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.

Local Eating and Lemon Bars

By | 2016-03-07T18:25:48+00:00 March 7th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Recipes, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A few years ago, around this time, I made a decision. You could probably call it a self-challenge. I committed to only eating and drinking at local food businesses. That is, if a business had locations outside of Los Angeles County (or perhaps Orange County) I decided not to eat there for a year. So I was determined to frequent only local coffee shops, coffee roasters, fast food, bars, and restaurants. I like giving myself challenges like this. Maybe some [...]

In Like a Lion + Jalapeño Apple ‘Slaw

By | 2016-03-03T15:40:01+00:00 March 3rd, 2016|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Peanut Free, Recipes, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Did you ever hear the phrase that March “comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” when you were growing up? I did. And if this phrase is true in Southern California, then our lion is hot, dry, and confused. By all accounts, the intense year of El Niño rain that we were promised is either fashionably late or not showing up. It’s likely that the phrase just doesn’t apply here, but the memories of moving from the [...]

Food-loving Jetsetter + Cauliflower Breadsticks

By | 2016-02-04T11:01:18+00:00 February 5th, 2016|Categories: Corn Free, Fish Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Peanut Free, Recipes, Vegetarian|Tags: , |

By the time this post goes live, I will be in the first part of a jetsetting week and a half, interviewing for a couple of different positions across the country. And, in addition to preparing for the interviews themselves, I began an itinerary for food destinations. Yep. Just as much as this is an interview trip, it is also a food adventure! But this is how I usually travel. For every trip I make, just after deciding where I [...]

Cilantro Lime Rice with Spice + Eating Local

By | 2016-01-28T13:30:06+00:00 January 28th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Fish Free, Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Recipes, Vegetarian|Tags: |

  Once a week I trek to the grocery store --Trader Joe’s -- to buy all of the dry goods to supplement my CSA (community supported agriculture) box that comes on Saturdays. Recently I needed to pick up more basmati for today’s recipe (Lime Rice with a Kick), and I almost constantly run low on olive oil: hazards of frequent cooking I guess. As I drive there, I often reflect on how challenging grocery stores are for me. On the [...]

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 [...]