welcome to the setting
It’s official. I am beginning a shiny, new chapter at The Setting. And it begins with a series of interviews. I am starting the series myself and will follow up with interviews of women who inspire me and my readers. Women who make, create, build, bake, write and explore this world we inhabit today.
I want to start by saying I didn’t grow up cooking or aspiring to talk about table scapes and handmade homeware. The progression was very natural and evolved out of opportunities that presented themselves.
The summer between high school and college, my girlfriend Nina and I teamed up with my brother Emmett, and his friends to throw a raffle at their annual LOLA Fourth of July party. This was my first time coordinating details for an event and my first thought was, I could be good at this…. It didn’t require a fancy education or background to be impactful. Being successful in events comes from being scrappy and dialed into details. Both traits are innate to my personality and so it goes, a career was born.
As time went on, that love of events and organization found a new life within cooking and baking and then ceramics. The Setting is really a celebration of ideas surrounding home entertainment. Simplifying the concept, making it for everyone. A collection of everyone’s favorite spice, recipe, mug, linen or flower arrangement… The Setting is the foundation of an experience and that is the inspiration behind this new series.
For me, growing up with not a lot of disposable income, I always was experimenting with cooking but I did spend several years amassing a collection of spices that now allow me to cook nearly anything without more than a handful of items from the market. As a result, I wanted to focus my favorite things for the home on five ingredients and a few household items that I use most often that can be a good investment if cooking/baking, having people over are interests you want to explore.
Coarse Sea Salt
can be used while cooking or as garnish and often gives everyday meals an added flair, if even just to the person preparing!
Crushed Red Pepper
I feel that pepper is somewhat interchangeable and Crushed Red Pepper opens your options up as far as seasoning easy but beautiful dishes like avocado toast, pasta, roasted vegetables, pizza and endless sauces… This bright ingredient makes dishes shine.
Nutmeg is versatile and can be used to enhance sweet and savory dishes which is why I listed it over Cinnamon. Nutmeg is good for things that Cinnamon can offer and beyond. From butternut squash soup, cakes and wintery cocktails, Nutmeg is a great item to have in the kitchen.
A staple in Mexican, North African, and Indian dishes, Cumin is an exotic spice with a lot of accessible uses. Perfect for chili, cilantro lime shrimp, spaghetti or lentil soup, this spice has a smooth kick and I use it almost every time I cook.
This is probably the most common ingredient in baking and a little bit goes a long way! You’ll never regret adding this to your spice repertoire.
I like to buy a few things fresh including onions instead of onion power, garlic instead of garlic powder and rosemary. I find that using a few ingredients fresh allows you to save money by buying other ingredients preserved as spices. The last few things are just general kitchen / home items that I love and that feel like home to me:
Windex with Vinegar
I like a clean home and kitchen and believe in clearing out the clutter to make room for good energy and opportunities. This cleaner smells good and also cuts through stains or grease while leaving a really clean counter or surface without using as many chemicals as regular windex.
Pommes Frites Teakwood & Tobacco Candle
This $18 candle is amazing all year round and made with soy wax for a slow, clean burn.
I don’t need to wait for someone to buy me flowers, I have a woman in Chinatown who I visit once a week and I keep blooms around the house to remind me that life is good and maybe it sounds weird to some people but that little source of color really makes me happy.
“I am not a formally trained anything. Not a cook or baker or homemaker. These are just things that I love and I hope that you find them interesting or helpful! The purpose is to create a dialogue around the modern way women live at home and I look forward to meeting innovators throughout this opportunity. We are here to learn how inspiring, busy women shape their lives within their settings.”
Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org with requests or questions!