a place for hope

February 21, 2017

a place for hope // forage + fodder

life has been tough y’all. and to pretend that it’s all roses and sunshine over here would be inauthentic and a down right shame because i know that i’m not alone in the struggle. as our country shifts and divides, and each morning i’m greeted with another headline that either terrifies or discourages me, i’m left wondering, where is there a place for hope?

i think many people feel as though they are in the dark right now, looking for a glimmer of light to lead them towards the exit. this kind of darkness is a lonely place to be and one can’t stay there for long without merely just accepting it as their new quality of life. in my best moments, i reject darkness, feel emboldened to continue to advocate for others and myself and to find hope and beauty in the everyday. in my worst moments, i’m furious that i have fought and will probably continue to fight my entire life for the dignity and freedom that our country deems as a birthright to my fellow citizens of fairer complexion.

i needed a break, so i took one – both for myself and for my family. author audre lorde once wrote that “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” this intentional lull has brought restoration and more importantly, inspiration. i have found my place for hope. it is in my home and in the homes of complete strangers – it is the place where people gather around the table and break bread.

my hope has always been that forage + fodder be an approachable and intentional space that ignites the desire to bring people together. that hope feels more important and relevant than ever before and i am anchored to it, for better or for worse. we’ll be introducing the element of storytelling to our upcoming posts and recipes and while our content may be less, i can assure you, it will be much more meaningful.

with love, danielle

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the winter hello cocktail

December 11, 2015

winter hello cocktail // forage + fodder

meet our latest cocktail, the winter hello. it’s an easy sipper perfect for catching up with loved ones during the holidays and an excellent choice for the relative who likes a drink that’s “not too boozy.”  this cocktail does involve a bit of prep upfront, with the roasted grapes and cinnamon syrup, but the good news is, you can use them for other recipes throughout the week. i recommend roasting an entire pan of grapes, and using the leftovers in a couscous salad, your morning oatmeal, or served over vanilla ice cream. yum. these beauties are pure magic to me – they taste like brown sugar and are so simple to make.

winter hello cocktail // forage + fodder

how to roast grapes // line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat seedless red or holiday grapes in olive oil. roast at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes until grapes are just short of bursting. remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

winter hello cocktail // forage + fodder

light cinnamon syrup

1/2 c water

1/4 c sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

bring water and sugar to a light boil until sugar has completely dissolved. remove from heat, add cinnamon sticks, and let sit for 30-60 minutes. the longer you let the syrup steep the stronger the cinnamon flavor. *this syrup is intentionally less sweet than most simple syrups to complement the sweetness of the grapes

winter hello cocktail // forage + fodder

the winter hello cocktail

-4 muddled roasted grapes

-1 1/2 oz bourbon

-1/2 oz light cinnamon syrup

-2 dashes angostura bitters

-splash of lemon juice

garnish with a roasted grape and cinnamon stick

in a cocktail shaker muddle roasted grapes until well juiced. add in cinnamon syrup, bourbon, bitters, and lemon juice. fill with ice and shake vigorously until shaker begins to condensate. using a collins strainer, strain into a highball glass. add large ice cube and garnish with a cinnamon stick and roasted grape.

makes one drink

suggested album pairing:

coming home // leon bridges

roasted butternut soup with parmesan cream

November 11, 2015

roasted butternut soup with parmesan cream // forage + fodder

fall is finally here! and it’s not just a fleeting cold front, it’s actual cool, crisp air that’s here to stay! the arrival of fall is always celebrated in our home with a big ol’ pot of chicken and dumplings. so once those shenanigans are out of the way, i basically just crave soup and pjs on the daily. the arrival of gloomy weather and early sunsets also makes me lazy as ever, so this roasted butternut soup recipe is quickly becoming a new favorite. this recipe needs to be on your weekly menu folks, because it’s delicious, and so incredibly easy to make. plus, prep only requires a cutting board, one pot, and one baking sheet, which makes for a quick cleanup, so you can get back to binge watching broad city…(i’m not alone in this right?)

recipes featuring seasonal produce are the best because you don’t have to add much additional flavor or seasoning; let the squash speak for itself people. by roasting the squash, garlic, and onion beforehand the finished product is savory and hearty. as far as the parmesan cream for this recipe, do yourself a favor and double ingredients, then use the extra sauce (plus some garlic) for a delicious fettuccine alfredo later in the week.

roasted butternut soup with parmesan cream // forage + fodder

roasted butternut soup with parmesan cream

1 medium sized butternut squash

1 small onion, peeled & halved

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 to 1/2 cup water

pomegranate seeds & fresh sage leaves (optional)

parmesan cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tbls butter

1 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

preheat oven to 400 degrees. cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and place on a parchment lined baking sheet with the rind down. drizzle each half with olive oil and sprinkle with a touch of sea salt. depending on the size of your squash, roast between 25-40 minutes. squash is ready when it can be easily pierced with a fork all over.

while squash is baking, peel and chop the onion in half. when squash is fully cooked, remove from pan and set aside to cool. place onion and garlic cloves on the same hot pan and drizzle with olive oil. roast for approximately 20 minutes. keep an eye on the garlic cloves as they won’t take as long to roast, so once slightly browned, remove from oven.

once butternut squash is cool enough to touch, use a spoon to scrape out the squash from the rind. place squash, roasted onion and garlic, and 1/4 water in a vitamix (or blender) and blend until desired smoothness. add only water to allow the mixture to blend.

in a small sauce pan, bring whipping cream and butter to a light boil and whisk in parmesan cheese. allow to simmer until ingredients are combined and sauce starts to thicken slightly. add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. this sauce can be swirled into your soup, or combined completely to add a richer flavor.

serve each bowl with a portion of soup and a swirl of parmesan cream. garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds, pepitas or crispy sage leaves.

roasted beet smoothie recipe

October 5, 2015

roasted beet smoothie // forage + fodder

this is probably one of my very favorite smoothies because it’s perfect for this odd transition weather in texas when we’re all craving fall flavors but left with the reality of 80 degree days. it’s got great detoxifying quality and tastes delicious.  dates are the secret weapon in my more decadent smoothies because they add a flavor almost resembling chocolate, but it’s important to blend the dates really well, due to the their tough skin. i like to let the beet be the hero of this recipe, but if you’re not as fond of beets as i am, feel free to add in more cherries or perhaps some strawberries to sweeten it up a bit. i like to buy several beets and roast them all in advance, since they take so long both to cook and to cool. stay tuned for another smoothie creation featuring golden beets!

roasted beet smoothie

small handful of pecan halves (8-10)

1 tsp chia seeds

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 date, pitted

1 small roasted beet, cooled & skinned

8-10 frozen cherries

10 ice cubes

dash of cinnamon and turmeric

place first four ingredients in vitamix (or blender) and blend until smooth. add remaining ingredients and blend until ice has completely combined with the other ingredients. if smoothie is thicker than you’d like, add a touch more coconut milk and blend again.

the importance of date night

August 27, 2015

now that lil’ bug has arrived and we’re all learning what it looks like to be a family, the importance of date night is quite clear. during pregnancy, we had several discussions about being intentional in our love for one another, and how to continue to be husband and wife, while balancing the new roles of mama and papa. we believe that caring for our marriage is the cornerstone of what makes this family work, and although we love ruby with all of our beings, we choose to not have her be the epicenter of our existence. as she grows, we know that we’re the first example of what a loving relationship looks like, and in how we love one another, we’re helping her set her own expectations of how she’ll want to be loved in her own relationships.

i’m sure most new parents can relate to those first few weeks where it’s sort of unavoidable for your little bundle not to be the center of everything – what with the constant feedings, diaper changes, soothing, and googling of “is this normal” ten times a day, but we still found moments to choose one another – whether it was twenty minutes of exhaustion-induced laughter in bed in the wee hours of the night, or scampering away for a quick sushi date in between feedings. our goal from the start was for date nights to occur early and often. and now that we’re about a month in, lil’ bug is starting to sleep a little better, and handles the occasional bottle like a true champion we are planning out our first real date night.

so for the rest of you new parents out there, we’re sharing some of our favorite date night spots for that first adventure away from your little one. we didn’t pick these spots on a whim, in fact, they meet a very specific criteria:

  • incredible cocktails… yes, i’ve been out of the drinking game for 9 months, and if i’m going to have a cocktail, i want it to be spectacular. rest assured that every spot on this list has a craft cocktail menu worthy of your first drink back.
  • easy parking – you mamas know when you’re on the nursing clock, the last way you want to spend your time is looking for parking. each of these locations have either complementary /affordable valet or ample parking available.
  • accepts reservations – this is sort of a no-brainer… you won’t catch me waiting for a table anytime in the near future because mama just simply don’t have time for that nonsense. we swear by opentable, because they have access to most of our favorite places, and it’s a good way to discover new spots as well. not to mention, we earn points towards restaurant vouchers by making free reservations…it’s basically a win-win. most importantly, i can just hop on the app on my phone, and don’t have to wait on hold for a hostess who can barely hear me.

so without further ado, here’s our list of the perfect spots for your first date night away from your little one, and a couple of our favorite dishes of course:

vox table

the importance of date night // forage + fodder

offering small sharable plates and friendly service in an atmosphere that lends itself to good conversation,  vox table is a new favorite. oh and i can’t forget to mention their out of this world cocktail menu (including several variations on the old fashioned). with a free parking garage and complementary valet service, you can zip in and get down to the business of treating your taste buds to some serious flavor.

sip: irish goodbye

chow: smoked hamachi pipette + calamari noodles

sweet: sazerac sundae

uchiko

the importance of date night // forage + fodder

for those desperate to be back on the sushi wagon, may we suggest going to uchiko’s sake social hour (5:00 – 6:30) for $5 house sake and some delicious small plates (ahem, the brussels sprouts). we like to add on a few rolls or hot tastings off of their regular menu as well. uchiko is only open for dinner service, and there’s usually a crowd waiting when they open their doors, so make a reservation for 5:00 so you can take full advantage of the social hour menu.

sip: house sake, takara nigori

chow: brussels sprouts, yokai berry, + pork ribs

sweet: fried milk

olive & june

the importance of date night // forage + fodder

olive + june is one of our favorite spots in town. they have an amazing wine selection, a beautiful patio, valet parking (although we’ve always found a spot on the street), and some serious coastal italian fare which includes pastas and ricotta made in house. if the weather is right, snag a spot on their patio and dine under their gigantic oak tree. again, a happy hour reservation is the way to go as they offer discounted small plates and cocktails…and save room for their incredible seasonal dessert menu.

sip: basil di limone

chow: farm egg, house mozzarella, + any of the piccoli piatti

sweet: seasonal menu, but it’s all delicious

fixe

the importance of date night // forage + fodder

the menu at fixe offers a creative twist on louisiana southern cuisine (think upscale comfort food) and the interior is pretty spectacular in my opinion. although it’s located downtown, there is ample street parking, and we had no problem finding a spot right next to the front door.

sip: manhattan

chow: fixe biscuits, fried chicken  + carnivore grits

sweet: sticky toffee cake

this post was created in collaboration with opentable.com, but all opinions and suggestions are my own. 

a darling garden party // floral tips

July 10, 2015

how unbelievable are the florals from our darling garden party shoot? and let me tell you, these beauties were sturdy too, and held up for hours. want to recreate your favorite look? sweet samantha from bricolage curated florals shares her tips below. and we’re thinking we may be on to the newest bridesmaid trend too, why hold a bouquet when you can where it?

the flower crown

a darling garden party // floral tips // forage + fodder

for a less formal look go with an all greenery base (any sort of vine will work great, we used jasmine vine here) and then add in a couple of big statement blooms to one side, like we did with a peony and ranunculus. play around with an up or down do and where exactly to position the crown on your head.

a darling garden party // floral tips // forage + fodder


a pin-on corsage

a darling garden party // floral tips // forage + fodderthis is not the corsage your grandmother or mom would have worn… this is a new dramatically designed pin-on corsage, meant to act like an accessory. make the design with a satin ribbon base, attach desired florals to ribbon with floral adhesive and then pin to blouse, like you would a boutonniere. when creating the piece make it flow with your body- have flowers creeping up over your shoulder and down across chest.

a darling garden party // floral tips // forage + fodder

the floral necklace

a darling garden party // floral tips // forage + fodder

this is a fun piece to do if you want to step outside the box- forget wristlets or bouquets. all you need is thin ribbon or rope, hot glued to a sturdy base (plastic or cardstock), flowers and floral adhesive. essentially, you are creating a live pendant to wear around your neck, and you have total free reign as to how that should flow and be designed. we prefer a less symmetrical look, but you can honestly go in any direction with this.

a darling garden party // floral tips // forage + fodder

 hair floral adornments

a darling garden party // floral tips // forage + fodder

to make this work, we suggest styling your hair slightly teased, with soft curls and a few random small, tight braids throughout your hair (you can even do a braid hairband)- these styling tips will allow flowers to have something to hold on to – we recommend embracing your inner hippie when styling for this look.

a darling garden party // forage + fodder

for all above designs, we recommend using hardier flowers rather than soft and delicate blooms, as none of these designs have a water source for the blooms and you want them to last.

custom floral pieces // bricolage curated florals

photography // photo by betsy

a darling garden party // bloom series

July 3, 2015

a darling garden party // forage + fodderyou guys…things got real girly for our spring bloom series shoot, a darling garden party. inspired by warm nights and effortless ways to beat the heat and pass the time without constantly being stuck indoors, we embraced all things feminine with frocks, custom floral accessories, and edible flowers galore. our garden party was a ‘just because’ event, but how perfect would this be for a small bridal or baby shower?

a darling garden party // forage + foddera darling garden party // forage + fodder

as always, we kept it simple by creating a beautiful atmosphere with items already in our kitchen or found around the house. plus, we actually hosted this event in our own backyard. we figure, why stress, when you can just grab the chairs from around your kitchen table and bring them outside? we opted to use our bar cart and a bedside table as surfaces for serving a delicious spread of treats. it doesn’t have to match – in fact, pairing random, but complimentary items together adds much more character to your event.

a darling garden party // forage + foddera darling garden party // forage + fodder

as far as entertainment goes, we kept it classic with a few rounds of gin rummy and chess. although most of the afternoon was spent sipping and nibbling in between fits of laughter. when the weather is warm, bubbles and crisp refreshing cocktails are priority. we started off with champagne chilled in floral ice cubes for an added touch of beauty. oh, and adding a cube or two to your glass isn’t the worst idea. especially once the ice melts, and you’re left with a lovely little bloom in your glass. i’d recommend this addition to any chilled cocktail.

a darling garden party // forage + foddera darling garden party // forage + foddera darling garden party // forage + foddernow all of these bubbles simply cannot be enjoyed on an empty stomach, so we kept guests snacking on cardamom sugar cookies and and an arugula & goat cheese flatbread – both with edible flowers of course…

a darling garden party // forage + foddera darling garden party // forage + fodder

edible flowers can be purchased in most grocery stores, and you’ll want to be sure that they’re packaged for food use, because that means they’re free of any chemicals and are varieties that are safe to eat. i will say, working with edible flowers takes patience, as the blooms are extremely delicate. however one simple, yet impressive way to incorporate them into your event is by making floral ice cubes.

floral ice cubes

this process takes a bit of time and it’s best to work in layers. fill an ice tray (we recommend a silicon tray that makes larger cubes, like this one) a quarter of the way with water, add flowers facing down, and freeze. this suspends the bloom at the top of your cube. if you fill the entire tray at once, the blooms will float before freezing and you won’t see them as well.

once frozen, add more water to fill halfway, and freeze. finally fill tray to the top, and freeze again. we recommend using distilled water that has been boiled and then cooled for the crystal clear cubes.

next week we’ll be sharing tips from samantha so that you can create custom floral pieces for your own event as well as a recipe for a boozy granita affogato. enjoy the weekend!

photos // photo by betsy     florals // bricolage curated florals    food styling // forage + fodder

a few thoughts on family

June 26, 2015

thoughts on family // forage + fodder

as we enter the home stretch of this pregnancy, more and more often i find myself pondering what it means to be a family. while sipping my morning coffee, i try to imagine what mornings will soon look like in this house – and what i want them to look like as this little girl grows up. naturally it brings me back to my own childhood experience and i’ve realized a few things that i want to bring with me into raising my own daughter.

every family has its own type of crazy. if i can accept this early, i’ll do just fine. often i witness the role of motherhood bear down the weighty expectation of ‘perfection’ on the women around me. i think it’s important to acknowledge right now that i will not be a perfect mother and we will not have a perfect family. and yes, even if we haven’t noticed it yet, our own unique type of crazy will emerge at some point. and yet, knowing how loony my family can be, when i think back on being a kid, it felt pretty damn fantastic to me. the chaos wasn’t chaos, it was just us being fun and awesome.

my parents were not perfect. at times they let me down, and they let each other down. but they loved us fiercely and they never stopped trying, and most importantly, they modeled for me that perfection is not worth being in constant pursuit of nor is it meant to be our measuring stick of success…  i was taught that joy can be found in simplest of moments. and because of this, i had an incredibly joyful childhood. my memories of the challenges and obstacles faced sit in good company with memories of campfires with s’mores in the driveway and over the top themed birthday parties orchestrated on a budget.

and lastly, the photo above which i recently discovered at my parent’s house. taken at one of their epic new year’s eve parties (which also happens to be my mother’s birthday) where they were hip enough to let my brother and i run around in our pjs until the countdown before being sent to bed. it is my very favorite, because it is a very real and accurate portrayal of our exuberant madness. here’s to seeking happiness over perfection, and family portraits that reflect real life.

fathers + daughters

June 21, 2015

fathers + daughters // forage + fodderthe mr. and i created an email account for lil’ bug the week we found out we were pregnant. often we send her thoughts and promises, but sometimes just funny stories from pregnancy, or things we want to be sure that she knows about her parents. so on father’s day, i just had to share this note from the mr. because the bond between fathers + daughters is a complicated and beautifully special one:

hey sweet girl,

i understand the importance of not focusing on how cute, nice or pretty you are, not that you aren’t those things, but because you are so much more than those things, and you can be anything you want. but, i had to at least say it this time, because this is the first email i’m writing you where i have known you are a girl…and i’m so excited.

in a way I think i’ve always known that you’ve been a girl, or i’ve at least expected that you would be a girl. your mother says that i’m going to be a great dad for a girl. not that i wouldn’t be a great dad for a boy, but that girls need good dads.

i think i understand what she means, but to make sure that you and i are on the same page, i’m going to write what i think that means to me.

this list is in no particular order:

i promise to be there to pick you up when you fall…or at least when you will let me.

i promise to hold you when you are hurting, and not ask who i need to go hurt…until you ask me to.

i promise to support you and help you grow in whatever your heart desires…even if i don’t understand it.

i promise to show you what real love, care, and support look like, by loving your mother.

i promise to be a real person with real emotions, a lot of emotions, both good and bad…sorry in advance for the bad ones.

(as a side note, i’m an extremely emotional guy, like commercials can bring me to tears emotional. when i found out that you were a girl my heart exploded in the doctors office…so did my tear ducts. then seeing you on the sonogram was life changing. you are amazing.)

i promise to share my hobbies and interests with you, not just the ones that are “appropriate for little girls”.

i promise to listen when you need someone to talk to, and i mean really listen, not just listen so that i can then talk.

i promise to talk when you need me to, give advice, tell stories, or just tell you i love.

i promise to treat you like the unique and truly amazing gift that you are.

i promise to not spoil you and make you think that you are better than anyone else.

i promise to love you like you need, not always like you want.

i hope this list doesn’t sound trite. it’s all from the heart my beautiful, smart, strong, creative daughter.

i love you already and always will,

dad, daddy, pop…whatever you want to call me is fine with me.

rooibos mint tea (two ways) // frvrlnd collaboration

May 19, 2015

rooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrld

summer is upon us y’all. so what better time to share this recent collaboration with frvrlnd, olive + rye, and katie jameson photography? when rowen, the woodworker and muse behind frvrlnd, a curated collection of handmade small-batch goods, approached julie and i about creating a few simple recipes for her summer product line, we got right to work.

a typical austin summer brings lots of sunshine (and humidity), so we wanted to create something refreshing and simple to enjoy on the porch with friends. thus we bring you rooibos mint tea two ways! one served on ice with a few bubbles and the other a boozy but easy to sip bourbon cocktail. both drinks share a handful of simple ingredients, and are perfect for your next backyard gathering.

rooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrlndrooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrlndIMG_9293rooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrlnd

this collaboration also gave me an opportunity to test out frvrlnd’ summer product line and i’m completely smitten. frvrlnd muddlers are beautiful, but more importantly, functional, and don’t even get me started on these ambrosia maple boards.

rooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrlndIMG_9308

i’m a sucker for prep bowls, so i instantly fell for her scoop collection, which features a variety of sizes and shapes. and all of her products are handmade, so each item is unique and created with care.

rooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrlndrooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrlnd

rooibos + mint iced tea

5 tsp of loose rooibos tea
24 oz water
25 mint leaves
2 oz simple syrup
lemon, thinly sliced into rounds

chilled club soda

using a linen tea bag or wire mesh tea infuser, steep the tea in water that’s just off the boil until it reaches your desired strength. you’ll want it to be stronger than normal, so 5-10 minutes should be about right. muddle your fresh mint leaves until crushed and add to the steeping tea. in a small pitcher, combine the simple syrup and strained tea & crushed mint mixture, and stir well until combined. fill each glass with ice, leaving room for two lemon slices per glass and split the tea mixture evenly between the glasses. top off with chilled club soda and enjoy. makes four delicious glasses.

rooibos mint iced tea // forage + fodder & frvrlnd

rooibos tea + bourbon cocktail

(makes 2 cocktails)

1 tsp of sugar
10 mint leaves
4 tsp of loose rooibos tea
4 oz hot water

4 oz of bourbon (we used buffalo trace)

using a linen tea bag or tea infuser, steep the tea in boiling hot water. allow to steep for 4-7 minutes, you’ll want the tea to be strong but not too bitter. while the tea is steeping, combine mint and sugar In a cocktail shaker or flat-bottomed cocktail mixing glass. muddle until mint is thoroughly crushed and combined with sugar. once the tea has steeped to desired strength measure out 4 ounces into the shaker (be careful, it might be hot!) and add bourbon. fill shaker with ice and stir until the cocktail is jet cold. double strain the mixture into two cocktail glasses and garnish with lemon peel and mint sprig. enjoy!

this drink would also be wonderful served on ice. Just combine and stir all ingredients without the ice in the shaker and pour into a highball glass filled with ice.

scoops + boards: frvrlnd // cocktail recipe: olive + rye // photos: katie jameson photography