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The Blog

The daily, and somewhat random, musings from Ben. From the journeys, to the vlogs, to the behind-the-scenes-into-the-world moments.

Filtering by Tag: Ben

A Special Issue

Ben Ashby

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I did something...for me. A million years ago I had a really cool job that like kept me insanely busy and happy and like alive. But I didn’t know what the hell I was doing...like I was 21 and didn’t have a clue. Flying by the seat of my pants was an understatement. But it was a really cool time. During those years I learned more about myself, about society, and humanity than I really realized I could. But then it was just too much, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t know how to do it. And I stopped. I gave up. And I crawled into a hole and I was pretty okay with never coming out. I hated everything about makers, and small towns, and American made, and everything I had once loved so deeply and profoundly. But it opened a new chapter for me...one as one of the original “instagrammers” (that’s an old school word) and life became about adventures and travel and living authentic. And that was amazing. But then with the rise of influencer culture it got really hard, and I like hated it. Nothing was authentic. Everything was controlled by agencies in cities with staff that had never even attempted to live authentic other than protesting for oak milk at their favorite over priced coffee shop (yes, I know that statement is ironic, #liveauthentic). So I stepped away, I went to work for someone else...and the past year has been the greatest form of therapy I could imagine. I got to slowly dip my toe back into that maker/American made/small town/little things world. I got to resurround myself with those people I loved so much in the beginning....but I got to take my new world with me. I got to come back to life after learning every single lesson that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Sometimes you can’t go around it....you gotta go through it. Back in December I came to Kentucky for Christmas and I decided I was going to do a special 1000 copy issue of folk. It would only be available in small businesses and online. I would save my pennies to make it happen and I would know exactly where every single dollar went and I would do so much of it myself. It was the final step in my self prescribed therapy. It’s available now. I’ll post a link in my story. ❤️

ORDER HERE

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Lancaster Landscapes

Ben Ashby

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Yesterday we spent the day exploring Lancaster, PA. If you aren’t familiar I with the pastoral town in the heart of PA’s Amish country, it is home to the largest Amish population in the United States. 

The community has the most wonderful farms surrounding the villages that dot the landscapes. Roadside stands fill the highways and buggies and horses are often seen scattered across the hills. 

We were in town in the perfect cloudy day. The greens came to life through the fog. The freshly filled soil was ready for the summer planting season to begin. A few of our images follow.... 

 

These images were created with a Canon 5D IV from BH Photo

 

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The Flowers of Salt Lake City

Ben Ashby

On our trip from Moab to Ogden, Utah we made a stop in Salt Lake City to see the gardens at the Mormon temple. The gardens are absolutely beautiful and fill several city blocks. During our visit they were in the height of their spring blooms. I hope you enjoy some of my snaps. 

Palms Springs {A Revisit}

Ben Ashby

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I find myself in Palm Springs at least once a year. There is just something magical about this mid century time box forever keeping the sixties alive in the middle of the harsh southern California desert. From its perfectly manicured lawns to festive colorful streets to its proximity to both LA and the middle of the Mohave and Joshua Tree, Palm Springs really is a must visit spot. These are a few images I shop last year. 

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A Story for Where Women Work || Emily Riddle

Ben Ashby

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Today I wanted to share something I am really proud of. My friend Jo, the editor of Where Women Create asked me to photograph a story for her newest magazine Where Women Work. I was especially excited because the subject was a friend of mine from college. She, Emily Riddle has recently opened a shop and coffee shop in Versailles, KY. If you’re in the area you must stop in for a coffee or a nibbly sweet treat. You can read the full story in this seasons issue of Where Women Work....which is on newsstands now. 

 

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Where Women Work is dedicated to women in business sharing their own stories and own journies in their own words to other women around the world.  

 

The Where Women Create titles (Where Women Cook, Where Women Create, Where Women Work, and What Women Create) are available at Lowe’s, Barnes and Nobles, Michaels, Books a Million, and Costco locations across the country, as well as select Walmart and Kroger locations. 

 

Emily’s shop is located in downtown Versailles, KY.  

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Basic Strawberry Short Cakes

Ben Ashby

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The start of strawberry season is nearly upon us! Our favorite way to celebrate is with a daily short cake. It’s basically the most iconic spring dessert and likely the easiest spring dessert. While it’s always nice to grow your own strawberries, this current season we’re in has the store bought berries basically too affordable to justify growing on your own. 

If you are going with store bought, go for the medium sized berries. While the giant ones may see like a good value, they lack sweetness or really any flavor at all. 

Like I said this recipe couldn’t be much easier, it’s a doctored french vanilla cake mix, berries, sugar, and fresh whipped cream. 

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RECIPE

1 Boxed French Vanilla Cake Mix

Milk, eggs, melted butter (follow directions on cake mix box for amounts.

For the cake simply follow the directions on box, but substitute the water with milk and the oil with melted butter.

While the cake is baking make the whipped cream. Fresh whipped cream is so very easy to make, it’s impossible for me to justify using a whipped topping when you can whip up whipped cream in under five minutes. 

WHIPPED CREAM

1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip ingredients until soft peaks form. I prefer to do this by hand as it gives a feeling of accomplishment, but using a stand mixer is acceptable.

Do not over mix, the cream will not get fluffier and fluffier, instead it will turn to butter.

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SUGARED STRAWBERRIES 

Fresh strawberries

Sugar

Slice strawberries and place in a bowl. Toss with a good amount of sugar. No need to fully coat, but enough to know there is sugar in the bowl. Allow to sit overnight. The sugar will draw out the liquid from the strawberries creating a wonderful sauce for your short cakes.

Cut cakes into desired sizes. I use over sized cookie cutters or a wide mouth canning lid as a template. Add a heaping amount of the chilled whipped cream. Top with berries and sauce and garnish with fresh mint.

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Basic Bread Pudding

Ben Ashby

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I love bread pudding. A delicious treat perfect for any season. I had some extra loaves of apple cinnamon bread and a beautiful piece of Farmhouse Pottery to shoot. Bread pudding is one of the easiest desserts to make. A perfect way to use day old biscuits or bread or a cake that simply came out of the pan all wrong. 

 

When making bread pudding you can basically get away with anything. Add raisins or nuts if you’d like. You’ll need a sauce, but it can be a wide variety of things. My recipes is my favorite, but by no way diffenative.

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RECIPE

Loaf of bread

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon  

Add 1/2 cup raisins or nuts for additional flavor.  

 

Cube loaf of bread into 2” cubes. Mix all other Ingredients together and pour over bread. Allow mixture to sit for an hour or so for the bread to absorb the liquid. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for up to one hour. Remove when the bread pudding is golden brown. 

 

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TOPPING

The sauce is truly the most flexible part of this recipe. Sometimes I make a basic caramel, sometimes I make a cream cheese icing, but my go to is an apple butter sauce that is a prime source of diabetes. (Diabetus) 

 

1 pint prepared apple butter  

1 stick melted butter  

1/2 cup brown sugar  

 

Mix all ingredients together. Pour over hot bread pudding. Serve hot or cold. 

Refrigerate if not serving right away. 

 

 

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