Behind the Scenes: Making & Mattering

Behind the scenes: Making & Mattering @loveandlemons

I get a lot of questions about my background – mostly about how I got started blogging and if I have tips or suggestions for someone just starting out. I’ve always had a hard time coming up with “the answers” because I truly feel like everyone’s path is different. What I can tell you is that one key to my creative little journey has been surrounding myself with insanely talented people to be inspired by. So when La Crema Wines asked me to be a part of their Interview Magazine Statement Makers campaign, I immediately knew I wanted to interview one of the most inspiring and creative people I know - Trina Bentley of Make & Matter.

Everything I know about design, developing an aesthetic, and having a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic, I learned from her. While Jack is the person that finishes my sandwiches, Trina is (creatively speaking) the person who finishes my sentences. She’s been my go-to person for everything from logo brainstorms to my wedding dress choice. She’s the person who I trust to tell me that the sky is blue and that Pantone 485 is, in fact, the best red.

Behind the scenes: Making & Mattering @loveandlemons

A bit about our background: Trina and I first met while working at a local graphic design firm. Eventually, we took a leap and started our own studio where we learned the ropes of creative entrepreneurship. Fast forward a bunch of years and our paths have diverged a bit – I started this here blog, and Trina went on to make a statement by starting Make & Matter, an award winning design studio where she creates gorgeous branding and packaging for natural food brands (like those beautiful Epic bars).

Last weekend, we got together for a glass of wine and a little brainstorm for an upcoming collaboration (more on that soon!). Jack put together a couple of cheese plates (and also snapped these photos)… Trina enjoyed La Crema’s Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir while I popped open the Chardonnay (which is in fact one of my favorite whites because it’s light, buttery, and also pairs well with most foods).

I realize this isn’t a dinner recipe, or a how-to-blog post, but I’m hoping this little Q & A will at least inspire all of you creative-types out there with some tips to make a statement in your own career. (Keep reading for the interview after the jump).

Cranberry & Pistachio Chocolate Bark

Cranberry & Pistachio Chocolate Bark / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

During the holidays, Jack has a thing for peppermint bark. I have a thing for not picking sticky candy pieces out of my teeth, so we compromised and used festive ingredients that we both love – pistachios, dried cranberries, coconut flakes and (most importantly!) a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

Cranberry & Pistachio Chocolate Bark / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

This is my kind of holiday dessert because it’s (naturally) red and green, and also easy to through together. You might even already have these ingredients (or similar ones) on hand in your pantry. If you don’t – feel free to customize with whatever toppings you like – nuts, dried fruit, or even crushed candy cane pieces if that’s your thing.

Pop it in the freezer to set – then break and eat!

Cranberry & Pistachio Chocolate Bark / @loveandlemons #vegan #glutenfree

Kitchen Essentials Holiday Gift Guide

kitchen essentials holiday gift guide / @loveandlemons

Image Map

So many of you have written me asking about the kitchen equipment I use and recommend. I figured now was the perfect time to put together a list of some of my favorite things. Many of the items shown here are things that I own and use all the time - and a few of them are totally on my wishlist. (hint hint, Jack).

Whether it’s time to ask your relatives for that Vitamix or give your newlywed daughter a really amazing (matching!) set of pots and pans, hopefully I’ve offered a few ideas. To make it easy, everything here is from Macy’s. 

You can click directly on the images in this post to view each product. And if you’re looking for a few more options, check out their cookware buying guide.

(Keep reading for more gifts after the jump…)

2014 Cookbook Gift Guide

2014 Cookbook Gift Guide / www.loveandlemons.com

Green Kitchen Travels Vibrant Foot The Forest Feast The Oh She Glows Cookbool At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen Plenty More Shake The Art of Vintage Cocktails The Bar Book Sunday Suppers The Yellow Table Camille Styles Entertaining

It’s that time of year again! I think cookbooks make the best gifts so I’ve rounded up tons of my favorites in a variety of different categories. Hopefully there’s something here for everyone on your list (and then maybe a little something for yourself too). If I’ve missed any of your favorites, leave me your recommendations in the comments!

pictured above:

Green Kitchen Travels  /  Vibrant Food  /  The Forest Feast

The Oh She Glows Cookbook  /  At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen  /  Plenty More

Shake  /  The Art of Vintage Cocktails  /  The Bar Book

Sunday Suppers  /  The Yellow Table  /  Camille Styles Entertaining

2014 Cookbook Gift Guide / www.loveandlemons.com

A New Turn in the South A Boat A Whale and A Walrus The Fat Radish Keepers Leon Family and Friends Dinner The Playbook Edible French Paris Pastry Club A Kitchen in France Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Yummy Supper The Blender Girl Seriously Delish Top with Cinnamon Easy Gourmet

pictured above:

A New Turn in the South  /  A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus  /  The Fat Radish

Keepers  /  Leon Family & Friends  /  Dinner: The Playbook

Edible French  /  Paris Pastry Club  /  A Kitchen in France

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day / Yummy Supper / The Blender Girl

Seriously Delish  /  Top with Cinnamon  /  Easy Gourmet

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Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons

I feel like I missed the boat on the Thanksgiving leftover trend – sorry no mashed potato sandwiches happened here. (and um, eww). Instead, I turned a bunch of random veggie scraps and a chunk of red onion into fancy little veggie packed pizzas. In other words – it’s pretty much a non-recipe made on mini naan breads.

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons

You can customize these with whatever veggies you have on hand. Red onion and brussels sprouts are a tried & true combo (this recipe is still one of our favorites), and the sweet potatoes add a nice hearty bite. I slathered ricotta cheese as my base and topped mine with pecorino. (Although feel free to sub tomato sauce and daiya cheese for a vegan option).

The key here is to slice the sweet potato into pretty thin ribbons so they don’t take longer to cook than the rest of the toppings. I used just a regular vegetable peeler.

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons-2