My Haven

I recently had the pleasure of hosting lunch at my home for the team at Haven Collective. It was such a great day! We did a photo shoot and interview for a feature on their website, I led them through a little meditation practice, and then we opened a bottle of rosé and sat down at my farm table to share a meal.

Entertaining is a huge part of my yoga practice. I love to create a space where people feel at home—where they can relax and enjoy themselves. To me, opening up my home is a lot like opening up my heart—I want to treat my guests to something special. It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal; in fact, I prefer casual gatherings that celebrate the simplicity of everyday life.

I put a lot of thought into the details, from designing the menu to setting the table to choosing the music. The whole process is an opportunity to express where and who I am in that moment. The mood, the feeling, the spirit of entertaining is always an reflection of my own experience. I find inspiration everywhere—books, travel, nature—and I love bringing my ideas to life.

I came up with a menu inspired by my trip to California—specifically, a dinner we enjoyed with friends at Chez Panisse in Berkley. Both the arugula salad and plum tart recipes are adapted from The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters. I bought sunflowers like the ones we saw driving through Napa, and I set the table with my favorite new spatterware dishes.

Avocado Toast

Makes 4

-4 slices of good, hearty bread, toasted
-2 avocados
-good olive oil
-chunky sea salt
-red chili pepper flakes
-freshly cracked black pepper

Drizzle each slice of toasted bread with a little olive oil. Scoop out a half of an avocado per slice; mash it onto the bread with a fork. Drizzle a little more olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red chili pepper flakes.

Lentil Salad With Cherry Tomatoes and French Feta

Serves 6

-2 cups cooked french lentils*
-ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half (as many as you want!)
-1/2 cup of French feta cheese, crumbled with your fingers
-1 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
-1 tsp dijon mustard
-1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar (white wine vinegar works fine)
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste

*You can make lentils at home, but I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s precooked lentils.

In a bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the lentils, tomatoes, and crumbled cheese. Toss together and adjust seasonings as necessary.

arugula salad

Arugula Fennel Salad with Shaved Parmesan, Toasted Pine Nuts

Adapted from Alice Water’s book, The Art of Simple Food.

-arugula
-1 fennel bulb, shaved paper thin, plus fennel fronds
-1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted until golden brown
-shaved parmesan
-1/2 lemon
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper

Toast the pine nuts on the stovetop, careful not to burn them! Use a mandolin (with the safety guard!) to slice the fennel. Shave strips of parmesan with a peeler. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss together right before serving.

Plum Tart

Adapted from Alice Water’s book, The Art of Simple Food.

Filling

-3 to 4 plums, sliced thin
-2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
-3 Tbsp sugar
-1 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
-pastry dough (homemade or store bought)

Pastry

-2 sticks unsalted butter
-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp sugar
-1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cold water

To make the pastry:

Cut 2 sticks of butter into small cubes. Place in a bowl and stick it in the freezer about 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to start.

2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 t sugar and 1 t salt go into a food processor.

Add the cubed butter to the food processor and pulse for 8-10 seconds. You want to break up the butter into pea-size pieces. Do not over mix!

Ice water at the ready, turn the food processor on and slowly pour in between 1/4 and 1/2 cup. You’ll start to see the water pull the flour into a dough. This takes about 30 seconds. Don’t panic and over mix. While it may look like a mess, just trust me—you don’t want the butter to fully dissolve into the dough. Those little bursts of fat are what make the crust crispy, and we want crispy.

Scoop out your dough and separate into two round balls. Pat them down with your palm to make flat discs. Wrap each in plastic and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Flour your working surface and your rolling pin. Roll out just one of the discs; you can freeze the second disc (or make another tart)! Always roll in one direction—going back and forth will get you into trouble. Turn the dough as you roll, and keep rolling until the pastry is about 1/8 of an inch thick.

To assemble the tart:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Leave a 1 inch border (that’s what you will be folding over the plums). Sprinkle the pastry with the flour but not the designated border. Overlap the slices of plum snugly in a single layer circle design. Fold over the pastry. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar all over the tart, including the pastry. Bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then carefully transfer to a rack.

Lunch was simple but so good. I loved getting to know the team at Haven; we talked about food and yoga (my favorite topics!) and shared a lot of laughs.

Sitting around the table together sharing food and conversation is the yoga of everyday life—an opportunity not only to be present, but to give and receive the gift of presence. My day with the Haven Collective team was a great reminder that genuine connection happens when we take a seat in the moment and savor the experience.

 

SHOP MY STYLE

Chrissy
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  • Thanks for welcoming me into your h(om)e.

    May this meditation help you find the peace within. I look forward to sharing more inspiration and goodies with you in my regular newsletters.

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