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Filtering by Tag: food

Jenn Davis + A Slow Living Conversation

Ben Ashby

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JENN DAVIS

Originally from WHERE WOMEN COOK — SLOW LIVING

Jenn Davis is the creator of Two Cups Flour, a baking blog that showcases classic breakfast, bread, and dessert recipes with her own twist. She shares these food stories through inspiring photos styled with a southern, rustic spin from her Nashville, TN studio kitchen. As a foodie, photographer and baker, Jenn’s work has a nostalgic approach that ignites a love of baking in her audience. Her inimitable artistry captures each recipe with a mood that inspires home bakers to experiment with exciting ingredient combos and helpful—and often humorous—tips.

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“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” 


As a child, if I wasn’t learning about art, I was being instructed on the beauty of nature—my mom was a designer and my dad a horticulturist. I inherited my mother’s creativity and my father’s sense of humor…and I call upon these traits in my work! 


Food was “hands-on” in our family; my parents both shared in preparing meals. Dad had a garden and Mom canned the vegetables, Dad hunted deer and doves and Mom could turn them into a three-course meal, Dad made Sunday morning pancakes and Mom made pies and bread. With no formal culinary training, just good old trial and error home-style techniques, I learned from watching them and grew from licking beaters to being a helpful sous chef.

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We were a suburban family, with deep, country roots. Growing up, preparing food was a special art form, a way to bring people together. Meals were—and still are—a time for us to spend quality time. Even though my mom worked full-time, she prepared everything herself. I learned early that homemade tastes best…and it’s worth the effort! 


In my twenties I was caught up with other things…eating takeout for the umpteenth time, my friends and I decided it was gross and we could make better. This revelation turned into a weekly recipe night with wine, endless chatter, and mini feasts. My renewed interest in cooking and baking grew from there. I bought new cookware and a few cookbooks. We tried new flavor twists, pigged out on warm cookies and cultivated lifelong friendships over the food we made.


Years later, after college, I was living on a horse farm when my passion for baking re-ignited. I wanted to smell and taste all the food from my childhood and I began baking for joy, when time from my equestrian duties allowed. 

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Then, just after my 33rd birthday, I really started missing the artistic side of my life. So, I gave up my career with horses and started over as a photographer, but something was still missing. I wasn’t passionate about what I was shooting, but back in the kitchen I was trying new recipes, perfecting old ones, and enjoying every minute of it! 


So, I started pointing my camera at food. Like magic, creating in the kitchen turned into capturing food images. Now, I bake almost everyday and share how I see it. I live slow and share it.


Slow living speaks to my heart. I’ve done the fast paced, stressful, cluttered, and insatiable lifestyle. It left me feeling tired, unfulfilled, and lonely. I want to have a life full of experiences, not things, I want to eat food made from ingredients I’ve grown or harvested, and have the luxury to soak up the world around me. I want to live an authentic life at a slower pace…without the regrets of—if I only had time, visited, or enjoyed—lingering in my mind.

Slow living is reflected in my work. I encourage my readers to take time for the things they love. Follow their passions. Pursue curiosity. Slow down. Be patient. Soak up the moment.


To live slowly I had to first acknowledge what I value most. I prefer to make choices about my schedule, so I choose to live a creative life and work for myself. This comes with challenges and rewards; I work hard to achieve my goals, but balance work with down time.

Everyone can relate to enjoying something delicious. Whether you prepared the recipe, shared a slice of cake with a friend, or handed a bag of food to someone hungry, food connects us in its traditions, its possibilities and its joys. 


So, I work hard to share that cooking or baking doesn’t have to be perfect; you just need to enjoy it. Anyone can make something from scratch; it just takes a little patience and a willingness to try…and acceptance of the occasional failure! Sometimes I have to laugh and throw an experiment in the trash, other times I do a happy dance in surprise. I want my readers and followers to do the same; I want to inspire them to head into the kitchen to have fun and enjoy the results!

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“Live a life driven more strongly by curiosity, than by fear.” –Elizabeth Gilbert


twocupsflour.com | — wherewomencreate.com


Lilac Sugar

Ben Ashby

Every morning should begin with tea. Festive teas are the best. This lilac sugar is the perfect addition to your mornings. As lilac comes into season why not ensure it'll last all year long. By simply preserving the gorgeous floral flavors of lilac in sugar it infuses the sugar with the most wonderful flavor. You'll never want to return to basic table sugar again. 

Ingredients:

Berry or Fine Sugar: if super fine sugar isn't available throw your regular sugar into a food processor.

Lilac Blooms: for a quart jar I used around a cup of blooms.

An Airtight Container

 

Simply alternate layers of blooms and sugar until you have either filled your jar. Once complete put the lid on the jar and shake until well mixed. Shake once a day for about a week to make sure the flowers dry evenly. 

After one week strain the sugar to remove the blooms. Store in airtight container. 

Our Favorite Special Apple Cider Recipes

Christophe Chaisson

CROCKPOT HOT SPICED APPLE CIDER By Superheroes and teacups

Most of the time crockpots are used for stew and pot roasts, yet this holiday season we wanted to spice it up with some hot apple cider. This recipe is so simple, you throw everything into the pot and just wait. The smell of spiced cider will fill your house as you allow for this sweet drink to simmer. 

Superheroes and Teacup's Website

 

Apple cider Mimosas by What the fork

Mimosas are a must for brunch year round, so why not customize them to fit the season? It only takes mixing two ingredients to get the holiday cheer flowing with these apple cider mimosas. The sweetness of cider pairs perfectly well with the smooth bubbliness of champagne. There is always a reason to celebrate during the holiday season, so let's do it with a mimosa in hand.

What The Fork's Website

 

Hot MuLLed Apple Cider Sangria By The Crumby Cupcake

This is a warm seasonal drink with rich flavors to get in a festive mood with friends or even just curl up with a good book near the fire. Clementines, apples, and honey add a distinct taste to this wonderful drink. The longer you let it sit, the sweeter and richer the flavors become, so don't drink it all at once!

The Crumby Cupcake's Website

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Apple Cider Breakfast Smoothie By On Sugar Mountain

 

A smoothie in the morning is always a tasty way to start the day. Enjoy this cool refreshing drink in the warm confines of your home before venturing out in the cold of winter. This is one of the ways in which you can enjoy dessert for breakfast guilt free because you are basically drinking apple pie! But it's healthy because it is a smoothie, right?

On Sugar Mountain's Website

 

Spiked Apple Cider Rum By Simworks Family Blog

This adult beverage is a perfect way to help celebrate this Christmas season with good friends. It can even make for a tasty mocktail for all the kiddos. The spices of cider complement the spiced rum perfectly. You can taste the fullness of the seasons with this drink. It is guaranteed to fill you with cheer during the holidays. 

Simmwork's Website

 

All of these drinks are splendid as we leave Thanksgiving and Autumn behind to transition to Christmas and Winter. It is always delightful to have a delicious beverage in hand whether around a fire or a socializing at a holiday party. With all these apples a day, the doctor will be far away. Cheers to good health and tasty drinks this year!

Our Favorite Holiday Fudge

Christophe Chaisson

Fudge isn't just a holiday dessert, it is a lifestyle. I normally advocate healthy eating and living, yet when it comes to fudge, just throw sugar intake and serving size out the window. I have always been mesmerized by the wide diversity of fudge flavors, so to discover some that embody the holiday season makes this year a whole lot sweeter. If you're a fan of fudge, Christmas, and all things delicious get ready for some mouthwatering delights. 


 

Hot Chocolate Fudge by Wonky Wonderful

Curling up with a cup of a hot chocolate is a holiday staple. The slightest chill in the air is a reason enough to break out the cocoa. This year you don't have to just enjoy the pleasure of drinking hot chocolate, but devouring it as well. You don't have to be a professional confectioner to make it either; it's 4 ingredients and made in the microwave!  The sweetness of milk chocolate combined with the creaminess of white chocolate topped with marshmallow goodness is reason enough to throw a holiday party.  

Recipe on Wonky Wonderful

 

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut fudge by The view from Great Island

Hazelnut isn't just a flavor for lattes or Nutella, it adds the perfect crunch to this silky smooth fudge. This is a rich, filling fudge that will leave you satisfied, yet always manages to convince you to take another nibble. Dark chocolate and nuts are a timeless combination that pair well with holiday season. Fudge always makes for a wonderful gift that is easy to make and even easier to eat. It may not be that easy to give away once you have a taste though!

Recipe on The View From Great Island

 

eggnog Fudge by baking beauty

 

Another favorite holiday drink has been transformed into edible satisfaction. This creamy eggnog fudge will have you singing Christmas carols in seconds. Quick and easy to make, this a must for your holiday parties. Topped with nutmeg, these delicious bites make for truly happy holidays. 

Recipe on Baking Beauty

 

Candy cane fudge by barefeet Kitchen

By the time the December rolls around, there always seems to be an abundance of candy canes to go around. Whether for decorating or eating, these peppermint treats seem to surround the holiday season. They definitely are a Christmas Classic, but it doesn't hurt to add a little something extra to the mix. Especially when that little something is scrumptious chocolate fudge. Oh, did I mention it only takes 5 minutes to make? Never again am I going to throw away perfectly good candy canes now that I have this simple and delicious recipe. 

Recipe on Barefeet Kitchen

 

Gingerbread Fudge By DELISH

It's not Christmas without gingerbread, whether houses or little cookie men. I enjoy the flavor thoroughly, but they tend to be quite dry. Not anymore! Now we can enjoy the spiced goodness of gingerbread complemented with the smooth, silkiness of fudge. You're gingerbread house might may make for a festive decoration; this fudge will make a flavorful sweet feast for all your friends and family to enjoy. 

Recipe on Delish

 

Okay, enough waiting. Go put on some Christmas tunes and turn your kitchen into your own personal fudge factory. I'm sure your mouth is watering just as much as mine, so enough reading! Pick a recipe and start fudging! 

Our Favorite Gingerbread Recipes

Christophe Chaisson

Christmas is just over two weeks away from now, which basically means it'll be here before we know it. To make the holidays more festive we are compiling all of favorites of the Christmas season. You can make all these treats and crafts with friends and family or even to give out as presents. Lets spread love and joy (and sugar) this holiday season.

 

Soft Gingerbread Cookies by Made to Be Momma

 

You can never have enough cookies during the Christmas season. Whether you are leaving them for Santa or eating the whole cookie sheet yourself, these soft gingerbread cookies are scrumptious. Perfectly soft and spiced, this recipe makes cookies that will practically melt in your mouth. 

Made to Be Momma Website

 

Gingerbread Pancakes by Cooking Classy

Why not start your day off right by whipping up a batch of gingerbread pancakes? The spiced sweetness of gingerbread paired with the fluffiness of pancakes makes for a delicious breakfast. Chowing down on these pancakes while enjoying a nice cup of coffee is the perfect way to start the day filled with the holiday spirit. 

Cooking Classy's Website

 

Gingerbread Loaf by Taste's of Lizzy T's                     

 

For all of you loaf lovers, this is the perfect seasonal recipe for you. This gingerbread quick bread is a recipe that has been perfected. The soft, sliceable loaf has the perfect consistency. Aromas of molasses, nutmeg, and ginger filling the air are reason enough to give this delicious a try. This is simple recipe makes a tasty gift for friends, family, and neighbors! 

Tastes of Lizzy T's Website

 

Chewy Gingerbread Brownie by I Heart Eating

 

Brownies are my absolute favorite dessert, so to find a gingerbread brownie recipe was a Christmas dream come true! These brownies are soft and chewy and have the distinct gingerbread flavor perfectly partnered with chocolate. If you're looking for a way to spice up your brownies and make them more festive, this recipe is a definitely for you. 

I Heart Eating's Website

 

Gingerbread Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting by My Busy Family

Cupcakes are never a bad idea, especially when they are topped with cream cheese frosting. Throw gingerbread into the mix and you have an irresistible Christmas treat. These cupcakes are moist and wonderfully spiced. Perfect for parties, not only will they leave a yummy taste in your mouth but will fill the air with the scent of cinnamon, ginger,  allspice, and all things nice. 

 

My Busy Family's Website

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These recipes are incredible and we hope you and your stomach enjoy following them. Baking is a wonderful opportunity to get together with family and friends and create something delicious all while spreading Christmas cheer. 

The Nashville Originals: Keeping it Local

Christophe Chaisson

As technology brought worldwide commerce to the average household, an interesting thing happened: people remembered the importance of supporting their neighbors, and the Buy Local movement was born.

 Now, it's supporting entire economies, where within a geographical area a homegrown supply chain feeds area businesses that are supported by local residents and visitors. Chances are, you've seen these forces at work in your hometown. 

In Nashville, Tenn.—where I live—one organization is making sure the culinary identity of our booming city is preserved. 

“We started the Nashville Originals initially for the sole purpose of sustaining each other,” says Rick Bolsom, an Originals Board member who’s owned the popular restaurant Tin Angel on West End in Nashville’s Midtown neighborhood for 20 years. “As the city grew, we knew we had to focus on making sure the places that made Nashville unique were able to survive and thrive. What we eat defines who we are… it’s a big part of our culture, and the Originals are dedicated to sustaining the independent restaurant as a fixture of our community.”

More than 50 restaurants, ranging from fine dining and ethnic offerings to pubs, wine bars and burger joints, all have one thing in common – they’ve joined the non-profit organization to support the mission of working together to help ensure each others’ viability. It’s an example of the “American Made” movement at it’s finest: traditionally competitive eateries—many of whom source and serve locally grown products—rallying to spread the good news of one another.

The standard to be considered as an Original is simple: the restaurant must be locally owned, have less than four locations and have been in business for more than a year. Bolsom says that last criterion carries a lot of importance.

“Nashville is one of the hottest markets in the country right now. We’ve seen more than 100 restaurants open in the last year here,” he says. “The sad thing is that most of them won’t make it. The majority of our member restaurants have been in business for more than 10 years. These are the institutions, the landmarks, the places where locals will tell you to go eat to get a taste of Nashville. That authenticity is important to us.”

Once per quarter, each restaurant offers a limited number of discount gift certificates, sold at 30 percent off. The members cover the food cost when the certificates are redeemed, and the revenues from the sale go to support the Originals’ efforts. 

Nashville Originals President Tom Loventhal, a partner in the two Noshville Delicatessen locations, says the group marketing approach has taken hold in the city, establishing a brand that carries credibility. 

“We’ve utilized the tagline ‘United We Dine’ through print, online, outdoor, radio and other advertising, encouraging people to visit our website, to buy gift certificates and patronize our member restaurants. It’s worked very well,” Loventhal says. “People want to eat like a local, they want to support the community and understand what makes a place special. We’re a resource for the dining public, and the response to the Nashville Originals concept has been very rewarding.”

And twice each year, in January and August, the Originals host Nashville Restaurant Week, where members offer special prix fixe meals at discount prices. The event has become hugely popular, with chefs going off-menu to try new dishes or offer something that may be too expensive or labor intensive for everyday service, but represents a nice limited-edition reward for loyal diners over the course of one week. 

When you consider the downstream implications, the impact of a group like Nashville Originals is significant. Member restaurants are encouraged to utilize local suppliers, and the organization offers group buying power on essential services. 

“We engaged with a waste management broker recently who’s saved members thousands of dollars,” Loventhal says. “Restaurant owners are so busy, and they are being approached by vendors on a nearly daily basis. If we can validate these things on their behalf, then it’s a real benefit.” 

The spirit of collaboration extends to other Nashville staples, as well, through special partnerships. It’s what locally owned is all about—supporting the folks who are in the same boat as you.   

Earlier this year, the Originals joined forces with the Christie Cookie company, who is celebrating their 30th anniversary as a local supplier of fresh-baked cookies and dough made of the finest ingredients. 

“Christie is another Nashville staple, and they approached us with the idea of offering special dessert options for a limited time through our members,” Loventhal says. “Christie supplied the product and the chefs at 15 member restaurants came up with these incredible dessert options. It got a lot of media attention, and some of the desserts became permanent menu items. In the end, it drove sales for the restaurants and for Christie, celebrated their anniversary and raised the profile of the Originals as an organization.”

The Originals extend a helping hand in other directions, too. This spring, the group is working with Metro Nashville Public Schools to host a contest for Originals chefs to design a winning menu that the kids love, but that also meets health standards and works within the budgetary constraints. 

Chef Roderick Bailey, who owns the East Nashville-based restaurant Silly Goose, is one of the newest members of the Nashville Originals. 

Having lived all over the country, he says Nashville—and particularly East Nashville—has been an incredible place to start a business. And while the city may still be a little weak on things like ethnic food, Bailey says we’ve grown by leaps and bounds in the last five years. 

“It’s good to be able to support the cause, and things like Restaurant Week can bring a lot of business,” he says. “I’ve never spent any money on advertising, so this just feels better to me – emphasizing relationships and the sustainability of the local economy. Farmers and suppliers and restaurants and customers, all working together. Of my 16 employees, 15 can walk to work.”

All of that fits where we are, as a city. As the Chef puts it, “it feels like home.”


Photo by Amy Whidby

Photo by Amy Whidby

Puckett’s Boat House Shrimp & Grits Hushpuppies Recipe

This is a Puckett’s Boat House recipe, created in the Marshall family’s kitchen to serve in your own. Puckett’s Boat House is a Nashville Originals member.

Shrimp & Grits Hushpuppies Ingredients:

  • Four cups of water
  • Two cups heavy cream
  • Three cup grits
  • One-half pound butter
  • One tbl. salt
  • One tbl. white pepper
  • One chipotle purée
  • One-half pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, veined and chopped
  • One and one-half pound of Velveeta
  • One tbl. green onion, chopped
  • One and one-half cup whole corn
  • One cup red bell pepper, diced
  • One tbl. parsley, chopped
  • Puckett’s Boat House pepper sauce (optional) 

Batter

  • One cup of flour
  • Four large eggs, beaten
  • Two cups of yellow cornmeal

Shrimp & Grits Hushpuppies Directions:

Combine water, heavy cream, chipotle purée, salt, and white pepper in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir in grits and let simmer for 8 minutes. Slowly stir in the cheese and raw shrimp. Once the shrimp turns pink, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet to cool. 

Once mixture is cooled, prepare to fry: using a small spoon or scoop, roll the mixture into small hushpuppy-size balls. Dip the balls into the flour, the egg wash and then the yellow cornmeal.

At this time, you can place them into a 365-degree fryer or skillet, with oil. The hushpuppies will fry for about two minutes and thirty seconds, or until golden brown.

If you like a little kick to your dishes, sprinkle PBH Pepper Sauce on the puppies. To purchase, go to www.puckettsboathouse.com.

About Puckett’s Boat House

Puckett’s Boat House in downtown Franklin, Tenn. aims to stay true to local flavor while delivering an atmosphere that makes you nostalgic for family vacations and good times. The grill and oyster bar menu offers by-the-shore dishes reminiscent of the Gulf coast and the Big Easy, plus Southern staples that draw from the Marshall family’s Mississippi Delta and Memphis roots. Enjoy Puckett’s trademark Southern fare and reputation for a live music venue—both with a Boat House twist. www.puckettsboathouse.com

Oh Holy Delicious! | Our 5 Fav. Pecan Pie Recipes

Ben Ashby

Christmas is coming! The warmth of the autumn season is quickly fading into the cold joys of the holiday season. With that the woods are scattered with delicious organic-free-range pecans. You could spend hours harvesting the tiny nuggets of delicious only to spend even longer busting those nuts--we mean cracking those nuts, as you prepare to turn them into pie...but who are we kidding...you nor I are Ina Garten...so just go to the store and stock up and lets bake some pies. These are our 5 favorite pecan pie recipes from 5 of our favorite bloggers.

1) Chocolate + Pecan Pie by Living the Gourmet

2) Rich Chocolate Pecan Pie by Crumb Kitchen

Chocolate chunks and crunchy pecans swirl together with a flaky pie crust in this decadent rich chocolate pecan pie.
3) Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie by Crumb Kitchen
4) Dark Chocolate Brownie Pecan Pie by Melanie Makes

5) Pecan Custard Pie by Briana Thomas

There you have it! Our 5 favorite pecan recipes for this Christmas season! No Ina needed. Just simple and easy and festive. Always festive.

Make your pecan pie experience Mariah Carey level extra festive by ordering our FOLK coffee. CLICK HERE TO ORDER. Roasted weekly. Mailed Daily. Only 25 bags per week.

FOLK + Harden Family Roasters

Heath Stiltner

We often work with small makers and small businesses to share their stories. To celebrate in their successes and learn from their failures we've started a new series dedicated to the ones. The ones who we built FOLK for, and who helped us build FOLK.

Justin Harden of Campbellsville, KY is the owner of Harden Coffee, a small batch coffee roasters and coffeehouse in the middle of rural central Kentucky. Retiring from a career in construction he started to follow his dreams of working with food and coffee after returning to Campbellsville from Kansas City. When Justin first started roasting coffee, he began roasting the beans in a popcorn popper on his back porch and selling the fresh coffee in his brother-in-law's whole foods market in town. As the popularity of his coffee grew, he and his wife saw an opportunity to make his passion a full time career when they bought and opened Harden Coffee.

Campbellsville, is a small town with a local university, and it's what some would say is the model for the new frontier of America. Justin is doing his part to grow with the community in that frontier town and is doing his part to bring something new and accessible to his hometown by giving people a better look at how their favorite morning brew is produced. Sourcing and roasting his own beans in the back people can come in and experience the process from green coffee beans to cup or bag.

Being able to raise his four children in he and his wife's own hometown while chasing their passion, Justin is truly living authentic and redefining what the American Dream means. Though living in a rural town as small as Campbellsville can sometimes be a challenge, Justin and his wife have worked hard to make their passion a success. This is a look at their business and the life they've created through it.