I don’t know if I believe in fate, but sometimes I can’t shake the feeling that things happen for a reason. My introduction to the world of food blogging is one of those things that feels serendipitous and fills me with gratitude and awe. To be completely honest, when we first to moved to Seattle I was pretty unhappy. I had left behind a community, a purpose, and a landscape that I loved and moved to a big city (well, big for this country bumpkin at least) where I knew almost nobody and felt trapped and anxious. Now, almost two years later, I finally feel content and know that if we hadn’t moved to Seattle, and to this neighborhood, I never would have met the people who introduced me to food styling and photography, wouldn’t have started this blog, or found my calling. Experiencing change is always a valuable learning process, but the transition from VT to Seattle taught me more. Moving here taught me to have faith; faith that things will work out for the best. So here’s the serendipitous story of meeting one of the people who opened my eyes to this wonderful world of blogging.Several months after moving into our new house I began applying for waitressing jobs around town. One of the first places I applied was The Fat Hen, a cute breakfast spot around the corner from us. My timing couldn’t have been better as they were looking for someone to replace one of their servers who was moving, but hadn’t officially listed the position yet. After a phone call and an interview I went in for training on a busy Sunday. Amidst the bustle of rush hour brunch service I briefly met Kristan, the server I was replacing. I remember noticing her long dark hair and calm demeanor despite the craziness around her. We didn’t exchange more than a quick hello and then she moved and I took on her old weekend shifts. A few weeks later I found out that she had a food blog and was leaving, in part, to work full time as a food stylist, photographer and blogger. At the time I didn’t even know that being a food blogger was a real thing that people did full time. I began following Kristan’s beautiful blog and when I started this blog six months later, I contacted her to see if she would be willing to talk and offer some advice. That phone call was the first time I really experienced Kristan’s kindness, sincerity and generosity.Photo by Kristan Raines
A few months ago Kristan moved back to Seattle and attended one of my brunches. We talked about props and cookbooks and food and made a plan to collaborate. Here is the result: coconut panna cotta with blueberry balsamic compote. We had a great time coming up with this recipe, cooking, styling and shooting together and I can’t wait to work together more.
Below is the recipe for the blueberry balsamic compote (in case you have too many berries and you’re tired of eating them by the handful). For the coconut panna cotta recipe and to see more of Kristan’s photos head over to her blog post.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and tag photos of my recipes you make #tendingthetableeaters!
BLUEBERRY BALSAMIC COMPOTE
Makes 1 cup
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
fresh basil (optional)
Combine the brown sugar and balsamic in a small pot and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until thickened slightly. Add the blueberries and gently mix to coat the berries with the balsamic reduction. Serve warm.