There's a funny thing that happens when you hit your late twenties into your thirties, you stop doubting and you start doing. And if you're lucky enough you find yourself around some incredibly phenomenal people who are doing the same. Dreams, ideas, plans, goals all find a circular rhythm and movement forward is inevitable.
Some of you may know that the last few months for me were so wickedly hard on my soul that I did nothing but keep going. I found projects to inspire me and those phenomenal friends rallied around in support.
So this is to you dear reader, wherever life may find you in this particular moment in time, let's raise a toast--one to grief and one to infinite bravery.* Let's dream big together.
(*from the movie Hanging Up)
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Confession: my first few attempts at dough/bread this past year did not go well. Happily however, it seems as though I may have come out of my little phase and flour, yeast and myself are working on our relationship. Fast forward to finding this sweet recipe by Ashlae. I've made these cinnamon rolls three times in the last week-each time better than its last. The rolls are light, a perfect balance of sweet and gooey and just the right quantity without the guilts. It's a keeper.
Small batch cinnamon rolls
(from Oh, Ladycakes; yields 4 rolls)
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, between 105-108˚F
1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
4 tsp cane sugar
Scant 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup unbleached flour
4 tsp vegan butter, room temperature
2-3 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup powdered cane sugar
2 1/2 tsp non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Add the water to a small bowl and lightly stir in the yeast; add a pinch of sugar and set aside until foamy (10-15 minutes). If it doesn’t look like this after 10-15 minutes, you need to start over.
In another small mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter (make sure it’s warm) and sugar – continue stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Mix in the milk and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt, then create a well in the center and add the yeast and butter mixtures. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, then remove from bowl and knead with your hands for 4-5 minutes. Once kneaded, transfer to the prepared mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and store in a warm area of your house until doubled (about 45 minutes).
Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Once the dough has doubled, roll dough into a 5X10″ rectangle. Spread on the butter and top with muscovado sugar (really, as much as you desire) and cinnamon.
Starting at the short end, tightly roll the dough then cut into four even pieces. Put rolls in prepared baking pan and let rise for at least an additional 30 minutes (60 is optimal). Once they’ve doubled in size, bake at 375˚F for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool in pan.
To prepare the icing, simply whisk together the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Once the cinnamon rolls have cooled for 10 minutes, top and serve immediately. Rolls can be kept in an air tight container for up to three days.
*Notes: Substitute vegan butter and non-dairy milk for their non-vegan counterparts if it's not up your alley just yet.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
After thirteen years in Dublin, there are times where I feel like this sweet city is much too familiar. We have our routine and being creatures of habit tend to stick to it without too much of a sway. And yet, over the last year with the comfort of growing into a community- fresh places, creative friends, unexpected opportunities and suddenly I find myself feeling like there is so much left undiscovered.
On Monday, I met up with Elaine and Claire in Talbot Gallery to capture a few images for Elaine's upcoming venture of sharing breakfast with an artist. I adore the idea. Who better to inspire than artists who with their words, images, music, paintings and sculptures somehow make the familiar...new again.
I really am so excited to see what happens at breakfast in this small, beautiful space.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
I find comfort in quiet mornings. For those who know me, as of late I've been stretching myself in many directions with hospital work, on-call shifts and efforts to keep growing creatively that at times I wonder if there is an easy how-to guide on doing it right.
(It is overcast and gray in Dublin right now and I am still in bed, a very good thing right now).
At the end of February we attended a food photography workshop held by Marte Marie Forsberg in dreamy Shaftesbury, England. She truly is a visual story maker: the way she speaks is gentle and even, closing your eyes listening to her images suddenly appear clean, vivid and emotive. Learning to play with light using simple boards, create shadows, understand our camera settings was a joy to learn under her tutelage.
George Maguire once said 'the eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say'. I cannot think of a better way to describe her work. And as for Shaftesbury, well it just does not get any more idyllic than that. My little heart is already dreaming of spending many long cottage days there when I grow old.
*To Ajda and Tricia, a very heartfelt thank you for being the sweetest angels on my very Murphy's law day that Saturday.
Monday, February 17, 2014
These last two months were a bit of a dud in terms of attention towards this little blog of mine. I've written about it previously and while there is obviously much more to the story- truth is, I sort of lost that spark to create.
Prague, thankfully, was a breath of fresh air. There were sunny mornings, cloudy afternoons, hours upon hours of walking around districts forgoing public transport for tired legs, a sweet evening spent making new friends and most importantly-time spent re-connecting with my soulmate. I've heard much about the touristy element of Prague but finding the charming Taste of Prague crew (highly recommend) made all the difference in making the trip more personal. We fell in love with EMA espresso bar, never said no to trying local culinary treats and were interested in all this little city had to offer.
I was charmed by it all. While work always tends to keep my rational head on, travel keeps that dreamer in me ever so vibrant. And I'm so glad to have a little bit of that spark back. I missed it more than than I can ever express in words here.