rich, moist chocolate lavender cake with mascarpone earl grey german buttercream

rich, moist chocolate lavender cake with mascarpone earl grey german buttercream

Two years now. Two years of sharing recipes, dinners, photography, writing, and glimpses into my life with you all. And I’m so happy to tell you that right at that two year mark I had the shock & honor of winning the Saveur Best Food Blog Photography Award, both reader & editor’s choice. I couldn’t believe it. Slack jawed, no words, squealed at my cat couldn’t believe it (and that is not in character for me). There was so much talent in that category it honestly didn’t cross my mind that I would win at all. I owe you guys for that one. So thank you for your support. My life as I know it wouldn’t be possible without you. So, I figured I’d celebrate & say thank you a couple of ways: an exceedingly delicious cake (no brainer) and a few things you may or may not know about me  from reading this blog…

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Buttermilk Honey Bread

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Buttermilk Honey Bread

I bake a lot of bread. Mostly because it makes me feel powerful, like a regular Rumpelstiltskin. Well, that, and I like to eat fresh bread. Like the overwhelming majority of people I know, making me wildly popular (haha). I also write poems. Sometimes, not often anymore. As far as volume is concerned, the loaves of bread trounce the poems. I’d venture to guess it has something to do with poems not making me feel very powerful at all. Rather, they mostly serve to remind me of how firmly situated I am within a headspace that isn’t conducive to poetics of any sort at all. But I keep writing them, so I probably get something out of it.  That would make sense. Right, so I wrote this poem ostensibly about surviving in the wilderness. But really it’s for a call girl I  knew when I was living in New Orleans. A song made me think of her.

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local milk x makr: d.i.y. menus & place cards

clams in saffron mint broth

makr x local milk: d.i.y. menus & place cards

makr x local milk: d.i.y. menus

For my second collaboration with Makr, an addictive print design app for the iPad, I knew I wanted to create menus & place cards for a meal celebrating this, my favorite passage—winter receding and spring emerging. So I channeled my affinity for the moon and designed the suite you see here. Before I knew it, I had custom menus on my door step. Just like that.  All that was left to do was have a few friends over to share in a meal to send winter on it’s way, to usher in spring. I baked fresh bread to go with honey roasted radishes and cultured butter laced with my herbal salt, steamed clams from South Carolina in a wine broth perfumed with saffron & mint, and made a big pot of farro risotto with local beets and greens to round it all out. It was a simple menu; the entire thing was thrown together in an afternoon. The way I figure it, you don’t need a reason to create a dinner complete with beautiful menus. Life is reason enough to make anything special. So if you’d like to do the same, a reminder that Makr is generously offering a special for Local Milk readers—you can enjoy a free Makr credit and 20% off a print order! Just register with the code LOCMILKFAN and enter the same code at checkout. You can download the Makr app here—and you can check out this project and customize it for a gathering of your own. I’ve already moved on to new projects from baby shower invitations for my sister-in-law to blank labels for my dry goods. I, it would seem, can’t stop.

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chamomile panna cotta with lemon, poppy seed, and olive oil shortbread

foraged spring florals, bradford pear

local milk nominated for a Saveur Best Food Blog Award!
I spent this weekend visiting with house guests, baking bread (a buttermilk honey recipe to be shared this coming week…I’m obsessed with it, and I warrant you will be too), combing the flea market (hello 66 piece set of mid-century flatware for under $100!), and doing the nesting I love so well (which generally involves the moving of a plant ever so to the left, to the right, and squinting one eye.) And then yesterday I received all kinds of good news, both so good I could hardly believe it. Local Milk was nominated for a Saveur Best Food Blog Award in the photography category! Voting is open until April 9th, and you can vote for me here. Thank you all for your support! On top of that I learned that I’m going to an aunt to a baby girl! So in celebration of all these things and the spring, the sprang, and the sprung I’ve got a recipe for my ideal vernal dessert: a chamomile panna cotta garnished with lemon & poppy olive oil shortbread crumbs as well as photos of the parade of foraged florals that have been my constant companion since they started blooming.
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Tennessee

cabin

Beaver Creek, CO

elk horn lodge, beaver creek, co

ruthie lindsey

Beaver Creek, CO

of mountains and molehills

Y75A8261.jpg

These are some moments. Some winter moments in the mountains from Colorado to Tennessee. A silhouette of my father and I on a chairlift. A cabin morning with some of my favorite folks, Christian of 1924.us & my dear friend Ruthie Lindsey—with whom I’d share just about anything from a bed in a little cabin to secrets, heart aches, work, and ridiculous, effervescent joy. I’m pretty sure she lowers my blood pressure. Which is, at least figuratively, high. And then the last mountain weekend, a weekend spent with my soul mate overlooking the river our lives have both run parallel to. A brief weekend during which I expanded, collapsed, did very little at all, made oatmeal and some of my favorite savory suppers, and walked away anew. The mountains heal me. They always have, snow peaks to log cabins. This is farewell winter, ever again shall we meet. And this is soon, soon (though it snows here senselessly and maybe even spitefully) hello to spring. But for now. Here are some moments. And a recipe for milk oatmeal with salted candied bananas. Because it comforts me no matter the season. And because aren’t we all hungry?

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