books

QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.
  • It's the time, of the season. || Recipe for my

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Monthly Archives: September 2012

A Friend In Pie: Beatrice Peltre

Béatrice Peltre is adorable. I’ll begin this post on that simple fact. From her clothes to her aprons to her photo props, the woman is the very picture of uncompromising, impeccable adorability (Is that a word? It is now).

When she generously agreed to provide me with a recipe for A Year of Pies, I was over the moon. THE Béatrice Peltre, she of the much-lauded, much-loved La Tartine Gourmande, in my little pie book?! Holy wow! Her spring-centric recipe for Watercress, Appenzeller Cheese and Smoked Salmon Tart is one you’ll prize for many, many moons.

If you aren’t familiar with Béa’s work, you must. go. now to her gorgeous blog. Full of exquisite, evocative images and tempting, gluten-free recipes, it’s no small wonder that La Tartine Gourmade garners so much praise and wins so many awards and “Best Of” categories. Béa’s book of the same name is a serious beauty, too. An all-around accomplished blogger, author, photographer, and food stylist, this woman knows what she’s doing, on so very many levels.

Thank you, Béa, for your contribution to the book. Having your voice and recipe present is such a treasure!

 

*Image from Eat Boutique.

Sorghum Smitten

Although I was born outside of Chicago, in Joliet, Illinois, I’ve spent the greater part of my life in the southeastern U.S.. As a Southerner, then, I’ve long been privy to bits of commonly known regional information. Which is to say that I’m well aware that the sole vowel in the color “pink” is often swapped out with an “a” when said aloud (say it with me now-”Pank”), that the term “Darlin’” can be both a term of endearment and a reproach, and that there are very clearly drawn lines in the sand when it comes to the preparation of BBQ (the war of saucy versus vinegar rages large).

What I’ve been less schooled on, however, is sorghum. Though the long-running sweetener indigenous to the region before the sugar cane barons pushed it out, sorghum wasn’t part of my southern roots cuisine. Until this past year, that is. Hubs and I discovered several local producers of the grass-related sweetener and have been smitten ever since. So much so, in fact, that we offered a 3-part series of recipes showcasing all things sorghum last winter. If you missed them, here’s what we shared:

*Sorghum-Roasted Short Ribs with Ponzu Citrus Fennel Slaw

*Sorghum & Bourbon Salmon with Brussels Sprouts Braised In Sorghum & Hard Cider

*Sorghum-Glazed Pork Chops with Sorghum Collards

Sorghum is having a renaissance of sorts, it would seem. We’re not the only ones taking notice, either. NPR did a bit on the cane sweetener last week. The Local Palate, a magazine based out of Charleston, SC, has a Caramelized Apple Upside Down Cornbread Cake featuring the sticky stuff that will definitely be coming out of my oven.  Our chocolate buddies, Jael & Dan, are even offering a Sorghum Caramel Truffle (go get it, now!).

If you haven’t yet heard of sorghum, don’t be surprised if you do soon. It’s versatile, delicious, and domestically-produced.

Consider yourself now properly Southern-schooled.

Weekend Review

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you had a great weekend. Ours was filled with, well, food, mostly!

We held another gathering for the new book. This one had both a farmer’s market and kiddo emphasis, so there was a good deal of seasonally appropriate winter squash-, swiss chard-, and apple-eating happening. The littles also got their craft on, getting almost as much paint on their projects as on their fingers and clothes!

Hubs whipped up that scrumptious sandwich above. It was packed to the gills with braunschweiger (scratch-made from local meats by the Chop Shop), homemade apple-fennel slaw, my bread &  butter pickles, and raw gouda. A nice little autumn meal, washed down with hard cider.

And my little peanut sauce and I can’t stop eating pretzels and taking pictures of ourselves in photo booth. Love that wild guy, so, so much!

We’re also listening to this, this, and this, on repeat. I’m a repeat song-listening offender. It can’t be helped.

Hope your week ahead is a good one!

What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! I’m loving all this fall crispness, aren’t you? I even bought a new pair of jeans, my first in 7 years! And some Land’s End wool sweaters I scored over the summer for crazy cheap (we’re talking 80-85% off) with birthday money (thanks Mom and Nanny!) have even gone into rotation. Good stuff.

Here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*NPR introduces me to the best music.
*Buttermilk has it’s day in the sun (but don’t call it a comeback, it’s been here for years!).
*Foraging restaurant in Chicago, I’ve got my sites on you (via Faryn).
*Win a trivet for your canner (it’s the last day to enter the giveaway!).
*Nutella! Stuffed! Brown Butter! Sea Salt! Chocolate! Chip! Cookies!  (via Joanna).
*Good Taste Gatherings is a great project.
*Women & Money looks like a great conference for local ladies.
*French apple cake (via Amanda).
*6 easy ways to boost your immune system this fall.
*Saving tomato seeds.
*10 green ways to get excited about autumn.

I’ve got a Small Measures post up on Design Sponge today. I’m chatting about using honey to care for summer weary feet. Go give your tired, haggard dogs a little liquid R&R.

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

*Our tiny Englishman is getting his craft on, via Mama K’s Play Clay and Clementine Art crayons.

Smells Like Autumn

When the weather cools, I find myself wanting the scents of the season to envelop me. From the smell of leaf piles burning, to the ambrosial scent of a basket of fresh apples, once the mercury dips, I’m ready to pull on a cardigan and start baking gingerbread, apple pie, and hot, mulled cider.

That little apple you see above is riddled with whole cloves, a project I’m working on for my new book. By the way, said book now has a working title I can share with you-HANDMADE GATHERINGS: Recipes and Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations, Communal Potlucks, and Collaborative Parties. It’ll be out in Spring 2014, from Roost. SO exciting!

But back to that apple. It’s a pomander, an easy way of imbuing your home with the smell of cloves and fruit during the autumn and winter months, when the aroma of cloves is where it’s at. And they couldn’t be easier to make.

You simply get an apple (you can also do this with citrus fruits, which I do every winter, when fresh citrus comes into the markets), get a whole mess of cloves, and stud the fruit with it. If you riddle the entire fruit, it’ll last longer. If you have neither the inclination nor the patience (mine took 23 minutes, start to finish), you can also simply make a design, or your initials, or an image in the apple.

That’s it. Done. Scents of the season, in your home, in minutes. Sounds (and smells) good to me!