Thanksgiving with Art in the Age

The people over at Art in the Age are much more classy than the industry standard of class. They came up with some spectacular Thanksgiving recipes and I couldn't not share them with you. (Like my double-negative there? Trying to keep you on your toes.) I'm kind of a jerk for posting all of these recipes so late (depending on how my night goes, I may be sharing even more tomorrow... whoops?) but who says that their goodness should be limited to one day a year? I say, "nay." I say "let the Pilgrim's Punch flow freely whenever it so wishes."

Pilgrim's Punch

What you'll need:
 - 1 bottle SAGE
 - 1/2 cup Cointreau 
 - 1 bottle sparkling wine 
 - 1 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
 - 1 1/4 cup simple syrup (1:1) 
 - 3 cups club soda 
 - 6 lemons, cut into quarter-wheels 
 - 3 limes, cut into wheels 
 - 1 pint fresh raspberries 
 - 1 pint fresh cranberries 
 - 1 pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes Ice block

Combine all the fruit in a large punch bowl. Add the gin, juice, syrups,. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours. Just before serving, add the sparkling wine, club soda and an ice block.

Spodee Vinaigrette

What you'll need:
 - 2 cups Spodee wine 
 - 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar 
 - 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard 
 - 1 Cup Olive Oil 
 - Dash Salt Dash Pepper

Combine Spodee wine, vinegar and mustard in mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil slowly and season with salt and pepper. Can be stored in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Thank you folks at Art in the Age for being so much cooler than me and for sharing your deliciousness with the world. I think this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


*Photos and recipes courtesy of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Roasted Grapefruit

I know that foregoing the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving seems sort of blasphemous because it's supposed to be the one day a year when you indulge in everything and blah blah blah but if you're like me and doing well on your diet, working out, and losing weight, there's absolutely nothing wrong with finding a healthy alternative. Baked fruit is a favorite of mine. It's an easy way to trick yourself into thinking you're eating something sugary and sweet because it is sugary and sweet but without (most of) the guilt.

What you'll need:
 - 1 Grapefruit
 - Brown Sugar & Sugar in the Raw
 - Any mix of nuts and/or dried fruit you'd like to add.

Preheat the oven to 350. Segment the grapefruit by cutting an asterisk into it and then cutting around the edges. This helps the sugar to distribute evenly while it melts. Sprinkle a generous amount of brown sugar and sugar in the raw on the top. When the oven is ready, roast the grapefruit. Cooking times may vary, begin with 20 minutes and check back often. I like the top of mine to be a little burnt. When it seems to be baked to your liking, take it out and sprinkle some nuts on top for a little added protein. I added raw almonds, walnuts and dried blueberries. Serve hot. Yum yum yum!


some tunes for you

Sun Song, Laura Veirs (Warp & Weft) - Everything about this song is perfect in my book. It's captivating. Ethereal. It's also pretty catchy-- I've been finding myself singing it at the most unexpected times. The words seem to mesh flawlessly with the melody and the little details are all in the perfect places. I've been listening to it on repeat because I've felt so stressed out lately and it does a good job of diffusing the anxiety. Give it a listen, you'll more than likely feel the same. 


Hearty Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

vegan, Thanksgiving, soup, recipe,
It would seem as if soup season is upon us. I think that soup may be what draws me to the cold weather more than anything else. Who doesn't love it? There is a soup for anyone and everyone. This is hopefully the first of many soups I'll be making between now and springtime. One of my weird perpetual cravings is Italian Wedding Soup. (I know, right?) This one is my remedy for that, except it's slightly more hearty. It'll definitely be a staple for me in these upcoming cold months.

What you'll need: (Makes four generous servings)
 - 1 Carton of Vegetable Stock
 - 1/2lb of Baby Red Potatoes
 - 1/4 Onion
 - 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
 - 3 Large Handfuls of Greens (I used Escarole, Baby Spinach, and Swiss Chard)
 - Olive Oil, Salt, Crushed Red Pepper, and Garlic

Begin by pouring the entire carton of vegetable stock along with two cups of water into a pot and boil. Add a dash of salt and rosemary. While the water is boiling, prep the vegetables. Cut the potatoes in half and the onion into small slices. When the water comes to a boil, add the potatoes. Leave the water at a boil. Take 1/4 of the package of vegan sausage patties and roll them into small meatball-like spheres.

While the potatoes are boiling, coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil. Add the onion, crushed red pepper, and as much or as little garlic as you'd like. (I like a LOT.) Once the oil is heated, sauté the greens. Cooking time for them can vary. Once they are tender, (usually should take no more than 10 minutes) transfer them to the broth and reduce to a simmer. Keep the pot covered for this part. In the same pan, brown the "sausage." Once again, cooking times may vary. Just wait for them to be evenly browned. Once they're brown, add them to the soup as well. Simmer uncovered for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

vegan, italian, wedding, soup, recipe, thanksgiving,
Relatively easy to complete, no? Perfect after-church lunch to whip up during a football game on a chilly Sunday afternoon. Could even be a great vegan addition to the Thanksgiving table this year. It's sure to be a hit among herbivores and carnivores alike.


snapshots from lately

It took me three months but I'm finally getting used to my new crazy life. Things are finally falling into place and it's wonderful. I'm back to doing the things I love: cooking, decorating, laying around on the sofa and watching Netflix while working on photos... living the life basically. No kidding though-- I've "watched" Hot Rod about 7 times in the past month. And by "watched," I mean it was my background noise while I worked on a wedding. Yes indeed, definitely getting back to the way things used to be. Well, as possible as doing that is. I'm not complaining though. I know for sure that I'm going to look back on these days and revere them as some of the best times of my life, or rather, some of the most difficult times of my life but I would have never "found myself" without them. Either way, here's to settling in!


insta lately

I need to start taking more iPhone photos again. I love looking back and realizing how many beautiful colors and textures are a part of my daily life. It's always an encouragement.


the head, the heart, and the feet

It's a beautiful thing when the mind is determined on what the heart wants and the feet are eager to go. Sometimes all three align in a harmonious way and that's when wonderful things happen. I'm learning day by day that the time is now. Youth is fleeting, you might as well chase your dreams while you're young and stupid and not tied down by TOO much responsibility, no? This has been a large portion of my thoughts lately. I'm content and I hope my newfound wisdom and motivation may be of some help to you as well.


We Could be Explorers

Exploring can be fun. Exploring season is almost over though, so if you haven't been on a good adventure yet this autumn, you best go out and do that soon. 


P.S. Photos are by my good friend Kristi. Check out her blog. Make her post on it more often too, while you're at it.

November: A Playlist

November is probably my favorite month of the year. The weather is a dream, the excitement of the holiday season starts building, and the leaves are crunchy and perfect. Despite this, Novembers have historically been a sad experience for me time after time. Could be the changing of the light, could be the constant stream of busy days with little or no rest, or it could be a tiny touch of seasonal affective disorder. I love it, but I also find myself melancholy fairly often. This November is certainly no exception. It's bittersweet because my life is starting to get pretty exciting as far as my career goes but in other ways, it's a mess. I feel as if you all have figured it out by now but I feel that I owe it to you all to let you know that I've been through a breakup recently. I've done a good job of being okay with it until nights like last night when I start listening to music and I realize that I haven't dealt with it but instead have just overwhelmed myself by keeping an extremely busy schedule so that I don't have to think about anything. Breakups are rough. Incredibly difficult. They take time to get over. There's beauty in the brutality though because in these moments, experience becomes a teacher of lessons one would neither listen to nor accept otherwise. I've learned a lot about myself in these past few months. Good and bad. I've backslid and I've grown. Some days are easy and some are difficult. I don't know what the future holds for me but I know how crucial this time is to soak up this knowledge about myself. It's funny how much you DON'T know yourself until something like this happens. 

I didn't want to talk about this on here but I've since realized that doing so is incredibly selfish. I've made it a point to be transparent with you all and I haven't been doing a great job of it. I always said that I would share my struggles regardless of how difficult they may be to talk about. This, however, I did not want to talk about. It was too raw, too real. Through layers of reluctance, self-pity, and divine revelation though, I now know that the most important reason to share these hardships is so comfort anyone who may be going through it as well. We've probably all been through it and if not, we very well may go through it at some point. It's a part of life unfortunately. I want to tell anyone who may be going through it right now, you are not alone, and it does get better. 

My encouragement to anyone with lost love right now, in the past, or for the future is to stay sweet. By that, I mean do not lose your precious vulnerability. Be willing to love again. To fall in love-- REALLY in love-- you need to put it all on the line. Love is a risk. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. If it does though... oh boy. Great things. How will you know if you don't try? Sometimes it doesn't work out and that hurts. But life continues. Not to be cliche, but think about it: it really is better to have loved and to have lost than to never have loved at all. It's okay to be really sad. You're human. Cry, please! You won't be sad forever so let it all out now. You'll feel better after a good cry. Also, take this with a grain of salt (mostly because it's coming from me and I never need an excuse to go shopping) but there is absolutely no shame in a little (responsible!) retail therapy. Go buy yourself a cup something nice. Even just a cup of fancy coffee. Spoil yourself a little bit. 

It's difficult. It's REALLY hard. Some days I don't want to get out of bed. However, like all other things, this will someday fade away as well. I'm glad that I have you guys to keep my grounded. You're kinda all the bomb dot com. If any of you are going through this as well and need some advice, someone to vent to, anything, feel free to email me. All of my contact information is under the "Contact" link on the sidebar to the left of this post. Going through it with someone else is always encouraging. Now, before I get started with my busy day, I will leave you with this C.S. Lewis quote:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”


Hot Ginger and Rhubarb Tea Cocktail

I like to take this part of the year one holiday at a time. What's the use in getting caught up in all of the stressfulness of the ever-increasingly-more-commercialized holiday season? It's not even Thanksgivukkah yet, people! Relax and enjoy the autumn wind and crunchy leaves. If you need a little help doing so, you're going to want to keep reading and give this drink a try. When the good folks over at Art in the Age saw my Gingersnap Cocktail, they loved it and wanted more. They sent me a bottle of their Rhubarb Tea flavored liqueur to try out and to mix into a new delicious concoction. After a couple of tries, I decided that ginger, rhubarb, cranberry, and rosemary would be a winning combination. 

What you'll need:
 - A piping hot mug of ginger tea (I used two bags)
 - Honey
 - Sugar in the Raw
 - Cranberries (and a bamboo skewer)
 - A spring of rosemary

Begin by steeping the tea as you normally would for a good cuppa. I'm going to be honest with you here, I'm pretty bad at making tea. I'm always either much too impatient and take the bag out too soon or I leave it in too long. It also depends on what kind of tea you're using. If you're unsure, check the directions on the box, they shouldn't lead you astray! While my tea was steeping, I assembled the garnish. I put cranberries on a bamboo skewer, drizzled some honey over it, and rolled it around in some sugar in the raw. (Tip: If you're planning on making a lot of these, you may want to put the cranberry skewers together beforehand in order to save time.) Once the tea is to your liking, add 1 1/2 ounces of Rhubarb Tea. Stick the cranberry skewer in it and add a spring of fresh rosemary. Festive, no? If you feel the need, there's no shame in adding a little bit of extra honey or sugar. 

This drink is the perfect amount of rustic and classy. To me, it captures all of the best parts of this time of year. Give it a try at your next bonfire or even at the dinner table on get fat day-- erm, I mean Thanksgiving.


p.s. Huge thank you to AITA for being generally awesome! All you readers, go check out their website. There's more than just alcohol on there, there's a ton of great stuff.

M&C Wedding Preview

The love between these two is so genuine and so inspiring. Thank you M&C for letting me be a part of your big day.