It's sort of an understatement to say that I was obsessed with dying Easter eggs as a kid. I loved the bright colors and the smell of vinegar, so coloring eggs was a perfect craft in my book. In my family, we definitely did not do anything more fancy than Paas tablets and I'm okay with that because now as an adult, I get to shoot stories like this one with beautiful crafts by Sarah Cave.
Starting the year off with a job in the Caribbean is always nice. Discovering a new island that feels so different from others I've experienced is extra special. Martinique is French and has a distinctly European feeling in its port city, Fort-de-France. The language and architecture set the scene for Europe and yet when you look above the storefronts and homes, you realize you're nestled up against beautiful, lush, mountains that spill into a deep blue sea. It's as simple as Europe meets the Caribbean and for me, it felt disorienting in the best way possible.
I'm very spoiled by having so many talented studio mates at the Dobbin Mews. We collaborate on projects, we wear each others' wares, and we're constantly inspired by seeing everyone's process and creations. I've shared a space with surface designer Helen Dealtry for five years now and am always amazed at the seeming ease with which she lays down color to make her gorgeous floral designs. Helen makes beautiful patterns for brands like Loeffler Randall, Of A Kind, and Madewell. She also has her own scarf line and teaches insightful and fun painting classes. British craft magazine Mollie Makes just ran a feature profile on her and I got to take the photos. Here are some favs and a peek into our space:
I'm really excited that my work will be included in the American Photography annual this year! Happy to be sitting with the best of the best and even happier that the image chosen comes from my ongoing personal project, Wild Apple Journal. This photo was part of a story created for the final issue of Anthology Magazine. See the whole thing here.
I've spent some time now with this cookbook: up late at night in bed, lounging on the couch, and dirtying it in the kitchen. And although I'm completely biased for having worked on it, I have to say that Cooking Solo, due out on March 8th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is such a fun and useful book!
Author Klancy Miller is funny and smart, and her recipes are considered yet very do-able. I think that she and I share a lot of sensibilities both in the kitchen and aesthetically, and I've really valued getting to work with her on this, her first cookbook. Check out some sample images below and go pick it up to see it in person. The design is fresh and clean, and it printed beautifully! Prop styling by Martha Bernabe, and food styling by Carrie Purcell.
My work is featured in the latest issue of Parents in a story about healthy, whole grain cookies you can bake at home. Now, I realize that this is Parents and recipes are often meant for kids, but these will surely please family members of all ages. I highly recommend the gluten-free Fudgy Brownie Sandwich Cookies. They're like an adult Devil Dog and way better for you! You'll be happy you ripped that recipe page out at the doctor's office (it wasn't me who said to do it). Food styling by Liza Jernow and prop styling by Carla Gonzalez-Hart.
by Lina Watanabe
Skin can feel drab and dry in the winter due to indoor heat, reduced water intake, or lack of breathability from clothing. A great way to give your skin a tune up or just a well-deserved spa moment during these winter months is by making a homemade scrub. The scrub will exfoliate any dead skin cells as well as moisturize your skin in a lasting, non-greasy way. The best part is, it can be made with standard kitchen ingredients and can be jazzed up with your imagination.
5 parts salt or sugar
2 parts oil
1-2 part herbs/spices
2-3 drops essential oil per ½ cup of batch if desired (use sparingly!)
Measure out your base salt or sugar into a bowl. Grind any larger herbs/ingredients that need to be a finer consistency and add to bowl. Stir and add oil to desired consistency (a little goes a long way). Add any essential oils in small drop doses and mix. Put in your container and cover immediately. Scrub away and use as frequently as you like!
Hints: I like to use small wide mouth canning jars but any jar with a lid will work—use what you have! Any type of salt (even Epsom), oil, or sugar will work, except extremely fine varieties. If using coconut oil, you will have to melt it on low heat. To determine the parts, I like to start out with 1 part equaling 1 tablespoon and go up or down based on the quantity I want to make. Use herbs from your spice cabinet, or if you don’t have dried herbs on hand, simply just open up some tea bags. Things that are slightly gritty, like small seeds such as poppy or sesame, ground cocoa nibs, and even quinoa work as exfoliants. I use a coffee grinder to crush any dry herbs, seeds, oatmeal, or any larger ingredients to a finer consistency before adding them to the mix. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and should always be diluted in a carrier oil or with other ingredients in drop doses. They can be irritating to the skin, so use them sparingly for added scent, only if desired. This scrub is not advised for use on the delicate skin of your face. Take extra caution as the oils may make the shower floor slippery.
Below are two of our favorite recipes—we love that every ingredient is medicinal in some way. Since the skin is our largest organ, all medicinal ingredients used will be absorbed, so try to use the best quality ingredients and opt for organic whenever possible. Feel free to play around with the ingredients based on what is available to you.
WAKE UP! BLEND
Sea salt is less processed than table salt and has 82 essential minerals and trace minerals from the ocean that can be absorbed through the skin. It is also great for drawing out toxins and improving circulation. Coffee is of course stimulating due to its caffeine content and sometimes all you need to perk up is its smell. Although it has a slew of actions internally, its astringency topically on the skin helps to constrict the pores. The acidity of the coffee can also help to exfoliate the skin. Jojoba oil is comprised of long chain fatty acids similar to our skin sebum so it is absorbed rapidly on contact. Peppermint has a stimulating smell, is antimicrobial, and soothing to the stomach.
5 parts sea salt (fine to medium coarseness)
2 parts jojoba oil
1 part spent coffee grounds
1 part dried peppermint leaves
2-3 drops organic peppermint essential oil per ½ cup of batch
WIND DOWN BLEND
Sometimes you need a wake-up boost and other times you need to recuperate from the day and relax. This recipe is perfect for winding down the mind and body. There are so many benefits to this one: sugar can help maintain a proper electrolyte balance, oatmeal is soothing, and rose petals are astringent and tighten pores, while the aromatics are very relaxing. Chamomile reduces inflammation and anxiety and sweet almond oil is emollient to the skin (please swap it out if you have tree nut allergies). Honey is a humectant, which seals in moisture to your skin creating a protective barrier to the outside world. We all know the lovely smell of lavender, but did you know it can also be sedative, and antimicrobial? Studies have shown its chemistry truly is relaxing on mind as well as the body.
5 parts sugar
1/3 part oatmeal
1/3 part dried rose petals
1/3 part dried chamomile flowers
1 part sweet almond oil
1 part honey
2-3 drops organic lavender essential oil per ½ cup of batch
Lina currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She is the proud owner of two small businesses: Wild Rose Healing herbal consultations & reiki on people and pets, as well as Botanica Apothecaria handmade herbal products. She is also co-owner of a bi-monthly herbal surprise box company called Florilegia. For more information or to schedule an in-person or distance session, please visit Wild Rose Healing.
I've been making this cocktail a lot lately, given that winter is citrus season and given that I just really love mezcal. I thought I'd share it just in the nick of time for you to bust out the rosemary simple syrup, chill it, and mix these up for the Super Bowl tonight. They're totally going to show up your seven layer dip but trust me, you won't mind.
WINTER MEZCAL COCKTAIL
2 cups mezcal
1 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice (about 9 clementines)
1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/2 cup rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
2 cups seltzer
Add first four ingredients to a pitcher, stir to combine. Top with seltzer and give a quick, light stir. Pour into rocks glasses, over ice. Garnish with small rosemary sprig if you’re feeling fancy. (This recipe is in relative parts, so just change cup to jigger to decrease quantity.)
ROSEMARY SIMPLE SYRUP
MAKES ABOUT 3/4 CUP
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 rosemary sprigs
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and rosemary sprigs. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Bring heat back to medium and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Discard the rosemary and refrigerate in an airtight container, chilling thoroughly. Will keep in fridge for at least two weeks.
Although I was cozied up pretty hard with Netflix and my dog this weekend, Winter Storm Jonas nonetheless inspired some warm weather envy. If you’re with me, you’ll probably agree that nothing eases the melancholy of winter grays quite like Caribbean pinks and blues (and tropical fruit). In this spirit, a gift for your eyes--a sneak peek of outtakes from a recent shoot in Barbados:
It’s finally pretty cold out today and I’m dying for a cute hat to make winter feel prettier. Gigi Burris, who I had the pleasure of photographing recently for Garden & Gun, makes gorgeous ones that I’m lusting over. My favs are below—the Fox Mohawk beanie is chic, yet practical for winter and the Nell fedora is just simply beautiful (for those days when the wind is a bit more quiet).
Making soup on a weeknight is easier than you might think and it’s a really healthy and filling way to end the day. This one came out of what I had on hand but was definitely inspired by flavor combos I discovered while traveling in Bali a few years ago. Toss both Kabocha and butternut squash (seeded and in big wedges) with coconut oil, onion, peeled chunks of ginger root, and salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees until tender, then scoop the squash flesh, onion, and ginger into a blender, add stock, and blend away, drizzling in more stock until soup reaches desired consistency. Definitely squeeze some lime on it and if you’re feeling fancy, you can garnish with a bit of fried shallot and lime zest—it’s always nice to have a pretty plate!
I really believe in everything in moderation but I'm always trying to be a bit more virtuous with my breakfasts. Maybe I like to start the day leaving room for myself to be bad later? It took me a bit to really get into green smoothies—my concoctions were often too earthy to get excited about. This shoot, for the Simple Green Smoothies cookbook, helped me get inspired to experiment and (yes, I know this sounds crazy) be less intimidated by earthy, muddy “failure.” Jen and Jadah showed me there are endless possibilities and I’m so happy that their recipes are out in a print collection! I had a great time shooting the lifestyle portion of the book in California with their beautiful families. Our two days were spent playing by the pool, going to the farmers market, and blending up lots of healthy goodness. Here are some of my favorite images from our shoot:
When Anh-Minh and Meg (EIC and CD of Anthology Magazine) asked if Wild Apple would like to be a part of their "Forward Thinking" issue, Liza and I were truly honored. We really value that the ladies get what we aspire to do with the project: offer a new and different take on gluten-free cooking and eating. We aim to share recipes that reshape the way people think about gluten-free--you don't have to sacrifice anything when there is such a bounty of ingredients to work with, especially if you love cooking seasonally. So, for their final issue (yes--I know, it's sad) Wild Apple has shared three varied, though equally delicious, fall dessert recipes. We're rolling them out on the Journal, over the next handful of weeks, and here's a peek at how they appeared in Anthology.
Okay, I have a confession. Cranberry sauce might be my favorite thing about Thanksgiving. There's just something about it that makes the whole meal come together. It balances all of the rich, savory dishes with it's bracing sweet-tart punch. It's the essential counterpoint, in my book. How happy was I then, with my love for the cranberry and my New England roots, to head down to Birmingham and shoot Coastal Living's feature on the fruit? Pretty happy. Check out some fun uses for the humble cranberry in their latest issue, just in time for the holidays.
I'm so happy with how my first story for Whole Foods Market Magazine has turned out! This is my kind of editorial project: delicious recipes (by chef Ana Sortun), a cozy holiday vibe, the perfect location, and cute kiddos. Gorgeously food styled by Carrie Purcell and propped to lived-in perfection by Kaitlyn DuRoss.
Over the summer I spent an afternoon hanging out in my neighborhood with British restauranteur and food writer Russell Norman. It was pretty darn awesome because he's a truly lovely person and has very good taste in Brooklyn restaurants. We visited Maison Premiere and feasted on oysters and bourbon-based cocktails, spent time in the garden at Roberta's, and basically demolished the ribs at Rye, all pictured below. Russell's book Spuntino: Comfort Food (New York Style) comes out on November third.
This is the first post on a new platform! For older posts, please visit the blog archive.