Retailer Interview: Twig & Twine

Twig and Twine-Boutique-Florist-Los Angeles-Storefrontphotos by Ashley Keleme

Aren’t these lovely? Those flowers are from Los Angeles based, Twig & Twine. Owner, Heather Williams, creates incredible arrangements and curates a unique selection of hand-picked gifts, home decor, artisanal goods and other lovely treasures. Check out her interview below and if you’re in LA, be sure to stop by.

1. What is your favorite color?  Favorite? Too tough to name just one. I’m a florist! All colors are great. Just depends on my mood.

2. Favorite smell? Sweet peas.

3. Go to cocktail or beverage? Tequila on the rocks with a lime.
4. What would you choose as your last meal? Pork of some sort. Bacon, pork belly, loin….I’m into it all. A side of seasonal veggies would be great too. And I wouldn’t complain with a first course of cheese. Oh, crap. I just thought about sushi. SUSHI! Pork for dessert. ; )
5. Favorite thing to cook? What’s left in the kitchen fridge meal. I’m the best at that. I’d totally kick ass on Chopped.

6. Favorite dessert? Again!?! Just one?!?! Impossible. I’ll eat and enjoy it all from macarans to ice cream to pudding to salted caramels! Sweet treats are the best.

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? Technically? Probably South East Asia, Indonesia or Eastern Europe. But that flight to French Polynesia felt pretty long too.
8. 3 Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? Paris, Japan, New Zealand
9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents? My youth in my grandmother’s rose garden.

10. Favorite book? Don’t have one. As you can probably tell by now I’m not a “favorite” person.

Where to follow Twig & Twine:

instagram: twigandtwine

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Twig-Twine/255543164473734

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/twigandtwine/

twitter: https://twitter.com/twigandtwine

blog: http://twigandtwinedesign.com/blog (i’m not really a big blogger though)

Recipe: Tarragon Buck Spring Cocktail

Tarragon Buck
Tarragon Buck

We recently received Tarragon in our CSA and having no plan to put it into a meal we happened upon this recipe for a tarragon buck vodka cocktail (very spring). I think it was fate. Our version is below. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sprig of fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 oz Q Ginger Ale (this stuff is delicious)
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • ice

Place sprig of tarragon into your palm and slap it, then gently rub the tarragon onto the inside of a lowball glass. Fill glass with ice, add vodka, vermouth, ginger ale, tarragon sprig and about half the juice of the lemon. Stir. Enjoy.

Do you have a great tarragon recipe you love? Or a spring cocktail recipe? Please share!

 

Recipe: Cabbage Salad w/ Citrus, Ginger + Cilantro

Cabbage-Salad-Cilantro-Ginger-Garlic-FreshMy honey and I have been working hard to get through all the items in our CSA recently but it is so hard to eat all the cabbage. While searching for a marinade for chicken, I stumbled upon this incredible Cilantro Garlic Ginger dressing/marinade recipe and set some aside for creating this cabbage salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green cabbage, chopped (napa would be good too)
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium/small carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 Diakon radish, chopped (regular radish would be fine)
  • 1 tangerine, peeled and segments separated (chopped mango would also be good)
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

Dressing – full recipe here, slightly tweaked version below.

  • 1/2 clove garlic or 1/2 stem of green garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated or chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • dash of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp rice vinegar

Throw all dressing ingredients into a small food processor, blender or magic bullet. Whiz until thoroughly blended. Put all the salad ingredients into a bowl, add dressing and toss to coat. This salad would be great with chicken, beef, tofu or nuts.

 

 

Retailer Interview – LEGION SF

 Legion-SF-Boutique-Etta-Billie-DisplayMeet Sydney Pfaff owner and curator of the lovely LEGION boutique in San Francisco. Sydney has a fantastic eye for stylish simple beautiful clothing, jewelry, bath and body goodies and art. Read on to find out more about some of her favorite things.

1. What is your favorite color? Sunshine yellow!

2. Favorite smell? Sandalwood.

3. Go to cocktail or beverage? Any kind of pilsner is a-ok with me.

4. What would you choose as your last meal? A chile relleno burrito.

5. Favorite thing to cook? Veggies with coconut curry.

6. Favorite dessert? Chips & salsa

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? I don’t think it’s technically the furthest away, but the longest travel time was to Indonesia—also one of my favorite countries to visit. Japan is a close second and a much easier flight!

8. 3 Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? Turkey, Morocco and Nashville.

9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents? I always loved hearing my grandpa’s stories about living in San Francisco as a kid. He grew up in the Outer Richmond and his father (my great-grandpa) was one of Muni’s first employees. He and his brother used to ride the trains for free all over the city. He always smiled so bright when he talked about it. I miss him very much.

10. Favorite book? I really like Dave Eggers. My favorite photo book is “California Trip” by Richard Blair and Kathleen Goodwin. I never get tired of looking at California’s incomparable beauty.Legion-SF-Boutique679 Clay Street, San Francisco

Where to follow Legion:

instagram: @legion_shop

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/legionsf

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/legionshop/

twitter: @legion_shop

blog: http://www.legionsf.com/blog/

Recipe: Gluten Free aka Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-free-chocolate-cake-mixing

This cake is amazing. And it’s gluten free. I’ve made it twice so far this year and people always rave about it. I think all my soaping has really upped my baking skills. Check out the recipe over at Bon Appetit.  Try a few of my recommendations below.

  • HIGHLY RECOMMEND: replace 1 tbsp of sugar meant for sprinkling the top of the cake before baking with about 1/4-1/2 tsp really good sea salt (or fleur de sel or lavender infused) or leave it out all together.
  • add about 1-2 tbsp of bourbon to the whipped cream/mascarpone topping (you could do vanilla instead of the bourbon – 1/2 tsp).
  • add 1/2 tsp of cardamom to recipe (I love ALL things cardamom – hello Grapefruit Cardamom Lotion)

    Any other recommendations out there? What is your go-to dessert?Gluten-Free-Chocolate-Cake

 

Recipe: Coconut Cardamom Granola

Coconut-Cardamom-Granola

I was feeling the urge to bake over the weekend but since my man didn’t want cookies lying around the house we decided to make granola instead. This is a combo of two recipes found here and here. Super tasty! Why do I ever buy granola?

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds, whole or chopped (I left them whole)
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
  • 2 cups coconut flakes (not the sweetened stuff)
  • 1 tbsp of sesame seeds (all we had – you could easily add more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon + a little extra vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + some extra, mixed dried fruit (we had goji berries, raisin, cherries, blueberries and cranberries + pepitas)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix the oats, nuts, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl. Heat honey gently over the stove (if you have a microwave, zap it for 15 secs). Add olive oil and vanilla to the honey and stir to combine. Combine the honey mixture with the oat mixture. Stir so that everything is evenly coated.

3. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes until the edges brown. Add fruit mix and bake for an additional 5 min. Allow to cool completely, break into chunks and store in mason jars or container of choice.

so simple, yet so tasty
so simple, yet so tasty

That’s it! Fantastic with yogurt and fruit or by itself as a snack.

Etta + Billie Retailer Interview – Andi Winterfield

Good Things Green Things website with yours truly on the cover.
Good Things Green Things website with yours truly on the cover.

There is a new retailer in the Etta + Billie family!  Meet Andi Winterfield of Good Things Green Things.

Andi Winterfield, founder of Good Things Green Things

Good Things Green Things is an online shop specializing in natural skin care products that are made in the USA. Every product is hand picked by Andi & made with simple, nourishing ingredients. I’m am really excited to be a part of the fantastic collection of makers on the site. I asked Andi to answer a few of my favorite questions and she was kind enough to oblige. Read on for the answers and find out how to connect with Good Things Green Things through your social media platform of choice.

Happy Bathing!

Alana

1. What is your favorite color? Blue. All shades are great, but lately I’ve been loving ocean blue. This Minnesota winter has been way too long, with way too much snow!

2. Favorite smell? My overall favorite smell is the Minnesota north woods. The air is just so clean & fresh up there. My favorite food smell is BBQ.

3. Go to cocktail or beverage? I’m an iced coffee kind of gal. I also really like lemonade.

4. What would you choose as your last meal? That’s a tough one. I love food & have many favorites, but if I had to narrow it down I would either choose a plate of lobster meat drizzled with butter & salt or a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the fixin’s. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, dinner roll & a salad.

5. Favorite thing to cook? I love to make chili & have great recipes for both red & white.

6. Favorite dessert? Cherry pie. It’s the best.

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? California. I have family in Redwood City. It’s such a great area & if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend stopping at Half Moon Bay. Besides home, it’s my favorite place on earth.

8. 3 Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? I would love to go to Tahiti, Hawaii or France, but I’m not much for flying so I don’t think I’ll ever get to those places. My husband and I would love to take the kids to Alaska, the Black Hills and eventually Disneyworld.

9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents? We went to church with my grandparents every Sunday & then back to their house for roast or some other amazing meal my grandma would make. She always had 7 Up & wafer cookies for a treat. I always think of her now when I eat them. The pink ones are my favorite. We also spent a lot of time fishing at the cabin.

10. Favorite book? Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read a little bit every day & I start it over again as soon as I finish it. If I could live in a book, that one would be my home.

2013 Year in Review and Mantras for 2014

rejoice-sanfrancisco-mural-artIf you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I’ve been a busy bee. The beginning of the year is always a good time to reflect, which I’ve been doing a lot of. I (like many people) have a tendency to focus on the things I didn’t accomplish rather than the things I did. So, I decided to share the things I’m really proud of from the last year and my mantras for the coming year. Now it’s your turn. What are your proud moments from 2013? What are you looking forward to in 2014?

2013:

  • No more day job (um yeah, that happened. I’m please beyond measure but freaked out at the same time. It’s kind of awesome.)
  • Launched my Etta + Billie website and partnered with over 15 new stores! I LOVE getting connected with other business owners and creating relationships.
  • Better work/life balance which = an adventure with my husband (see some of the Italy photos here)

2014:

  • Growth
  • Appreciation
  • Focus

The making of…Beer Soap

Payback Porter Soap in the making
Payback Porter Soap in the making.

I am so excited that you can finally purchase Payback Porter Beer Soap on the Etta + Billie website. I’ve partnered with on of my favorite breweries, San Francisco based Speakeasy, to get some fantastic local beer. The beer soap has been months in the making (some of you may have noticed the photos I’ve been posting on Facebook and Instagram) and up until a few weeks ago was only available in select brick and mortar stores and at craft events.

A lot of work goes into the beer soap to ensure that I get a great batch. First, I have to prep the beer by letting it go flat for 2 days. Next, I simmer the beer for about 15-25 minutes to burn off as much of the alcohol as I can. After that, the beer goes into the fridge for 24-48 hours for chill time. Once the chilling and resting phase is complete, it’s time to make some soap! I slowly blend the lye and the beer to keep them from overreacting (they don’t always play nicely together). After that, I can add the lye/beer solution to my melted oils, blend, pour into my molds and then create the beautiful pattern seen above.

I have to say that all the prep is worth it because the Payback Porter Soap has a nutty, malted slightly fresh baked bread scent to it and a wonderful creamy lather. A true beer lovers soap. Grab yourself a bar (or two) and keep an eye on Facebook, Instagram and at the blog for more beer based soaps!