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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Fresh Grits

Grits is a staple food of the South with Native American origins - my favorite comfort when living in Texas. However, this bowl of breakfast has much bigger meaning; a representation of life, a symbol of Southern culture. Recognizing its importance, Reuben Levi decided to name his lifestyle brand after this dish. Grits Co. recently rebranded and truly captured what makes the South special – the will to grow and the strength to endure. The release of his introductory series is refreshing and welcomed. No matter which aspect you isolate, design or purpose, everything is coherent.

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Grits Co. uses a traditional dish to pave the way to something much bigger – inspiring a community. Whether you work in food or fashion, you know that community is what fuels the industry. Despite the many challenges Levi faced during the creation of this project, he believed in one thing, “no grits, no glory”! That is something to admire about him and why it is such a pleasure to see his vision come to life.

Lines

When it comes to plating or cake design, I am a minimalist. There is something beautiful about simple lines and clean patterns. The cake bosses of the world may disagree, but to each his own. One of my biggest inspirations when it comes to line work is an artist by the name of Alvaro Ilizarbe (Freegums). While this video may be old, it is great way to see the power of lines.

Local

As soon as the sun rises on Monday morning, I am smiling at the thought of visiting the farmers market. There is something special about connecting with the people that grow the food you are about to purchase. It is a practice I love to stress when I am picking up ingredients baking; produce and grains grow in New York. If you are around a market, stop by and treat yourself to a conversion and fresh produce.

Videos by Nourish Life.

Nature: A Cake For A Friend

There is something about baking for a friend; a reminder of why baking is so important to me. It may sound strange to you, but when I get requested to bake for a special occasion it is easy to keep my cool. When the request is coming from a friend it adds a different layer to the scenario, a sense of nervousness sets in. In this case nerves work in my favor, they allow me to focus on a level that is hard to explain.

I take pride in everything I do; from selecting ingredients I can stand by to brainstorming with clients to develop the picture perfect cake (cupcake, cookies, etc). That is why I was honored to bake for Thiru Kumar of NY Dosas fame, he is also someone who takes great pride in what he does. Rain or shine, Thiru feeds the hungry people of New York nearly every day of the week. Over the past year, we developed a friendship that I am very grateful for. He was celebrating a very special day in his life, a wedding anniversary, and wanted me to contribute to the celebration. After a few days of talking to him, I had a simple and pure design in mind – nature.

“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.” 

Connection

There is something to be said about the feeling a connection gives us – hope and inspiration. I had the pleasure of experiencing a connection this weekend when I went strawberry picking with a friend. It may come as a surprise to most of you, but I have never picked a berry or an apple. If you have not either, try to go as soon as you can.

Farm

When I have a recipe in mind (which is quite often), there is no better feeling than going to a farmer’s market for all my ingredients. I can not stress the importance of supporting our farmers – especially the young agricultural visionaries just getting started. Travelling a few hours to  Lyman Orchards this past weekend was life changing. While picking strawberries was entertaining, it also opened my eyes to the beauty of farming and connection with food.  There is a state of zen that one reaches when being on a farm – so much time goes into the cultivating land and when a fruit or vegetable comes into season, magic is revealed.

Strawberries

 

After handpicking strawberries, we spent the day on the farm and purchased a bunch of preserves and jams. It was the perfect day. Once we returned to New York, we decided to put our reward into muffins. Did I mention they were apple cider muffins?

Muffins

Thank you Naomi for making this possible.

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