blueberry & rosemary brown butter cake + buttermilk glaze x velo coffee

blueberry & rosemary brown butter cake + buttermilk glaze x velo coffee

velo coffee giveaway

velo coffee

blueberry & rosemary brown butter cake + buttermilk glaze x velo coffee

With the warm undertone of hazelnuts from browned butter, the bright herbaceous note of fresh rosemary, and the comforting & familiar burst of summer blueberries, this is my new favorite cake. It has a brilliantly crunchy exterior (courtesy of a bit of olive oil), and a soft, buttery crumb. I’m a bit of a serial monogamist when it comes to cakes, I’ll admit. And this is my latest fling. Sorry white cake, sorry chocolate. This yellow cake has me rapt. A slice is most especially complete with a milky, hot cup of coffee or, on especially dogged days, of iced coffee.

Given my predisposition for all things local, for me that means a cup of Velo Coffee. They roast complex, full bodied blends—all sustainable & fair trade, naturally. They’re everything I’m for: family run and they deliver their coffee locally on bicycles (further increasing sustainability via fewer emissions). My favorites are their Ethiopian blend (a sweet, round coffee with notes of tamarind, lavender, and white grape) and their limited edition Black Label (an especially juicy, well-rounded coffee with a note of cinnamon buns), and their killer iced coffee concentrate. Which is some sort of deceptively delicious diesel fuel, my favorite way to start my day mixed with some Cruze Farms whole milk. We’re so fortunate to have them right here in Chattanooga, TN. But that’s changing, and they’re growing. All they need is to raise money for a new roaster to expand production. I’m hoping you’ll all join me in supporting their effort to grow beyond Chattanooga and share their coffee with the world. You can support their Kickstarter campaign and learn more here. Every little bit helps!

Also…Velo & I are giving away the pictured Chemex & locally made ceramic creamer by Beam & Bailey along with a bag of Black Label Velo CoffeeHead over to Instagram to participate in the giveaway in support of the Kickstarter campaign.

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Gluten Free Cherry Clafoutis

making cherry clafoutis

making cherry clafoutis from Vibrant Food

This is a recipe from the new cookbook Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink (of the blog The Year in Food), and I was drawn to it immediately given it’s those stone fruit summer days. The swelling afternoons of July make me recall something about the smell of smoke from the chimney during summer rains and walking down the stairs in the dark for a cup of cold water. Thoughts that float by like leaves, like feathers, like clouds, like bad similes. I’ve remembered the difference between a floating thought and shoving a thought, and I can see one satin magnolia blossom from out my office window. I recalled a truth that’s easy to forget: you can change the tape. When you think something disturbing—a recalled memory, a worry, or any random bit of negative mental detritus—you can choose to watch it float right past you. You can do it a hundred times a day, a monsoon of feathery thoughts, none resting on you and all of them finally drifting away and leaving you with the smell of smoke & rain from the chimney and a cold glass of water.

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local milk + hackwith design house: the chandler shirt

This is a linen top. Its name is Chandler. It has stripes and a pocket, is made by Hackwith Design House, and is my new favorite shirt. I wear it tied or tucked or un. I wear it wrinkled as you please or crisp from the wash. Its utility, comfort, and simple beauty are the reasons it earns a place in my closet. And at this point in my life, that truly has to be earned. Clutter makes my ADHD hurt, and I’m in the process of a continuing purge with the goal to donate 80% of my clothing. The goal is to build a streamlined, functional wardrobe of sustainable goods while giving my unworn clothing a better home, a home that needs it.

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“New Orleans is, on the other hand, a comfortable metropolis which has a certain apathy and stagnation which I find inoffensive.” – John Kennedy O’Toole

new orleans

new orleans

cafe du monde

lafayette cemetary

new orleans

I don’t need to pretend New Orleans is something it isn’t to love it more deeply than I have ever loved any city and most men. It stinks awfully, a specific stink. Acrid and sour, the stench drips from those iconic wrought iron balconies. It runs through the streets, bakes up in the heat, mellows at night. The tourism in the quarter is oppressive, and the violence is real. Just before we arrived, there was a shooting on Bourbon. 10 people hit. One dead, a nursing student, and it was senseless. For what that city pays, I can’t say. But it pays, has paid, for as long, it seems, as it’s been standing. It’s not of this world, whatever curse it labors under. But the thing about it is, that city makes you want to labor alongside it. It exists as a city on death row, a matter of when not if. It’s a mortal city for mortals.

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blueberry & cream cheese rye muffins + fringe & fettle ceramics x hackwith design house nesting spoons

fringe & fettle ceramics x hackwith design house nesting spoons

These days I gravitate more and more towards simplicity. A rustic simplicity that’s clean but not cold, warm but not busy. Every month I get rid of more of my possessions asking the question “is this both functional and beautiful?” Sometimes an object is just one of those two things, and sometimes that’s enough. But the truly special artifacts of everyday life are the ones that satisfy both requirements. And these ceramic nesting spoons by Fringe & Fettle in collaboration with HDH are that kind of special. Since receiving them I’ve used them for everything from serving olives and jams on a cheese plate to scooping ingredients to spoon rests while I cook. Like the pieces of HDH clothing I own, they’ve already become part of the fabric of my daily life. So, in celebration of Hackwith’s Maker’s Alongside collaboration with Fringe & Fettle, I whipped up some blueberry & cream cheese rye muffins before hitting the road earlier this week for New Orleans. Gas station food is hateful, and I wanted to have something delicious on hand for us to nibble on during the long drive down to New Orleans, where I am currently. You can find the ceramic nesting spoons here and the recipe for the muffins below. That’s all for now…back to soaking in my fair old home, many photos of which I’ll share with you soon, no doubt!

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