the alchemist: kings county distillery's nicole austin

“It’s nice to feel that no one knows Kings County’s barrels better than me. People ask all the time, ‘What makes you a master blender?’ Well, I may not be able to go out and do everyone else’s job in this industry, but no one can come in and do mine. No one knows these casks better than me, and that feels like an accomplishment.”

Read the full story on Life & Thyme

loaves with a soul: moxie bread co.

I'm thrilled to share my most recent collaboration with my photographer sister, Lauren, as well as my first article for Life & Thyme magazine. It was a pleasure getting to know baker Andy Clark and the entire team at Moxie Bread Co. If you're ever in the Boulder area, their loaves are well worth the detour!

"Rustic in appeal and appearance, these multi-hued and roughly hewn breads are the literal 'staff of life.' They, and only they, can sate our cravings when we are truly hungry—whether in the physical, spiritual or emotional sense. Crafted with a multi-grain medley of flours, their flavor often outstrips the white flour-only competition and just might inspire you to—god forbid it—forego butter."

read the full story on Life & Thyme.

recipe: charred ramp toast

While many mark spring by the first blossoms of crocuses and daffodils, for me it has always been the season of weird, wild green things. From sorrel to green garlic, lambs quarters to fava beans, I literally cannot get enough of springs' catwalk of here-then-gone harvests.

That elusive "catch me while you can" quality certainly makes this time of year feel special, but it can also be incredibly frustrating as a cook. When all your favorite ingredients are rushing in and back out in a flurry, it's hard not to focus on pickling and preserving—instead of just plain enjoying what the season has to offer.

So this is my zen, in-the-moment recipe idea for spring. It's a chance to just make the most of wild greens while they last, to eat them all in one indulgent go. And frankly, "recipe" is a strong word for it: get a grill pan, fire it up, make things taste good. That said, it's a strong contender for the best thing I've ever cooked.

Charred Ramp Toast

  • 3-4 thick slices of crusty bread
  • A dozen ramp leaves (the stems are great for pickling)
  • Roughly 3 tablespoons of ricotta or labne
  • Good olive oil
  • Maldon salt
  1. Preheat a cast iron stovetop grill or grill pan over medium high heat.
  2. Lightly brush the grill with oil, then char your bread somewhat aggressively.
  3. Remove your bread from the grill and top with ricotta or labne.
  4. Lightly toss your ramp tops in oil and grill for thirty seconds (or until they begin to wilt). 
  5. Top your toast with the grilled ramps. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and drizzle with more olive oil.
  6. Turn off the TV, put your magazine away and enjoy without distraction. Spring is sacred, so enjoy every bite.