Hello and welcome to A Sweet Spoonful, my website cataloging living and cooking in my Pacific Northwest kitchen. My name is Megan Gordon, and I live in Seattle, WA with my husband Sam and our baby son, Oliver. I’m a writer, recipe developer, culinary educator and founder of Seattle-based Marge Granola.
I started this site in 2009 after losing my job teaching high school English in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the time, I began working in restaurants and writing about food for a small weekly newspaper. I’d write the blog at night, chronicling what I was cooking and baking at home throughout the week. Today, while many things have changed, the core of A Sweet Spoonful remains the same: it continues to be a place where I write about a recipe we’ve been enjoying in our home kitchen, interspersed with stories of crafting a full life: of falling in love, starting a business, building a home, writing a book, and having a baby. It’s become a community of loyal readers who often invite me into their kitchens each week, and I can’t imagine a greater compliment.
The recipes I highlight on the site are largely seasonal, mostly vegetarian and often focus on whole grains. And these days with an infant son in tow, I’m interested in quick, doable dinners and fuss-free recipes we can make in advance to enjoy throughout the week. And of course: breakfast. We love breakfast around here.
Today I oversee operations at Marge Granola; write for a number of online and print outlets; and develop recipes, copy and content for brands and small businesses. Learn more about how I can help you tell your story or amplify your brand in the Work With Me page.
Will you try my product and tell me what you think?
I don’t often review products or do promotions and giveaways on the site. I do, however, often mention products that I’m enjoying and using in our kitchen. If you are interested in sending me something that’s relevant to A Sweet Spoonful, please feel free to reach out. I’d certainly be open to trying your product, but I can’t guarantee that I will always mention it on the blog.
Can we advertise on your site and / or partner with you on sponsored content?
I’d love to talk with you further. Please head over to the Work With Me page for more information.
Do you take all of your own photos?
I do unless otherwise specified at the bottom of the post. I now work with a Canon 5D Mark 2 and shoot most of the time using a 24-70 mm lens.
I’d like to use one of your photos on my site – is that ok?
Everything on A Sweet Spoonful (including the photos) is protected by copyright. Please reach out and ask to get proper permissions.
Who designed your website?
My husband, Sam Schick, and Eli Van Zoeren of the branding firm Neversink brought this site to life. They’re pretty great.
I’d like to learn more about working with you.
I’d love to talk with you about partnership opportunities, recipe development, or content / copy creation. Head over to the Work With Me page to learn more.
Where are your favorite spots to eat in Seattle?
How do I contact you?
It turns out that returning from a sunny honeymoon to a rather rainy, dark stretch of Seattle fall hasn't been the easiest transition. Sam and I have been struggling a little to find our groove with work projects and even simple routines like cooking meals for one another and getting out of the easy daily ruts that can happen to us all. When we were traveling, we made some new vows to each other -- ways we can keep the fall and winter from feeling a bit gloomy, as tends to happen at a certain point living in the Pacific Northwest (for me, at least): from weekly wine tastings at our neighborhood wine shop to going on more lake walks. And I suppose that's one of the most energizing and invigorating parts about travel, isn't it? The opposite of the daily rut: the constant newness and discovery around every corner. One of my favorite small moments in Italy took place at a cafe in Naples when I accidentally ordered the wrong pastry and, instead, was brought this funny looking cousin of a croissant. We had a wonderfully sunny little table with strong cappuccino, and, disappointed by my lack of ordering prowess, I tried the ugly pastry only to discover my new favorite treat of all time (and the only one I can't pronounce): the sfogliatelle. I couldn't stop talking about this pastry, its thick flaky layers wrapped around a light, citrus-flecked sweet ricotta filling. It was like nothing I'd ever tried -- the perfect marriage of interesting textures and flavors. I became a woman obsessed. I began to see them displayed on every street corner; I researched their origin back at the hotel room, and started to look up recipes for how to recreate them at home. And the reason for the fascination was obviously that they were delicious. But even more: I'm so immersed in the food writing world that I rarely get a chance to discover a dish or a restaurant on my own without hearing tell of it first. And while a long way away from that Italian cafe, I had a similar feeling this week as I scanned the pages of Alice Medrich's new book, Flavor Flours, and baked up a loaf of her beautiful fall pumpkin loaf: Discovery, newness, delight!
I always force myself to wait until after Halloween to start thinking much about holiday pies or, really, future holidays in general. But this year I cheated a bit, tempted heavily by the lure of a warmly-spiced sweet potato pie that I used to make back when I baked pies for a living in the Bay Area (way back when). We seem to always have sweet potatoes around as they're one of Oliver's favorite foods, and when I roast them for his lunch I've been wishing I could turn them into a silky pie instead. So the other day I reserved part of the sweet potatoes for me. For a pie that I've made hundreds of times in the past, this time reimagined with fragrant brown butter, sweetened solely with maple syrup, and baked into a flaky kamut crust. We haven't started talking about the Thanksgiving menu yet this year, but I know one thing for sure: this sweet potato pie will make an appearance.
This time last week I was up in the Skagit River Valley sitting in the early fall sun eating wood-fired bagels and chatting with farmers, millers and bakers at the Kneading Conference West. I made homemade soba noodles, learned the ins and outs of sourdough starters, and sat in on a session where we tasted crackers baked with single varietal wheats. It was like wine tasting, but with wheat and the whole time I kept pinching myself, thinking: THESE ARE MY PEOPLE! I don't get the opportunity to be a student much these days -- usually on the other side of things teaching cooking classes or educating people at the farmers markets about whole grains and natural sugars. So to just sit and listen with a fresh (red!) notebook and a new pen was surprisingly refreshing. I miss it already. Thankfully, this cookie recipe has come back as a memorable souvenir, and one that is sure to be in high rotation in our house in the coming months.
Strolling New York City streets during the height of fall when all the leaves are changing and golden light glints off the brownstone windows. This is what I envisioned when I bought tickets to attend my cousin's September wedding earlier this month: Sam and I would extend the trip for a good day or two so we could experience a little bit of fall in the city. We'd finally eat at Prune and have scones and coffee at Buvette, as we always do. Sam wanted to take me to Russ and Daughters, and we'd try to sneak in a new bakery or ice cream shop for good measure. Well, as some of you likely know, my thinking on the weather was premature. New York City fall had yet to descend and, instead, we ambled around the city in a mix of humidity and rain. When we returned home I found myself excited about the crisp evening air, and the fact that the tree across the street had turned a rusty shade of amber. It was time to do a little baking.
I am writing this on Saturday afternoon on a day when we had big plans to conquer pre-baby chore lists, but Sam's not feeling great and my energy's a little low so it hasn't been quite what we'd envisioned. My goals for the morning were to repot a house plant and make some soup and I've done neither. I will say that the sweet potato and fennel are still sitting on the counter eagerly awaiting their Big Moment -- it just hasn't come about quite yet. Sam and I were both going to attempt to install the carseat, but it started to look really daunting so we abandoned ship; it's now sitting proudly in the basement, also eagerly awaiting its Big Moment. So it's been one of those weekends -- the kind you look back on and wonder what it is you actually accomplished. At the very least, I get the chance to tell you about this hearty cranberry cornbread. I know maybe it feels premature in the season for cranberry recipes, but hang with me here: slathered with a little soft butter and runny honey, there's nothing I'd rather eat right now on the cool, crisp Seattle mornings we've been having lately.