about eclaire

wikipedia notes that “little is known about the origin of the éclair, a pastry traditionally filled with a coffee- or chocolate-flavored custard…but the Oxford English Dictionary traces the term ‘eclair’ in the English language to 1861.”

on wikipedia, little is known about this eclaire’s origin either, but i was born on a foggy july afternoon 120 years later to loving parents in a northern california beach town. they named me after my great-great grandmother (emilie) and great-grandmother (clara) – hence the nickname “eclaire.” my life tends to be just as full as the traditional pastry, and often full of coffee and chocolate…so what’s in a name? would i, with any other non-pastry name, love food as much as i do? probably not!

my love affair with food began early on, and increased as my parents involved me in all the food they concocted as soon as i could reach the counter with a step stool. they creatively and courageously accommodated my allergies to wheat, corn, and dairy when i was a young child, way back before food allergies were a fairly common phenomenon. my parents learned how to create bread and pizza crusts from oat flour and use soy or goat milk instead of cow milk. later in my youth, when the allergies were gone but i decided i didn’t like meat, they taught me about balancing proteins, how to make amazing vegetarian fare, and often divided sauces into two pans to incorporate my tofu and their (and my sister’s) turkey or chicken or fish. they taught my sister and me to enjoy the process of cooking seasonal meals with fresh organic produce, as well as the importance of sitting down to dinner at the table with family and without tv. what a family!

after i left for college, and began cooking in my very own apartment with my then-boyfriend, now-husband mike, we began avidly seeking out new recipes to make together, as well as bribing my parents to send us the classic recipes that i grew up eating. mike convinced me, way back in july of ‘08, to take my passions for writing, cooking, baking, and photography, and combine them into this blog. it’s exciting to share healthy, easy, and delicious vegetarian and vegan fare with you – my friends, family, and fellow food lovers.

in between working, cooking, baking, taking photos, blogging, swimming, and running, i decided it was time to go back to school. so, in september of 2010 i quit my job at a non-profit, and mike & i moved a couple of states north to seattle so i could pursue a masters degree in public administration at the university of washington. we decided to stay in seattle afterwards, and i’m now working at an amazing nonprofit community health clinic. we’re eating and cooking our way through life, documenting everything on this site for you, of course. thanks for coming along for the ride, and i hope you enjoy the recipes!

~emilie claire powell