ECO SALON FRIDAY: A TRIP OF ONE’S OWN

Those of you who follow us on Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr, know that I was in New Mexico over the holidays. What resulted from this adventure was a love for the west and an understanding of why so many artists and creative types have settled to work there.  I was deeply impacted by the beauty, spirit, and (perhaps mostly by) the clear, crisp air. The day my friend Jennifer and I landed we spotted four rainbows.  Our friend Jeff wrote that such an unlikely experience is “possibly an indicator of good fortune to come.”

My blog post at EcoSalon this Friday is about our trip and the inspiration I found in a woman – long dead – named Mabel Dodge Luhan.

Thanks to EcoSalon for the continuing bi-weekly collaboration – read all of my stories there and make sure you let them know what you like.
xoNatalie

A TRIP OF ONE’S OWN

“I can’t believe that I am doing this.” Wait. Laugh. Repeat.  These were the words I kept echoing over and over again as I sat at Gate B27 in the Atlanta Airport. My girlfriend, Jennifer Venditti, is sitting across from me, looking like a vision of New York City chic. I stare at her in amazement. We are waiting to board a flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with plans to catch up on the last six months of one another’s lives.

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BELLE CHEVRE

I wrote about Tasia, and her beautiful goat cheese company, Belle Chevre, back in 2008 (including the recipe below). Tasia’s work has gotten better and better since that time with a wide range of products, a cookbook, and a whole series of cooking classes. Delicious.

Join us on Belle Chevre Twitter tomorrow for a chat with Tasia, the folks from Belle Chevre, and our dear friends from Billy Reid:

“This chat’s topic is ‘How Art Is Changing Alabama’ (as part of the broader series titled The New South: Chatting about the Future of Our Art, Food, and Culture). We’ll cover design, art and fashion, from any angle.  Basically it is a virtual cocktail party.”

The chat starts at 1 pm EST | 12 pm CST. Tag your comments #thesouth so we can find them.  See you there!

Here my Tuscan Chevre Salad again (it is worth repeating on a weekly basis in your kitchen – smile.):

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THE UNIFORM

I adore clothes. Both my closet and a large portion of the surrounding floor space are a testament to that. My lack of self control, paired with a job that forces me to be around beautiful garments all day, means I acquire more than I should and more than I have room for. At some point I will have to pay Alabama Chanin for working here.

My morning routine usually consists of two or three outfit changes. And if I’m getting ready for a special occasion- forget it; it’s going to take a while. At least that was the norm before Agnes, my daughter, came onto the scene. Life with a tiny human that refused to sleep quickly put showering in the luxury category and landed multiple wardrobe changes nowhere near the radar.

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OPEN SOMETHING GOOD

Thank you to everyone who graciously showed their support for Alabama Chanin over this last week. Your purchases, emails, and love are the things that keep us going. It has been a wonderful (if sometimes difficult) year and we appreciate your incredible show of kindness and loyalty as we move towards the holidays and the end of the year. You make a difference.

Our team is working overtime to fill all of the orders, wrap beautiful packages, and get shipments out in the next days. Let us know if you have any questions or need a helping hand:

Email: office (at) alabamachanin.com or phone us Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm CST at +1.256.760.1090

We are posting new collection pieces, projects, and products every day… plus, we have a few surprises up our sleeves.

Stay tuned by joining our mailing list,
xoNatalie

 

GOING, GOING, GONE.

Rain on the metal roof,  Natalie’s holiday iPod mix, and scissors through fabric – that’s all I can hear. It’s a busy day at the studio. Spirits are high, the orders are many, and some of our fabric stock is low.

Apologies to lovers of Burgundy and Blue Slate; we have exhausted our supply of these and a few other color options. There are still plenty of beautiful colors to choose from but supplies are limited; please order early to ensure selection.

-June

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE + CLIMBING DAISY

We have so very much to be thankful for this year – and decade.  It has been a time filled with friends, family, color, design, light, laughter, growth, and, of course, good food.

May your celebrations this year be filled with laughter, light, love, and Pumpkin Cheesecake!

xo from Natalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

To make pumpkin puree:

Cut in half one sugar pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin half-side down on a roasting pan and fill with ¼ inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, or until soft. Scoop out the meat and puree until smooth.

I have also used organic canned pumpkin with good results.

For the crust:

1 c. graham cracker crumbs (I have also used crushed shortbread cookies)
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. brown sugar
4 T. unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the bottom part facing up.

In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of springform pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

For the Filling:

4 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, very soft
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice
1 T. bourbon
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
4 large eggs, room temperature

Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, spices, bourbon, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.

Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).

Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

Gently lay our Climbing Daisy Stencil over the top of the cooled cake and dust with cinnamon.

 

ROSANNE CASH + KRISTA TIPPETT, THANK YOU

Rosanne Cash has become one our favorite clients, friends, and points of inspiration over this last year. (Yes, thank you, it has been a very good year and we have lots of reasons to be thankful.)

It seems that everywhere I turn these days, Rosanne’s name is attached to another interesting project.  From America: Now and Here (read the NY Times Article about the project ) to Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit 2011, Rosanne seems to be singing, writing, and spreading poetry around the globe.

I made a flight to Berlin this year with her book, Composed: A Memoir, and could not put it down.   There was a moment in the Berlin airport I was streaming tears, book in hand, and oblivious to the other passengers looking my way. Butch leaned over and said, “You okay?”  “Yes,” I replied, “it’s just SO beautiful.”

More on that coming soon…

Today, Nov 17, 2011 (4:30pm CT/5:30pm ET), Rosanne is In The Room with Krista Tippett (who I also adore and follow).

Can’t wait to hear it all…

Watch it here or at In The Room:

*Photo above of Rosanne sporting her Alabama Chanin coat @ Fortune Magazine’s Summit.  Whoohooo…

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH TODAY?

Since my fall garden is finally coming in beautifully:

Organic Arugula

Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce

Red Iceberg Lettuce

Spinach

Hard Boiled Egg

A sprinkle of ground flax seeds

My Favorite Dressing:

1 clove pressed garlic
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Make in a small glass jar, cover with lid, shake vigorously, drizzle salad with dressing and serve.
xoNatalie

 

CLOTHING + SOUND + COLOR

I love, love, LOVE this clip from the New Dragon Inn that Charty Durrant sent over this morning.

The clip above is from the remake – by Raymond Lee – of a 1960′s classic Kung Fu film.

Her email: “Check out this sequence – the clothing, the sound, the colours… Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.”

Thanks for making my morning Charty!
xoNatalie