Croatia Photography & Styling Workshop

Croatia Photography & Styling Workshop

Hey friends! I know things have been rather quiet around here lately, as I try to find balance in my hectic-but-fun freelance life. I actually have some changes in the works that will (hopefully!) be coming soon, and inspire me to be more present in the blog world. But I’m back here right now because I want to share our amazing experience at our Croatia workshop last fall, aaand announce our return to this beautiful country in October!

Early last year, Eva and I were tossing around location ideas for a fall workshop, and Croatia made it onto the list of possibilities. I knew nothing about this country. It seemed intriguing but foreign, and if the decision had been mine to make in the moment, I probably would have chosen Greece or somewhere that felt a little more familiar. But during a conversation with a chef friend of mine, I happened to rattle off a few of the countries we were considering visiting. Without hesitation, he said, “dude, definitely go to Croatia.” He went on to talk about the amazing forests and foraging there, and I was pretty much sold. I excitedly relayed all this to Eva, and it was decided: Croatia here we come.

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Five Bites & Cocktails: A Holiday Collaboration with Vermont Creamery & Stonecutter Spirits

Bites & Booze: Cheese and cocktail parings with Vermont Creamery and Stonecutter Spirits

Oh hey, December. Wow. I’ll save my 2015 reminiscing for another time, but I will just say that this year has been a whirlwind of new places, new people, and new opportunities. I’ve had a couple months break from traveling, which has given me time to work on a few projects with folks closer to home. And this collaboration with Vermont Creamery and Stonecutter Spirits is by far my favorite!

I began talking with FM from Vermont Creamery about this project a few months ago, and was pretty excited about it from the start. The idea was to create five different “bites” using Vermont Creamery cheeses, while Sas from Stonecutter Spirits and Jeff from Oak45 crafted cocktails to pair with them. And then we’d take a day to photograph the bites and cocktails, along with holiday tablescapes filled with delicious foods and desserts, in Oak45’s beautiful space. Cheese, booze, partnering with awesome Vermont businesses, and getting to stand on tables all day in a gorgeous space with perfect light? Yup, basically my dream project.

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Crème Fraîche Mashed Potatoes

Crème Fraîche Mashed Potatoes (plus tips for making perfect potatoes)

I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for the past six years. It started out small, with just my brother, our friend, and me. Several years ago my parents started joining us. Then they invited a friend, and a couple more friends, and more of my friends started coming too. This year, there will be twelve of us, which is the most people I’ve ever squeezed into my little apartment for feasting purposes. It’s the largest group I’ve ever hosted by far, so I’m slightly nervous, but I think I’ve got enough experience at this point to bring my A-game. And one thing that I felt like I finally perfected last year was the mashed potatoes. My mom agreed, stating that they were the best she’d ever had. She asked me for the recipe a couple times, and all I could tell her was “uhhhh it’s potatoes plus lots of butter and crème fraîche, some buttermilk, and then salt, pepper, and garlic powder until it tastes good.” This year, I decided to actually figure it out.

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Vermont Creamery: Aged Cheeses + A Holiday Collaboration!

Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche

Hi all! I have just barely settled back into Vermont life after traveling for the better part of October. Croatia was an awesome, gorgeous blur, and part of me wishes I could have stayed there forever with the kittens, sunrises, and all the amazing gals that joined us for our workshop. From there I went right to hot, busy L.A., where I got to see/meet all of my boyfriend’s wonderful family. His aunts (hi April and Linda!) took me shopping at a flower market and I almost died of happiness. We went to see CARRIE in the beautiful old Los Angeles Theatre. (If you’re in L.A., like musicals, a little gore, etc., go see it. It’s great, and his crazy talented cousin Emily plays Carrie.) Then it was off to Davis with his mom and sister (hi Lani! hi Heather!), where we celebrated Lani’s birthday with tacos and heart-shaped pies and cookies, and I got to eat an ice cream sandwich from CREAM. We took a day trip to San Fran to meet Nik for lunch and Alanna and Todd for drinks and dinner. Then it was hot springs in Sierraville, blackjack in Reno (also great breakfast, lunch, and coffee), and then home to Vermont. I missed most of fall in the northeast. And apparently the first snow. I think my birthday happened somewhere in there. All in all, it has been a great month so far. And the rest of October promises to be just as good, since I’m wrapping it up with a couple super fun collaborations with Vermont Creamery!

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Blueberry & Sweet Corn Flaugnarde

Blueberry & Sweet Corn Flaugnarde

I’ve spent the last week and a half in isolated surroundings in upstate NY. I could probably tell you the details of every single face-to-face conversation I’ve had in the past ten days, from a brief discussion with the FedEx guy about moving my car so he could back out of the driveway to apologizing to my dentist for all the chocolate-covered licorice I ate in Iceland. I like having these periods of quiet time to myself, because it gives me a chance to slow down, focus on work, and just really enjoy being a super introvert. And getting to spend that time in a rural, woodsy setting makes it even better. I ran along trails, I took care of my mom’s garden, and I was absolutely delighted to discover that there were ripe raspberries and black raspberries all along the driveway.

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