dallas iceageddon

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There is something about winter that delights me more than fall ever could.  The dreary palette, the stillness, the promise of weekends cuddled on the couch fawning over Frances Ha.  This is the first year I’ve been in town to see white cover my historic neighborhood, and it didn’t disappoint. J and I braved the icy roads and headed to The Square.

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autumnal feast: lake forest farms | part two

Here are some more images of the beautiful dinner put on by Lake Forest Farm. Still reeling from the beauty of the evening, and the delicious treats that were served by Chef Joey Dawkins of Wodafood.

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Q: While we were talking, you mentioned that this was the first Farm to Table dinner you have been a part of. As a chef, what does it mean to you have this kind of “fresh + local” movement in our area?

JD: Right now local is coming on strong in many cities across America. People are tired of being fed food that is shipped across the nation just to save a penny. They’re quickly realizing that the same produce in the store is actually being grown down the street from them. Educating people about this fact and showing them where to find it is priceless. People actually being able to eat the food from the farm they just took a tour of helps connect them with the land and the farm who grew. It means the world to me to be able to be the chef that helped bring it all together.

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Q: What was the reasoning behind the dishes you chose to showcase for the dinner?

JD: I chose classical French cuisine because everything was being served with French wine. I was also classically trained in French culinary as well.  I think the main reason though was because French cuisine was made to warm the bones in the fall and winter.

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Q: What is your absolute favorite fall dish to make?

JD: I would say my all time favorite fall dish would actually be a very simple one. Tomato basil soup with heavy cream and a three cheese grilled cheese. I make it every year for my family when the leaves begin to change. It’s actually a tradition in our family now.

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 You can learn more about Chef Joey Dawkins and Wodafood here.

autumnal feast: lake forest farm | part one

There are few things I love more than good food and wine coupled with good conversation. This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to be a part of the fall edition of Lake Forest Farm’s local + organically sourced dinner. Hours upon hours of careful planning and coordination went into this evening; which you’d never be able to tell upon seeing the smiling faces of all the contributors. The ‘fresh and local’ mindset is slowly but surely coming to DFW with community-focused farms popping up all over the map. It’s a great time to be living in NDFW, folks.

Hosting Farm: Lake Forest Farm

Chef: Joey Dawkins

Contributing Farms (Produce):  Sky View Farm, Sunny Side Up Farms & Stonebranch MicroFarm

Contributing Farm (Beef): Truth Hill Farm

Bread: Village Baking Co. 

Wine: La Cave Warehouse

Music: Wesley + Cristina Ballard

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I’m so thankful for these new friendships and the amazing opportunity to work alongside them.

Here’s to many, many more.

thailand: a reluctant love

I’m so fortunate to be able to travel from time to time for my day job. Each year, the company I work for holds a convention as a pep rally (as J calls it) of sorts for our members. It’s lovely to see our staff from every country come together during a time of celebration and enjoy one another’s company. We we very thankful to be able to extend our stay a couple of extra days to allow for some time to visit a couple of places I’d been daydreaming of. We gathered our group of 5 into two tuk-tuk’s  and headed into the city of squalor.

I’m going to be honest. Bangkok is not the most pleasant place. I adore it, but reluctantly so. The driving is terrifying. Mopeds weave aggressively and almost carelessly through traffic and cars being driven seem to have a life of their own. The humidity and heat leave your clothing soaked, and if you’re lucky enough to catch a gentle breeze the famous Eau de Bangkok scent will catch your olfactory glands and render you nauseous. The air is filled with a horrible mixture of waste, rotting fruit, body odor, and regret. But once you get past that, there’s a lot to enjoy.

 

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I’ve had to learn to make the most of my free time while traveling for work, so this time I created a list of experiences I’d like to have, and it truly was one of the times that my weird control-y neurosis has paid off.

1. visit the golden buddha

2. ride in a tuk-tuk

3. get a fish massage

4. go to the Jim Thompson house and fawn over the gorgeous silk

5. shop till we drop

We nailed that list. Next year, J and I will spend more time in SE Asia, hopefully some time in Phuket or Pattaya near the beach for a much desired solo trip. His charming and easy going nature makes me want to take a million more trips with that silly, bearded man.

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Ahhhhh, we’re back in the States! I’m currently battling a bout of the flu and the Lake Forest Farm autumn farm to table dinner is just a few short days away! There’s a lot to catch up on and prepare for now that we’re back, but I couldn’t wait to share a few of the mobile photos I was able to snap during our down time. All of these images were processed with vsco

 

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I’m excited to share more with you all!

the kinfolk table: thoughts on family, food, and the importance of gathering

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It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the quarterly publication Kinfolk. My love for seasonal eating and food photography has flourished in part because of their beautifully curated pages. Each issue is developed with such care and I treasure my volumes because I can feel that care with every turned page and recipe shared.

This past Sunday (and almost every Sunday) J and I gather at his parents home to enjoy a big meal together. Everyone who’s in town joins us. Bottles of wine are passed around, a game of spades is usually being played, and our local radio station blasts everything from Muse to David Bowie to Lord Huron and it is magical. Warm and familiar feelings creep into my heart and I’m instantly transported back to my childhood. Until our sport schedule took over, we were able to dine together as a family almost every night.  I wish I appreciated the togetherness more as a child (I wasn’t exactly a fan of setting the table), but today I know the lasting impact of what happens at the dinner table.

Food is community, it’s togetherness. It’s meant to nourish our bodies, but I believe it nourishes our heart and relationships more than anything. The tantalizing aroma of my dads homemade spaghetti sauce brings back memories of cold dry winter days, the time we got our new (beautiful) nude couches, and the excitement my sisters felt when “daddy was making his daddy  sauce”. My mom made an organic chicken noodle soup once with spinach and tortellini and if I close my eyes I can imagine how tasty it was when I was home sick with pneumonia. I’ll never forget how she cared for me that day, and how incredible the soup was. The first time J glazed a thick Chilean sea bass with tart miso paste I felt my heart melt and got weak in the knees when he proudly pulled it off the grill. I like to think he secured my heart that evening.

I fear the generation where the value of a family made meal, whether it’s once a day or month, is forgotten entirely. The Kinfolk Table shows that there are many who still hold those values dear, and I’m so thankful for that.

I’ll definitely be sharing some family inspired dishes in the future. In the meantime, you can purchase The Kinfolk Table here.

scary chic: easy classy costumes

I’m slightly bummed that J and I will be in Thailand during Halloween this year. Ever since we went to a friends 20s themed birthday party back in February, I’ve been dying for another reason to dress up. I’ve had a slew of ideas written down for some time now, and since I won’t be able to take advantage of these chic (and easy) costumes I’m passing them along to you dear reader.

WHITE QUEEN

WHITE GHOST QUEEN: a lot of white face paint, blood red lips, and heavy black eyes. pair with an all white flowy ensemble and general apathy towards everyone.

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PSY:  basic wardrobe pieces combined with killer dance moves.

CLOCKWORK ORANGE

ALEX from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: this would have been my costume of choice this year. there’s always the next right?

LADY MERICA

KARLIE KLOSS STATUE OF LIBERTY: if you’ve got a slate blue dress and eight mile long legs all you need is the crown of seven spikes. easy and adorable if it’s warm where you are.

What are you planning on dressing up as this year? I’d love to know.

family session: ballard vibes

While enjoying the great farm stand opening of Lake Forest Farms  I got to spend some time with some darling friends and their tiny little man. Wes and Cristina Ballard are two incredible human beings, exceptional parents, and super super super talented vocalists. Cristina is a trained opera singer from Mexico and Wes basically plays whatever instrument he feels like and can croon with the best acoustic singers out there. Together they make beautiful music so ethereal you’d mistake it for angels casually harmonizing on gold foiled clouds filled with crème fraîche (I’m not exaggerating!). They’re amazing. They’re also so amazing that when I asked to take a couple of photos of their triumvirate of beauty, they turned into instant models.

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Can’t wait to see more of this gorgeous family and their music! Side note: I’ve heard them cover Set Fire To The Third Bar by Snow Patrol + Martha Wainwright several times and it never fails to give me goosebumps and teary eyes. The moment they have a video of this, I will be sharing it with you all. Whoever and wherever you are. Have I thanked you for stopping by? Thank you.