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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Chickpea & Pomegranate Dip + Tasty Pitta Chips

Chickpea & Pomegranate Dip + Tasty Pitta Chips, from the Top With Cinnamon cookbook

Oh, life. How do you manage to be both crazy and awesome simultaneously? I have spent the past several weeks as a ball of excitement and anxiety. Perhaps because I’ve grown too used to cushy freelance life, so when I actually have to do big, out-of-the-ordinary things, all I want is for a fainting couch to appear in my room and a mint julep to materialize in my hand. (And also for my room to be a completely different room. One with a view of something that isn’t a city street, and that doesn’t contain what appears to be the remnants of a bomb made of dishes, clothes, and cardboard boxes.) Or perhaps it’s because I said “yes” to a lot of things all at once. Yes to shoots in the days preceeding and following the workshop Eva and I hosted in upstate NY. Yes to cutting my avocado food/prop sourcing time down to one absolutely insane day so I could spend a couple days in the Adirondacks instead (worth it). Oh and my birthday happened somewhere amidst all of that? Interesting.

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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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Sriracha-Roasted Chickpeas & Cauliflower with Pickled Mustard Seeds

Sriracha-Roasted Chickpeas & Cauliflower with Pickled Mustard Seeds

For everyone that celebrated Easter this past weekend, I hope you had a great time! I hosted again this year (and gave a little run-down of the menu on Saturday), and we had a blast. Good friends + good food + many emptied bottles of champagne = best. easter. ever.

While I was extremely happy with the way all the dishes turned out (despite the fact that we ate about an hour later than I intended), the stars in my eyes were two very simple things that I prepared the night before. So much so that I actually remade both so I could tell you all about them. We’ll talk about the other next week. (I’m super psyched for that, as I think I actually managed to improve it the second time around with the slightest of tweaks. Also, it involves booze. Huzzah.) But right now, we’re going to talk about my new favorite condiment: pickled mustard seeds.

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