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The Barn Swallow Concert Series!!

13 May



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The Barn Swallow Concert Series!!



I am so sorry I have been absent for many months. I have been incredibly busy, acting as a fully functioning musician. I have gone through some significant life changes, and I live in a new house just north of downtown Ann Arbor, where I will be hosting an amazing, charitable concert series this summer!

In order to accomplish this, I have launched an indiegogo fundraiser to cover the costs required to begin this small business and bring in this amazing talent. Please take a minute to watch the video, donate what you can, and share as much as possible!

And please join us this summer! On that note, I will be merging my food blogging endeavors with my Barn Swallow endeavors, and I will now be blogging at  (and I’ll actually be POSTING!! I’ve been making craaaazy things in the kitchen…I miss telling you about it!)

Please take a look! Forgive me for my absence, and join me over at the new site shortly!

Much love,


I’m Baaaaack!

5 Dec

Considering the consistency with which I blog, one might think that I should just set my expectations much lower so as to not set myself up for failure (failure being NOT blogging, which is what I have been doing). Basically what happens is that I get lazy/forget about it/just want to eat the damn food instead of coaxing it to model for the camera and then I cook and bake and cook and bake and totally keep all of it to myself and the people eating it and don’t post it on the internet. Now, I acknowledge that the second half of that sentence refers to what normal people do. I, however, am obsessed with food and therefore do not consider myself to have normal interactions with it. I HAVE REALLY AWESOME INTERACTIONS WITH FOOD. So there.

Anyways, I am not one content with failure. I do often talk myself out of blogging with all kinds of good excuses. This worked very well in college because there were due dates, so I eventually did have to do the work, and I did it really well. I just didn’t try that hard because I didn’t have to. However, blogging is different. I’m supposed to do it because I want to. And I like it! I do. I’m not entirely sure why I slack so hard on it sometimes. I think perhaps once I finish cooking something it’s often for an actual meal so I don’t usually feel like I have endless hours to toy with lighting and scene setting like it seems some bloggers do.

I admire many bloggers and consistently peruse their pages. It’s very impressive and sometimes intimidating. If there are already so many awesome food blogs, why should mine be anything to shake a stick at? This is not the correct attitude. The correct attitude is: I like to cook, I like to write, I like to make art, now I share it with you! This is what I’m working on–reminding myself that I have a blog so I can share my passion with people. And then I can stare at my food pictures and drool over them even though I probably just ate whatever it is I also photographed.

If I can have a blog half as hilarious as Hyperbole and a Half, and a blog half as pretty as Roost, then I will feel like I have succeeded. If I promise to post more, will you promise to share my work? Let’s collectively commit to success as the Appleseed Collective likes so often to say.

We begin now. This is a small taste of what I’ve been up to in my absence:

I went to Florida

I made really good key lime pie

Ate lots of fresh seafood

i had some of the best gluten-free pizza yet

I made practice pies before Thanksgiving (that ended up being better than on T-day)

I made cake (and ate it too)

and soup

and cookies

and huevos rancheros

gluten-free stuffing

so many tasty breakfasts

shepherd’s pie for 8 (there were 3 of us)

and this lovely tempeh creation.

See? I wasn’t slacking. I just wasn’t spending my time on the internet doing productive things. If I blogged as consistently as I send food picture messages to my mom then I’d really be on to something. But that’s enough self-motivation and affirmation for now. I shall leave you with the following:

I will blog at LEAST once a week.

I will stop taking pictures with my iPhone when I’m feeling lazy and use the brilliant DSLR I have. DUH.

I will bring new and exciting things to you that you won’t find on other food blogs (THINK ENTERTAINMENT! I am a musician after all)

Ta ta for now and love to all!



“Baby to Beast” Free Stream at AOL/Spinner’s Listening Party!

16 Jul

“Baby to Beast” Free Stream at AOL/Spinner’s Listening Party!

Check it out! You can stream The Appleseed Collective’s new album “Baby to Beast” at AOL/Spinner’s Full CD Listening Party for just one week! Get there!

Tis The Season For…Herbs and Sinusitis

22 Jun

So it was 95+ degrees out yesterday and I spent most of the day in the walk-in clinic with sinus pain that come on faster and stronger than normal. OH BOY, FUN! I know, everyone totally wants to spend their summer days in bed, sweating (more than normal), thermometer constantly in mouth checking to see if that fever has yet to break, eating soup because it hurts too much to chew, and in my case, pounding a mixture of hot water, honey, and apple cider vinegar. But that is quite enough of a sob story for now. The good news is that I took the opportunity of staying in bed to watch a nerdy science show about aliens, and convinced Brandon to make vegan/gluten-free “mac n cheese.” Now, I totally owe you a recipe for this, but I was barely able to help cook, let alone play photographer and lighting wizard (not like I’m even a lighting wizard when not having fever dreams…on that note, last night’s fever dream included “jazzy” salmon…). I will tell you this much, though: it was delicious, easy to chew, and not nearly as hard to make as one might imagine. AND we put this beet in it!

Is that not the beet to end all beets? I am determined to find more like it so their beauty shall not go to waste in such a concotion as pasta!
Anyways, that’s enough raving about g-free noodles for now, especially when I can’t even show you what we ate. In case you’re wondering, yes, the sauce DID turn pink. Very pink. To top off his evening of winning in the kitchen, Brandon surprised me with some MINT GALACTICA coconut milk ice cream. He’s a real keeper. OH! And truffle oil. He brought home truffle oil. And put it in the “mac n cheese.” Ok, now I really have to stop because this must be torture for you vegan, gluten-free folks out there with a mean hankering for a rich, creamy pasta (I probably need to widen my market eh?).
In other news, we have managed not to kill all of our herb plants, and in fact have just harvested some thyme! We’re going to dry it to have on hand in the cooler months. Here it is!



Ain’t it purty?
Well, I think that’s all I’ve got for now. I did make some tiny, tasty lemon tarts with leftover curd from Brandon’s birthday cupcakes and I think they’re calling me. I’m planning to be beaming with health tomorrow as I perform my little heart out all day. Come catch me at The Ark or Woodruff’s and I promise I won’t breathe on you!



A Weekend of Music (And Celebration of All Things Local!)

19 Jun



Hi friends,

I just wanted to take a second to tell those of you in the Ann Arbor area about some musical performances this weekend! Saturday will be a busy day for me with a private engagement in the afternoon,

Orpheum Bell at The Ark (8 PM, Saturday June 23, Ann Arbor, MI)

The Appleseed Collective at Woodruffs (10 PM, Saturday June 23, Ypsilanti, MI)

The Appleseed Collective at The Produce Station-The Art of Local! (4:30 PM, Sunday June 24, Ann Arbor, MI)

Sunday is an especially good show for all you local foodies, as we’ll be celebrating all things local (art, music, food) at The Produce Station! We’ll be joined by Abigail Stauffer, Laith Al-Saadi, and tons of local food vendors like The Brinery! Tastings and goodies will be plentiful. So come and join us!

Portland Part Deux

6 Jun

And the travel adventures continue! Our last couple days in Portland included less exploration of the east side than Brandon would have preferred, but we did manage to make it to a couple stellar spots.

First up on the list of all things amazing is Pok Pok. A small Thai BBQ restaurant on Portland’s east side headed by James Beard Award winner, chef Andy Ricker. We’ve been introduced to drinking vinegars in Portland, and at Pok Pok Brandon snagged a tamarind flavored drinking vinegar (mixed with soda water) while I sipped on a fresh limeade.

I can’t name all of the incredible dishes we had (really, they had complicated names that the menu even joked about) but think intensely flavored broth and noodle dishes, satay with peanut dipping sauce and spicy pickled vegetables, and Pok Pok exclusive barbecue wings. Seriously. Next time you’re Portland, you have to grab a seat at this busy little spot.

Aaaand my mom is officially jealous…now.

Moving on and about town, I of course can’t neglect the food carts. We dined but briefly for an afternoon snack, opting for Cuban beans and rice with sweet potato tots at Cubo de Cuba. There were options across town in all of the neighborhoods…it’s just too bad we weren’t constantly hungry!

* * * * * *
And to top off our Portland food fest, I leave you with Salt and Straw. After failing to visit any of the gluten-free bakeries I wanted to try (I trekked to New Cascadia, neglecting to make sure they were open), I was determined to make my way to Salt and Straw. Portland’s self-proclaimed “farm to cone” ice cream shop is known for its local ingredients and wildly unique flavors–think bone marrow, beer, and more.
As I am wont to do, my first choice was a sea salt ice cream with a caramel ripple. I coupled that with a banana, “spicy monkey” caramel (spiked with Hot Monkey Vodka), and walnut flavor. Needless to say, they were both amazing. And especially when combined together. Brandon tried strawberry honey balsamic with cracked black pepper (they use pepper to enhance the flavors in the fruit) alongside “Grandma Malek’s almond brittle” with salted ganache. Two more winners, naturally. The strawberry balsamic was a fascinating flavor–upon tasting, the balsamic hits your tongue first. As the ice cream melts, the fresh Oregon strawberries linger on your tongue. And the almond brittle, a family recipe, had a perfect taste and texture next to the ganache, both perfectly combining salty and sweet.
The ice cream alone would have probably been enough to make my trip to Portland worth it, but the weekend full of food, pair of cozy new boots, and time with my family really made it a great weekend. We’re in San Francisco now and goodness knows we’ll continue to eat well.
I’ll leave you with a few shots of Portland’s gorgeous International Rose Test Garden, which remained beautiful despite the drizzle.
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