since my husband or I have been able to make the journey back for Thanksgiving with either of our families. In the absence of yearly celebrations with our families, we have created a new “normal” for Thanksgiving. A typical day of feasting begins days in advance with shopping and preparation. After gathering vegetables, fruits, and dry goods, I roughly sketch a schedule for myself. I tend to be an organized person, and having a written [...]

Grateful For + Paleo Pear and Honey Crumble

By | 2016-05-17T10:01:45+00:00 November 18th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Recipes|Tags: , |

I like to think of myself as a grateful person. But in light of the ongoing conflict and violence worldwide and last week’s attacks in Beirut and Paris, my meaning of grateful has undergone significant reassessment. Instead of only thinking about what makes me feel good, I’m also prompted to understand my experience in the context of others’ realities. I'm incredibly grateful for the people who love me. Friends, mentors, and family have showered innumerable kindnesses on me, gifts that [...]

Playing with Your Food + Young Broccoli with Shallot and Lemon

By | 2016-05-17T10:03:41+00:00 October 30th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Peanut Free, Recipes, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free|Tags: , , |

How many of you played with your food when you were a kid? Both my sister and I certainly did, and our favorite imaginative playing-food was broccoli. I remember being told that we couldn’t leave the table until we finished our food, and then we’d stay for an hour or more making elaborate stories of the “trees” and their inevitable violent demise.  Surprisingly we actually stayed—even without parental supervision—until our plates were clean. To this day I can’t look at [...]

Backyard Foraging + Dark Chocolate Cake with Concord Grape + Shiraz Reduction Sauce

By | 2016-05-17T10:03:58+00:00 October 27th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Recipes, Soy Free|Tags: , , |

A couple weeks ago, my friend Laura texted me to see if I had any use for concord grapes. She told me that the vine in her yard was producing more than she could use and to offer the extra fruit to me for jelly-making. Of course I told her I would take them. At the time I wasn’t sure if I was going to make grape jelly or use the fruit for something else, but I definitely wanted to [...]

Our Favorite Sides + Bacon Leek Mac and Cheese

By | 2015-10-23T15:57:17+00:00 October 23rd, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Fish Free, Gluten Free, Recipes|Tags: |

I have a guilty confession to make: side dishes are my favorite part of dinner. Entrees are often meat, and frankly the average cook has a limited number of ways that they prepare meat. Sides, however, seem to naturally vary, which I love. I also love cheese. I try to include it in my daily and weekly meals whenever I reasonably (or creatively) can. This often means that I eat cheese for snacks, sneak it into soups, and stuff it [...]

Four tips to help discover new foods

By | 2015-10-13T18:17:50+00:00 October 13th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Food Education, Recipes, Table Conversation|Tags: |

Yesterday was a holiday that for many in the United States represents the possibilities of adventure, discovery, and exploration. Institutions closed to honor Christopher Columbus and children across the United States learned about European explorers and Columbus’s journey who “in 1492 … sailed the ocean blue.” There is another side to this exploration story. Recognized in some parts of the United States the holiday of Indigenous Peoples’ Day points us to the other side of that exploration; people whose lives [...]