Winter Cabin Escape | Part I of II

We escaped.


My friends Mona, Jaret, Russ and Sarah and I stole 24 hours out of our packed schedules to breathe, connect and create beauty together. Hours passed by and somehow time seemed to stand still.

We spent the entire day outside. It was cold – snowing and completely freezing. But it didn’t matter. We cooked and feasted. Hours of REAL conversation felt like a deep breath of fresh air. There were laughs. Exposed hearts. We shared not only our dreams, but the pursuit of them – and –  the reality behind chasing after the “has yet to be”.

Woods, cabin, river, snow, beauty, like minded hearts, rich souls, connection, creativity, heart. I still feel refueled. There couldn’t have been a more rewarding 24 hours spent.


[This is Part I of II. See corresponding post here]


There are few words to describe this magical, stolen day, so I’ll just let the images tell the story & say this:

Incredible things happen when you get amazing people around a table that see the world the same way. Beauty opens up when you surround yourself with friends who are real and vulnerable. Who open up and share struggles. Friends who recognize greatness in each other and champion it.

I hope you feel inspired by this story & plan your own escape soon with friends…. Pack up, go, & gather.


For the full experience, view the collection with this soundtrack.


This post is part 1 of 2 for an all inclusive menu with recipes for your own getaway with friends.

Part 1 features:

Coffee and Cardamom Braised Lamb Shanks with Figs & Kumquat Gremolata
Grilled Halloumi & Flowering Raab with Pistachio-Olive Relish & Pickled Chilis



Concept development, photography, art direction, prop sourcing & styling, writing by Christiann Koepke
Recipe development, menu curation, ingredient sourcing, cooking and food styling by Mona & Jaret of Tournant
Location scouting, on site management, production assistant: Russ Lowe
Production assistant: Sarah Knott


5 from 2 votes

Grilled Halloumi & Flowering Raab with Pistachio-Olive Relish & Pickled Chilis

Hot, melty cheese, pleasantly bitter greens and a briny, crunchy, zingy relish come together in one delicious dish filled with textural contrasts and surprising flavors.
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Mona Johnson & Jaret Foster


  • 1 pound flowering raab such as kale collard or brussels sprout (seek out at your local farmers market) or substitute with broccolini or purple sprouting broccoli (halved through the stem if thick)
  • 8 oz block of halloumi cheese
  • 1 cup castelveltrano olives pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup roasted salted pistachios, chopped
  • ½ preserved lemon rind only, pulp discarded, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup good extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons pickled chilis such as Mama Lil’s, chopped
  • Flaky salt
  • Mustard flowers for garnish optional


  • Method:
  • Grill raab over medium high heat directly on grate over fire until stems are tender and leaves are crispy and blackened in spots.
  • Slice halloumi into rectangles about ¼ inch thick. Grill over medium high heat directly on grate over fire until hot and blacked in spots.
  • Mix chopped olives, pistachios and preserved lemon together in a small bowl. Stir in olive oil to create a chunky relish.
  • Mound grilled raab attractively on a platter. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Arrange grilled halloumi on top, then spoon over relish, scatter with pickled chilis and mustard flowers (if using) and serve.
  • Time saving ideas:
  • Slice halloumi in advance.
  • Prepare olive relish and/or chop chilis in advance.


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