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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Mustard Chicken with Celery Root Pureé and Kale Salad + A Cape Cod Workshop!

Mustard Chicken with Celery Root Pureé and Kale, Apple, & Candied Hazelnut Salad + A Cape Cod Workshop!

It’s spring! Supposedly…

It’s kind of hard to believe here in Vermont. There’s still snow and ice on the ground. Hats, gloves, and winter coats are still necessary for outdoor activities. (Which, for me, consist almost exclusively of darting from my apartment to my car and driving to places that are shamefully close to where I live.) I somehow managed to catch a cold or a fever or the plague, or maybe all three, and then reset back to Sickness: Day 1 after celebrating feeling the best I had in days with some wine on Saturday. So it might be spring, but I’m still craving warm, cozy meals, hot tea, and endless amounts of soup.

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Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography & Fly Fishing Workshop (and a few words about fear)

Miso Veggie Breakfast Bowl + Asheville Photography Workshop

2015. Whoa.

I have sat down to write this post several times. To talk about how amazing 2014 was, and how this year is shaping up to be even more incredible. January is barely half over, and my year is already filled with travel plans. Tulum in less than a month. Workshops near and far. I want to tell you how excited I am for all that. Because I am, truly, beyond excited. But before I do, I would like to talk a little about anxiety and fear.

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Mini Nutmeg-Crème Fraîche Bundt Cakes with Angostura Glaze + a giveaway!

Mini Nutmeg-Crème Fraîche Bundt Cakes with Angostura Glaze + a giveaway!

Happy Monday!

I am super excited about today’s post for two reasons. One: these little cakes are the realization of a flavor combination I’ve been obsessing over for about a year now. Two: It’s November, which means I (along with a bunch of other amazing bloggers) am once again teaming up with Vermont Creamery to bring you some tasty crème fraîche recipes and a giveaway! And this year’s giveaway is AWESOME, you guys. It includes:

♦ An assortment of Vermont Creamery goodies: crème fraîche, vanilla crème fraîche, cultured butter with sea salt & maple, sea salt butter basket, and fresh goat cheese.

♦ A raw pine cake box (with cupcake inserts!) + leather strap handle from PieBox.

♦ A French taper rolling pin from Vermont Farm Table.

Revel Chocolates (including crème fraîche truffles) from Lake Champlain Chocolates.

♦ Vermont maple syrup and maple cream from The Syrup Shop.

♦ A Camp Icon card set from Scout’s Honor Paper.

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