Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract

bourbon vanilla

My earliest attempts in food making began with baking. I think it was the chocolate that acted as the inspiration. Here and there I made dinners and side dishes for family gatherings. But, what I really appreciated was the baking; the chocolate cakes; brownies of different sorts; dark chocolate. It was one of my most loved activities, next to listening to Sufjan Stevens and exploring.

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Happy Holidays. Happy chocolate mousse that is somehow vegan.

Happy belated Thanksgiving. Happy Christmas season. Happy recipes for chocolaty goodness.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetMy husband gave a sermon to our church that I thought I would share before we got into the recipe.

He talked of Christmas and giving and how it has become a holiday of consumption – it is not a new occurrence, just watch A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).

Of course we won’t stop giving gifts as a part of the season. But we should become more thoughtful with our gifts and time. Considering the season is based in joy, hope, peace, and love, the message was incredibly relevant. He created an acronym to challenge some of our Christmas attitudes and traditions: GIFT.

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Eggs three ways.

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My daughter and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend some time at a local farm, Radical Roots. It’s a beautiful wild property. They have a vast amount of space for so many different vegetables, one of which is featured in one of the recipes and is utterly delicious. The property is tamed with small agriculture but has so much wild space surrounding the farm. We spent time playing at a creek that, I later learned, connects to my father’s property. They recently planted an orchard. There is talk of cows. They have chickens. Chickens mean fresh eggs. I cannot express my love for fresh farm eggs. These beautiful eggs hold so much more flavor and color. They are absolutely preferential. If you can get your hands on farm fresh eggs I highly recommend it. And, although I have not met many farmers, I am certain that most are just as generous as our new friends. We left with a bounty of fresh food that filled our pantry and refrigerator: leeks, green onion, hakurei turnips, peppers, cauliflower, eggs, squash, potatoes, and fresh thyme, cilantro and dill.

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A Cabin in the Forest; Breakfast Pizza

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If you ever have the opportunity to join friends at a cabin in mid-eastern Ohio, do it. Really any cabin at all. Our invitation just happened to be for a cabin in rural Ohio where the landscape begins to roll into the beginnings of Appalachia. Autumn is easily my favorite season with the leaves beginning to change and the air turning crisp. The necessity of wearing pants and a sweater to stay warm outside is pure joy. Enjoying the beginning of this season in a secluded cabin surrounded by friends, turning trees, and a small peaceful lake was the best way to welcome and celebrate autumn.

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Apple Orchard Crisp

imageWorking at a café, I often talk about the weather. So, I am well informed that it has been chilly for the past week or so. Although many in our community are saddened by the cool air-perhaps because of the horribly, unnaturally frigid winter we had last year-I, and my family, are embracing it. Good morning crisp, fresh air! Hello thick, cozy sweaters! Welcome autumn. We have been waiting for you. Thank you for bringing the beautiful bright colors and delicious harvests. Continue reading “Apple Orchard Crisp”

September Slow-Food Dinner, Panic! Bread

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This past weekend we hosted a dinner party of sorts. I began talking about it at the beginning of summer while I was planting our food garden. I was inspired to have a dinner centered around food that was grown or caught – to bring us all closer to our food, shed light on what foods are local, how much hard work goes growth, care, and preparation, and hopefully to feel some satisfaction turning little seeds into a nourishing meal. Continue reading “September Slow-Food Dinner, Panic! Bread”

Salvation, Fried Green Tomatoes

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I thought the first blog post would be about my passions, my life, and my goals. It would have highlighted what I was planning on writing on: food, cooking, coffee, gardening, people. . .  As a precursor to writing, I have spent the last week reading beautifulblogs and came away feeling completely unoriginal. I felt I had no new or fresh ideas to add. And maybe I don’t . . .  but I was inspired to write,

something happened,

tragedy struck!

Let me explain . . . Continue reading “Salvation, Fried Green Tomatoes”