Modica Design: Inspired by an unlikely marriage of materials, I made my first line of resin-infused wood jewelry in 2002. At that time, I majored in furniture design, while also exploring metalsmithing. Both disciplines share many processes; cutting, filing, sanding, polishing, etc. However, the scale of the finished product is dramatically different.
The intimate scale of metalsmithing held a distinctive allure and I found myself incorporating materials I knew and loved from furniture into my jewelry. Wood, providing warmth and texture. Resin, providing light and color. Together they create a unique dialog between contrasting worlds. Natural meets man-made. Opaque houses translucent. Warm collides with cool. The union of materials along with my commitment to high-quality, handcrafted jewelry is what gives this line a fresh, contemporary elegance.
I have to be upfront here: I’m a Crocs hater. That said, I know a ton of kids who adore them, and Monkey Lisa has come up with a product which makes me less negative about plastic shoes. “Cranklz” straps for Crocs shoes. They are very cute, make the shoes look less mass-produced and fit better, so if your kid just has to have Crocs, at least they will be able to run without their shoes flying off!
Not too long ago we added swine — American Guinea Hogs, an endangered heritage breed to be exact — to our farm family. It didn’t take any time at all for us to fall completely and utterly head over heels for the animals themselves, but I’d be remiss not to mention that we’ve been avid fans of pig-derived products for quite some time before their arrival — and I’m not talking football.
It’s amazing the number of marinades and rubs that pair perfectly with a good pork chop, or the ways in which a slow-cooked pork roast can be used. I’m particularly fond of slathering them in fruit flavors — apple, raspberry, mango — and adding a heavy dose of spice — jerk, chili, cracked pepper. And the meals from which those combinations can be made are endless; pork tacos, pork sausages tossed with pasta and grilled vegetables, white pork chili, bean soup.
Above and beyond all that however, is bacon. In sandwiches, crumbled on greens, chopped and added to a favorite potato or pasta salad recipe, with chocolate — yes, chocolate — bacon is heaven on earth as far as I’m concerned. Of course anything that compliments tomatoes and mayo on two pieces of toasted sourdough is above and beyond good with me so this is of no surprise. And it’s with that love in mind that I can spend copious amounts of time browsing the internet for bacon in all its glorious forms.
One of the most tantalizing of those products I’ve found to date has to be Skillet Street Food’s Bacon Jam on Foodzie (Pictured at top). Here’s what Real Simple magazine had to say about it:
This savory blend of bacon, onions, spices, and balsamic vinegar is perfect for your pork-loving oinkle. Spread on grilled cheese, burgers, and toast.
Do you have a favorite bacon product, flavor combination or recipe? Share it in the comments!
If there is anything that stands between me and a wholly local food existence it is undoubtedly my love of dining out — especially in small, authentic, ethnic atmospheres. That and guacamole. Unfortunately, Michigan weather is not terribly conducive to the growing of avocados.
There is something about walking into a family-run food establishment and being recognized by the person behind the counter; about them knowing your favorite dishes, your family and that you are interested not just in lunch but their life. It is something that feeds not just the body but the soul. And occasionally I find sacrificing some fossil fuel for that satisfaction is entirely worthwhile.
When I first happened across East & West Gourmet Afghan Food, a company that you can find both on Foodzie and on their personal website online, my heart skipped a little beat. Both excited to have found such an awesome product — one not available, to my knowledge, locally — and a bit saddened not to live near enough to meet the staff in person I jotted down their information to share here later. A few weeks ago, when I decided the last week of each month here should be dedicated to the discovery of one cool new producer I knew they had to be the first.
East and West Gourmet Afghan Food is the story of an Afghan woman and her family’s struggle in the search for a better life. Supported by her husband and eldest son they immigrated to the US and founded East and West Gourmet Food.
Originally the companies signature Bolani — a traditional Afghan flatbread stuffed with spinach, potato, pumpkin or lentil filling — was found only in San Francisco Bay area farm markets, but through word of mouth and excellent customer service has grown exponentially in just over five years worth of business.
Billal Sidiq is an “Ambassador of Love” in most of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Farmers’ Markets and even beyond. He represents his company with an inviting face, running mouth, and hands full of samples. Today East and West participates in up to 100 farmers’ markets every week. The product is now also found in Whole Foods markets and Andronico’s.
Relatively inexpensive, packed with nutrients, low in calories and carbohydrates, East & West’s Bolani has been getting rave reviews from foodies around the country. If you happen to try them out, let me know what you think!
Top from: Little Houses
I wonder if I’m the only one who’s hopelessly fickle? One moment I’m wishing it was fall, then the next moment when it gets a bit windy and there’s a nip in the air I’m wanting summer back. I suppose I’ve got a big case of the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
Having felt a chill in the air recently and none of the extremely hot temperatures we had in July it’s probably best that I resolve to just look forward to fall and all it’s various delights as it’s really just around the corner.
Coat from: Little Houses
With fall means taking stock of the wardrobe and seeing what’s needed for the season ahead, be it new shoes, a coat, long sleeve tops or a hat and gloves.
Coat from: Little Houses
I’ve had Vancouver local Shanah Flodstrom’s etsy shop, Little Houses, on my radar for quite some time. Launched in 2007, I spotted it on the front page of etsy at some point and couldn’t help but be drawn in by her unique style and great product photography. And now fall is right around the corner so no better time to share her shop with you. Little House’s gorgeous coats have become well known for their large collars, asymmetrical fronts, attention to fit and detail. Everything in Shanah’s shop is constructed by her, from sketch to pattern to garment.
Coat from: Little Houses
Whatever fall shopping you have planned you’ll want to do some searching on the Best of Handmade to see what fun finds are available. As I surfed around tonight I was pleasantly surprised with all the options that are available from designers in the handmade community.