We Are… FMITK

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This is Holly Haines. She cooks out of her “Impossibly Tiny Kitchen” – hence the name of her inspiring blog “From My Impossibly Tiny Kitchen” or FMITK, where she creates delectable recipes that she loves sharing with the her friends and followers. She’s a super talented baker and cook with a fun sense of humor.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s the time for sweet treats, so we caught up with Holly in her kitchen whipping up a tasty batch of her Dark Chocolate Chip Heart Brownies. Yum! Here’s the recipe and step by step guide so you can make something sweet for your someone special this Valentine’s Day.

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What you’ll need: vanilla extract, sugar, flour, brandy, sea salt, butter, dark chocolate, eggs, dried tart cherries, and heart cookie-cutters, should you decide to get all cutesie with it.

Ingredients

for the cherries
3/4 cup tart dried cherries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/8 tsp if spicy isn’t your thing. these have a kick!)
2 tbsp brandy (or your favorite boozy selection)

Start by placing cherries, water, sugar and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add brandy. Let steep until cherries cool down a bit (about 20 minutes). Drain the liquid and set cherries aside.

for the brownies
3oz dark chocolate (60%+), chopped (we love Mast Brother’s Dark Chocolate Chef’s Tablet)
1 stick of butter
1 (scant) cup of sugar (“scant” just means a little bit less than)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour

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In a heatproof, microwave safe bowl, combine chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each, until butter and chocolate are mostly melted about a minute. 

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Whisk in sugar. We love using Falcon’s Prep Set for mixing bowls!

FMITK-8 Then whisk in eggs –  one at a time. Then do the same for the vanilla and salt. Finally, stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula.

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 Pour brownie batter into prepared pan (lined with parchment paper), spreading until mostly even.

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 Top with remaining drunk cherries.

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Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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 While waiting for those delicious brownies to properly cool, we got to sit down and get to know Miss Holly Haines a bit more. She’s made treats for Pigment events in the past, but we were excited to have some one-on-one time to see what she’s all about.

How did FMITK get started?

“FMITK started as a superfluous hashtag (#frommyimpossiblytinykitchen) I used to tag my recipe posts on Instagram. Eventually, enough of my friends badgered me into creating a blog with all my recipes, and voila, fmitk.com was born.”

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What inspires you to cook?

“I get my inspiration from everywhere and everyone! A television commercial, a gift from a co-worker’s vegetable garden, a whiff of my neighbor’s cooking, trying to duplicate delicious things from my favorite restaurants. Finding new and delicious recipes to share with the people I love is always the purpose. Also, boredom. Boredom usually gets me in the kitchen trying to make something out of whatever I have on hand.”

What is your favorite recipe?

“My favorite FMITK recipe is my Chinese Five Spice and Cocoa Braised Short Ribs (coming soon!), but my most requested recipe is far and beyond the Roasted Strawberry and Salted Caramel Brownies (http://www.fmitk.com/2013/10/roasted-strawberry-and-salted-caramel-brownies/). I’ve made it so many times, I know that recipe like the back of my hand.”

Do you have a favorite product from our Market section?

“I love all of the Lemon Bird products – specifically the Tomato and Vanilla Bean Jam and their Preserved Lemons. I’ve made a couple recipes with them which you can find here and here.”

What do you imagine your dream kitchen to look like?

“There would definitely be a Le Cornue stove involved, and it would definitely be a large, open space, since everyone always likes to congregate in the kitchen anyway (even in my impossibly tiny one). Really, my ideal home would just be a large open kitchen. A bathroom… a twin bed is fine. But mostly all kitchen everything.”

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 You can follow Holly on instagram @frommyimpossiblytinykitchen, and visit her blog for more inspiration and fun recipes!

 

Thank you Holly! You are pretty epic! xo – Pigment

photos by Chantal Pasag

 

 

Tillandsia Trunk Show

Just about a month ago, we held a our very first  Tillandsia Trunk Show, and in case you missed it here is a recap of what we hope to have more of in the year to come!

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Sharing the amazing beauty of these curious plants was just part of the inspiration for the exhibit, it was also an opportunity to learn more about them.

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Here are just a few fun facts about Tillandsia care and keeping one in your home :

  • Tillandsias have the unique ability of absorbing water through their leaves, allowing them to sit free-standing of soil or planters!  Be it nested book-side on a shelf, or clinging to a piece of weathered driftwood; displaying air plants is fun and super easy. When watering your Tillandsias, mist the leaves and center of the plant (not the base) with a spray bottle.  The amount of water will vary depending on humidity.  In drier climates, like our own here in San Diego, we recommend 3-4 times a week.
  • You can tell if your Tillandsia is happy and healthy when it’s leaves are growing up and out.  Brown at the edges and curling, the plant isn’t getting enough water (careful, too much water can cause them to rot).
  • In nature, Tillandsias grow under the shade of trees.  They prefer dappled light as opposed to direct sunlight.  A covered porch, patio, or a shelf near a window are ideal locations for your air plant.
  •  If your Tillandsia has a mini version of itself growing from it’s base, that is a baby air plant! After a few months, you can either leave it attached to start a Tillandsia “clump,” or carefully separate them to start growing another specimen.

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What are those things that look like roots?

Those little tendrils allow Tillandsias to anchor themselves to trees or rocks. Unlike most roots, they don’t take up nutrients and the plant is not harmed by having them cut off.

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Large Xerographica

One of our favorites here at the shop.  At 18″ wide, one specimen in the trunk show was the largest the store has ever seen.  We were blown away! They were absolutely stunning.  That said,  Xerographica can actually grow up to three feet in diameter and three feet tall when blooming (can you imagine)!  They’re slow growers and their health hinges on good air circulation and proper watering.

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Look for more events to come in Spring! Happy planting!

photos by Pigment owner Amy Paul

A Pigment Gift Guide | For Her

Still trying to figure out what to give her this holiday? We have a few pretty lil’ suggestions:

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1. We love this stunning book of floral arrangements – The Flower Recipe Book.

2. Wild Flower and Fern Gel has the prettiest packaging, you don’t even have to wrap it!

3. For the lady with the cooking magic  - Rifle Paper Co. Citrus Floral Tin Recipe Box.

4. Dress it up, or dress it down with this fun little Hobo Honey Ombre Wallet.

5. In love with Lush’s Love Script Ring.

6. There’s nothing basic about this beauty, Baggu Leather Basic Tote in fancy-fun gold!

7. Botanical Rose iPhone Case is not only super pretty, but really durable too, for those oh so many “whoops…eek!”

8. Sass it up with the Large Baggu Leather Pouch in Persimmon! Perfect as a clutch or makeup carryall.

9. A special piece of jewelry for a special lady, handmade by Bearhead Factory – the beautiful Feather Cuff.

A Pigment Gift Guide | For Him

Tis’ the season for gift giving! So here we present to you a few ideas for HIM, whoever HE may be.

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1. We are in love with the Griffin Assembly Messenger bag. It is incredibly well made, super classy and pretty practical too.

2. Dress up that iPhone with Native Union’s CLC Walnut & Brass iphone case.

3. Get HIM fresh with Cedar Wood Soap. Need we say more?

4. A San Diego made and hand-crafted Leather Blanket Keep by Edison Manufacturing Co. for the outdoorsy and on-the-go guy.

5. Keep it dapper with Izola’s Dapper Dopp Kit the perfect canvas toiletry bag, gift it with No. 3 Cedar Soap.

6. For the guy that’s always in the kitchen (we know you’re out there!) a cookbook for some good ol’ southern cookin’ –  Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey.

7. Music all day and everyday?  Native Union’s Portable Speakers are not only awesome (charges your phone, takes conference calls…) but look really cool!

8. Keep that mop dressed up with with Izola’s Fine and Dandy brass comb. Now who’s got style?

9. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like an Izola pocket flask! Cheers to the Season – clink, clink.

Happy Gift Giving!

Warmly, Pigment