Rooibos Maple Honeybush Affogato

affogato

I am writing this post from our bedroom, sitting cross-legged on the white bedspread, the white noise of our air-conditioning loud enough on this warm April Monday to have me wondering why it’s belting out so fiercely and also if I’ve missed the sound of the oven timer going off. I just got up to check—both the air-conditioning and the oven—and turned the air-conditioning off and pulled a tray of near-burned oatmeal cookies from the oven. This activity is sort of a microcosm of my entire life, maybe yours too, this making of messes and then cleaning them up. I mean, from the moment I get up (make the bed!) to the projects throughout the day (Workout; pile sweaty clothes that smell like elephants into the hamper. Do laundry; dump it onto the bed to fold. Prepare dinner; now wash the dishes. Get an assignment; untangle the documents and instructions into something that makes sense). Chaos, order, chaos, order. When Tim’s family was in town visiting a few weeks ago, I told my … [Read more...]

Panna Cotta with Figs and Honey

“You take two cups of milk and two cups of cream and warm it on the stove,” Tim’s saying to me from the dining room. I place our medium Le Creuset saucepan, the cream one with the handle, on the back burner. “OK, then what?” I call back to him. “Add ½ cup of Sucanat and stir until it dissolves.” While the sugar combines with the milk and cream, I set out a bowl and fill it with six tablespoons of water, then toss five teaspoons of gelatin over the top. I return to the stove. A couple minutes and a few stirs later, the sugar's totally dissolved, and I remove the saucepan from the heat. I add vanilla extract and almond extract, stir, and pour the saucepan's contents into the gelatin-water bowl. Stir. Let it all dissolve. “Then I just pour it into the cups?” I say to Tim, thinking aloud that this has been too simple, wondering if we've somehow skipped a step. He’s in the kitchen next to me now, right beside me while I divvy up the mixture, pour it into oiled ramekins and … [Read more...]

Strawberry Walnut Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Last summer, summer 2011, was the summer of wedding planning (also known as The Pit). I spent all my free time hunkered down in there, absorbed in the constant tasks of ceremony details, caterers, jazz bands, invitations, favors, showers, guest lists, seating charts, expectations, and I'll be honest with you: sometimes it got a little dark. Thankfully, Tim was with me. Having the two of us together made The Pit more cozy. The only problem with hunkering down for a summer, however, is that you miss a lot of things. It has to happen, but you do. While we were making regular trips back and forth from Chicago, the rest of the world continued on, the way it always does. While our weekends were spreadsheets of to-do lists and hours picking towels and bed sheets at Target, I tuned out of blogs and stopped reading or writing or paying attention to, well, anything that couldn't get into The Pit with us. Sometimes my family got in there. Sometimes, our friends. But everything else didn't fit, … [Read more...]

Summer Days + Homemade Soft Serve

It's a bloody hot day in Nashville, a Wednesday, the kind of day where walking the 50 or so feet from your kitchen door to the mailbox means beads of sweat forming fast on your forehead and upper lip. Tim and I are inside, working, I at my laptop on the dining room table, he from his computer on the sofa. When I look up from the article I'm writing, I see him straight ahead; when I turn to the right, it's all blue skies and beating sunshine above our front yard. I want to be sitting in the grass, I want to be having a picnic, I want to be sipping lemonade while rocking on a giant front porch. Then I remember the heat, and I change my mind: I want to go swimming. "What time is it?" I say to Tim. He tells me it's half past noon. "Too bad," I answer back. "Wish we had time to go to the lake." And then we look at each other from across our freelance perches, and he says what we're both thinking: oh yeah, we do. So we finish our work and throw some towels in a bag … [Read more...]

Tim’s Mostly Raw Chocolate Ice Cream

When we started registering for wedding gifts last summer, there was one thing Tim really wanted to add: an ice cream maker. And where I (the impatient, get-it-done type) probably would have just clicked the first version I saw at Target or Williams and Sonoma and rejoiced to have checked something off my list, this man I married is different. He does research. So it was in those final few months before our wedding that we had at least three different conversations about ice cream maker options: the kind where you have to freeze the bowl ahead of time, the kind with the freezing mechanism already inside; small ones, large ones; ice cream makers from Cuisinart, ice cream makers from Italy. Because this was around the time when I was off for a weekend to Oregon, I even remember talking to Kim and Tyler Malek from Salt and Straw about the ice cream maker(s) they use and recommend and why, jotting notes in my notebook to share with Tim. My Tim loves ice cream. I mean, … [Read more...]

Blueberry Scones + UPrinting giveaway

brochures

I am not even ashamed to admit that I love a good bargain. I clip coupons; I buy $15 desks. When Jeni's celebrated its new Nashville location with free scoops of ice cream last week, we were front in line. And when Whole Foods had a $1.99 sale on organic blueberries June 17, you know I bought a whole case. A whole case. Organic blueberries, which typically go for more like $4 or $5 a pint, are definitely on my top five list of favorite fruits. They are packed with antioxidants. They're delicious by themselves, and even better with cream. They're great to freeze for morning smoothies; they're great to eat with milk and cereal. And, on top of all that, they remind me of Tim---because he wrote about them in one of the first ways we got acquainted. So really, I guess you could say it was my bargain-loving instinct---and the 12 pints of blueberries that accompanied it---that we can thank for this recipe, a pretty basic adaptation of a simple blueberry scone. Mixing the … [Read more...]

Warm Coffee-Infused Chocolate Cakes

You know, I've gotten some pretty fantastic packages in the mail since I started blogging---a jar of coconut oil, a case of Talenti gelato, a bag of Xylitol, something like 20 containers of Chobani yogurt. But this month, I received something totally new, something I'd never have expected, something that kind of amazed me when I opened it, in fact: I recieved an entire case of Starbucks Natural Fusions coffee---filled with several bags each of the vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon flavors---and along with, so it turns out, the opportunity to host a meal featuring the coffee: with $100 of grocery money to do it. This, as you can imagine for someone who clips coupons and winces at $5 blueberries, was an offer too good to pass up. We planned the meal for Saturday, with six of us gathered around a table, eating a delicious feast of salmon and salad and vegetables, of which the crowning glory was definitely the dessert: coffee-infused chocolate cakes, topped with a coffee … [Read more...]