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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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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Savory Baked Oatmeal Skillet

Savory Baked Oatmeal Skillet with Spinach & Bacon

That’s right, oatmeal!

OK you guys, here’s the deal. After giving oatmeal a serious trash-talking in this post last month, I felt kind of bad. Because, let’s be honest, is it oatmeal’s fault that I dislike it so much every time I eat it? Or is it maybe mine for not figuring out how to prepare it in a way that I will actually enjoy? As much as I hate to admit it, I think it might be the latter. And so, after acknowledging my own shortcomings, I set out on a mission. A mission to make oatmeal that I would actually enjoy. And I succeeded. Mega big time.

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Asparagus & Greek Yogurt Custard Galette with Pickled Mustard Seeds & Lemon Zest

Asparagus, Cauliflower, & Greek Yoghurt Custard Galette

Do you ever have those weeks when you feel like the biggest, most accident-prone lummox alive? Those weeks when you think, “I’m going to stay right here, inside my house, and maybe just right in this chair, until I’m feeling safe enough to be around people and stuff again”? For me, last week was one of those weeks.

It all began two Sundays ago, when E and I returned from visiting NY for our Dad’s birthday. After a four hour car ride and a trip to the grocery store immediately upon returning home because I was starving, and there was no food to be eaten, all I wanted to do was put on some comfy pants and kick back with a glass of wine. If you’re a regular reader, you may remember me mentioning the overflowing dresser drawers in my closet a couple weeks ago. Being difficult to close, these drawers often just remain open, thanks to my laziness. Also, my closet (which can be referred to as a walk-in closet in only the most literal sense, as one can indeed talk a few steps into it) does not contain a working light. I’d run my shoulder into an open drawer a couple of times and thought, “ow, I should really close these more.” But on Sunday, as I went barreling into my dark closet, reaching down to grab comfy things from a bottom compartment, it was my face that made contact with the corner of an open drawer.

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Inside-Out Ravioli

Inside-Out Ravioli

I, as a child, was an absurdly picky eater. I have alluded to this on occasion, but I’ve held back on detailing my full blown neurosis for quite some time. Let’s discuss.

The first few minutes of my dinner were devoted to inspection. I would sift through and overturn every single thing on my plate, searching for a rogue onion that might have managed to latch onto my special, onion-free latke, or any other suspect ingredients that my mother might be trying to sneak by me. She once cut up pear slices and tried to pass them off as apples. I had none of that. She also once forgot to separate out my special latke before adding onions to the mixture, and served it to me convinced that I wouldn’t notice. YEAH RIGHT, MOM. You know those teeny tiny mushroom bits in Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup? I’d pick all of them out of my tuna noodle casserole before I’d even take a bite of it. My food could not touch other food. My orange juice always had to be strained. (Pulp-free orange juice is a MYTH people — it always needs to be strained. I still hate pulp. Blech.)

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