Recipe | Cherry Cardamom Cake

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My latest post for The Nest is live! Head on over there for my version of my favorite Huckle & Goose cake. They made a rustic rhubarb polenta cake for our Spring Supper back in May, and I fell in love with it. The texture from the polenta (or cornmeal), the lack of super sweetness....everything. It was perfect. I decided to experiment with other fruits. I made a strawberry version, and it was delicious. And then I made a cherry version and it was heaven. This cake can be modified each season, and you will always have a delicious, fruity cornbread-esque cake on your plate!

I put this post together during my last visit to New Jersey. It was so fun to work with my mom's kitchen lighting and her kitchen props and tools. I love her new home, and the light by that kitchen window was unreal. And she modeled for me. Isn't she gorgeous? I love her hands. :)

Enjoy, and thanks to Huckle & Goose for allowing me to ever-so-slightly modify & share their recipe!

Gatherings | A Supper for Mornings Like These

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In case you missed these photos on the Mornings Like These blog, I'm sharing a few of my favorites from my Joy's Spring Supper a few months back! (How has it been a few months already? This year is flying by!).... I'm always grateful for the opportunity to sit down for a tasty homemade dinner with friends, and it's extra fun when they ask me to style + set the table!

This is actually one of my all-time favorite table tops. I wanted to keep it super simple (sometimes I tend to overcomplicate) and understated. I made a trip to Ikea so I could use their red & white towels for the napkins and white pitchers for the greens. Those white pitchers have such great lines and I now have an arsenal in my prop closet.

Amanda and I foraged for greens and wildflowers to display around the barn. I was pretty positive we had climbed through some poison ivy/oak but when we returned to the house, Amanda's husband reassured us we had not, so we proudly displayed our finds: in pitchers, crocks, and just hanging here and there.

The setting for this dinner was simply stunning. Monnett Farms is a fourth-generation family farm in Southern Maryland. We gathered in the old tobacco barn for this supper. Rain gently serenaded us and the barn provided perfectly romantic protection.

A special thanks to Joy's intern Rowan for holding my little Naomi (who was only a few months old) and rocking her to sleep while I worked and dined. <3

Photography by Joy Jaynes, Mornings Like These

Life with Littles | An Afternoon of Blackberry Picking

Monday, July 27, 2015

We spent Sunday afternoon at our local pick-your-own farm and gathered as many blackberries as we could before we melted in the hot July sun! Crooked Run Orchard is just about 5 minutes from our home, and this was the first time we went together as a family. We'll be going back for apples, peaches, more blackberries, and then all of the fall harvest!

It was so fun teaching Zoe about fruit and how it grows and needs water and sun. She was elated to pick "beddies" and she wanted ALL the tiny little red [unripe] berries which she affectionately called babies. She's been loving our own garden, too, and begs to come out with us when we're harvesting fruit and vegetables.

I had a blast practicing with my camera and changing the settings every time the lighting changed (um, hello direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, shade, etc.) or my angle changed or ANYTHING changed (which is like after every shot). And kids move SO fast it's so difficult to get a NON-BLURRY shot. Dang! It's a lot to get used to and there's such a learning curve! But every time I use my camera, I feel just a bit more comfortable. I couldn't stop snapping photos of my big [little] girl. That straw hat and basket though. :)

Not pictured: Zoe's fall and subsequent bloody lip, serious sweat, chocolate covered pretzels (that may or may not have been used for bribing), and mamma carrying Zoe in the baby bjorn alllll the way back to the car.

Tips for berry picking with littles - bring: lots of water, something fun like a basket for the kiddos to put their fresh fruit, a hat for shade, sunscreen, a stroller (and/or a baby carrier), and snacks for bribing kiddos to sit still for a photo in the event they don't like the berries they're picking...


Recipe | Chicken Curry Empanadas AND a Cookbook Giveaway

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

 I met Marcella Kriebel at the West Elm + Etsy Pop-up Shop I hosted back in April. She's the author of Mi Comida Latina, and a super talented local watercolor artist. She also recently collaborated with me on the DC Kinfolk Dinner and gave lovely watercolor prints to all the attendees. She's a gem, and I love her work!

Mi Comida Latina is a stunning & vibrant compilation of Latin American recipes; I imagine it being a journal, compiling recipes & ideas from Marcella's travels. It's so well done, yet so casual and personal. The recipes are accessible, simple, and delicious! And she carefully explains what it is that you're making, and includes a glossary in the back.

I recently made her Chicken Curry Empanadas (recipe below), with Red Rice and "My Favorite Black Beans" (they're now my favorite, too), and Joe was SO pleased that we were finally eating a meal with FLAVOR. And Zoe - my 2 year old - loved every bit of dinner, too! She calls the empanadas "ampa-naana" and Joe and I kept asking her to say it again because we loved hearing it. :)

Sometimes I find myself in recipe ruts and I make the same things over and over again. I rarely make Latin American food (except for this one rice recipe my mom gave me that she used to make all the time when we were growing up). I find recipes that are simple & my family enjoys, and I am content to stay there. They usually involve oil, garlic, some sort of starch/grain, some greens, and either fried chickpeas, ground beef, or oven-roasted chicken. Ha, I'm so boring. Cooking from Mi Comida Latina was a fun experience, and I already have plans to use the cookbook again this weekend when my family is in town!

Today I'm sharing one of Marcella's recipes - Chicken Curry Empanadas - and if you head over to my Instagram, you can enter the giveaway to win a copy of this gorgeous masterpiece.

Chicken Curry Empanadas

The Dough
- 2 cups white flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup veggie shortening/lard (I used butter because that's all I had)
- 1/4 cup sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp achiote oil (I used olive oil with a bit of paprika and turmeric)

Sift all dry ingredients together and cut shortening into little bits. Add the sweetened milk and achiote
oil a little at a time, kneading with your hands. The dough should resemble pie dough. Roll the dough 1/8" thick then cut into 4"-5" circles. Press a 5" lid in the dough to cut the circle. Chill the dough rounds for 20 min.

Forming the Empanadas
1. Place about 2-3 tbsp of filling of choice in center. 2. Fold in half. 3. Pinch around edges to make sure the filling stays inside. 4. Form the scalloped edge by pulling & folding the edge over.

To Bake
Preheat oven to 375 F; brush each with egg white then place on greased pan & bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

To Fry
Fill saucepan with about 1/2" veggie oil, heat to 375 F & fry each until golden brown, about a minute on each side.

Chicken Curry for Empanadas
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp yellow curry
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup golden raisins

In large pan sauté onions. Season chicken with 1 tsp curry, salt & pepper then add to pan & cook. Stir in sour cream, the rest of the curry & raisins. Lower head & simmer for 10-20 minutes. Add a couple spoonfuls to fill each empanada.

Don't forget to check out the giveaway for Mi Comida Latina on my Instagram!

Gatherings | A Simple French-Inspired Picnic

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hi friends! I have so many things to share with you!! This weekend we announced the second A Daily Gathering workshop + retreat, The Alchemy of Hospitality. It will be held at a gorgeously restored manor in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, October 29 - November 2, 2015. We only have three spots left, so hurry and grab a ticket while you can!

Hoping to get lots of blog posts published this week to share what's been happening around here! First up, a French-inspired picnic is live on The Nest, in honor of Bastille Day. I included the recipes for the Salad Niçoise that my mom used to make almost every week growing up, and a Peach Cherry Cardamom Clafoutis, based on Julia Child's recipe. The combination of cherry and peach in the clafoutis is so delicious, but almost any fruit would work! I've made it three times recently and don't plan on slowing down.

These photos are all outtakes of our simple French-inspired family picnic...head over to The Nest to see the full post & get the recipes!

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