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 toddler son, Oliver. I’m work as the Director of Marketing and Sales at Simply Recipes, and in my free time continue writing culinary content, developing recipes, and teaching cooking classes.
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.
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?
Healthy Comfort Food
People describe raising young kids as a particular season in life. I hadn't heard this until we had a baby, but it brought me a lot of comfort when I'd start to let my mind wander, late at night between feedings, to fears that we'd never travel internationally again or have a sit-down meal in our dining room. Would I ever eat a cardamom bun in Sweden? Soak in Iceland? I loved the heck out of our tiny Oliver, but man what had we done?! Friends would swoop in and reassure us that this was just a season, a blip in the big picture of it all. They promised we'd likely not even remember walking around the house in circles singing made-up songs while eating freezer burritos at odd hours of the day (or night). And it's true.
Oliver is turning two next month, and those all-encompassing baby days feel like a different time, a different Us. In many ways, dare I say it, Toddlerhood actually feels a bit harder. Lately Oliver has become extremely opinionated about what he will and will not wear -- and he enforces these opinions with fervor. Don't get near the kid with a button-down shirt. This week at least. He's obsessed with his rain boots and if it were up to him, he'd keep them on at all times, especially during meals. He insists on ketchup with everything (I created a damn monster), has learned the word "trash" and insists on throwing found items away on his own that really, truly are not trash. I came to pick him up from daycare the other day and he was randomly wearing a bike helmet -- his teacher mentioned he'd had it on most of the day and really, really didn't want to take it off. The kid has FEELINGS. I love that about him, and wouldn't want it any other way. But, man it's also exhausting.
I just finished washing out Oliver's lunchbox and laying it out to dry for the weekend. My favorite time of day is (finally) here: the quiet of the evening when I can actually talk to Sam about our day or sit and reflect on my own thoughts after the inevitable dance party or band practice that precedes the bedtime routine lately. Before becoming pregnant for the second time, I'd have had a glass of wine with the back door propped open right about now -- these days though, I have sparkling water or occasionally take a sip from one of Sam's hard ciders. Except now the back door's closed and we even turned on the heat for the first time yesterday. The racing to water the lawn and clean the grill have been replaced by cozier dinners at home and longer baths in the evening. You blink and it's the first day of fall.
I'd heard from many friends that buying a house wasn't for the faint of heart. But I always shrugged it off, figuring I probably kept better files or was more organized and, really, how hard could it be? Well, I've started (and stopped) writing this post a good fifteen times which may indicate something. BUT! First thing's first: we bought a house! I think! I'm pretty sure! We're still waiting for some tax transcripts to come through and barring any hiccough with that, we'll be moving out of our beloved craftsman in a few weeks and down the block to a great, brick Tudor house that we wanted the second we laid eyes on it. The only problem: it seemed everyone else in Seattle had also laid eyes on it, and wanted it equally as much. I'm not really sure why the homeowner chose us in the end. Our offer actually wasn't the highest, but apparently there were some issues with a few of them. We wrote a letter introducing ourselves and describing why we'd be the best candidates and why we were so drawn to the house; we have a really wonderful broker who pulled out all the stops, and after sifting through 10 offers and spending a number of hours deliberating, they ended up going with ours. We were at a friend's book event at the time when Sam showed me the text from our broker and I kind of just collapsed into his arms. We were both in ecstatic denial (wait, is this real?! Did we just buy a house?) and celebrated by getting chicken salad and potato salad from the neighborhood grocery store and eating it, dazed, on our living room floor. Potato salad never tasted so good.
If your house is anything like ours, last week wasn't our most inspired in terms of cooking. We're all suffering from the post-election blues -- the sole upside being Oliver's decision to sleep-in until 7 am for the first time in many, many months; I think he's trying to tell us that pulling the covers over our heads and hibernating for awhile is ok. It's half-convincing. For much of the week, instead of cooking, there'd been takeout pizza and canned soup before, at week's end, I decided it was time to pour a glass of wine and get back into the kitchen. I was craving something hearty and comforting that we could eat for a few days. Something that wouldn't remind me too much of Thanksgiving because, frankly, I can't quite gather the steam to start planning for that yet. It was time for a big bowl of chili.
Porridge is not the sexiest of breakfasts, it's true. It doesn't have a stylish name like strata or shakshuka, and it doesn't have perfectly domed tops like your favorite fruity muffin. It doesn't crumble into delightful bits like a good scone nor does it fall into buttery shards like a well-made croissant. But when you wake up and it's 17 degrees outside (as it has been, give or take a few, for the last week), there's nothing that satisfies like a bowl of porridge or oatmeal. It's warm and hearty and can be made sweet or savory with any number of toppings. The problem? Over the years, it's gotten a bad rap as gluey or gummy or just downright boring or dutiful -- and it's because not everyone knows the secrets to making a great pot of warm morning cereal. So let's talk porridge (also: my cookbook comes out this month! So let's take a peek inside, shall we?)