Our Holiday Playlist

December 24, 2014

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, Events

Our Holiday Playlist

Whether you're wrapping gifts, decking the halls, or celebrating with friends, the holidays are always better with a little music. We put together the playlist below with songs for every holiday occasion, from time-honored classics to new favorites. We'd also love to hear from you-- what are some essential tracks on your Christmas playlist? Happy listening!

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The Dirt | 2014 | week no. 52

December 22, 2014

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, The Dirt

The Dirt | 2014 | week no. 52

The Dirt is our version of a weekly link roundup, where we share what's currently capturing our interest around the web. Hope you'll enjoy, and feel free to share what you're reading in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

Thoughtful and beautiful portraits of animals from photographer Tim Flach. (via NYT)

The curious world of hybrid vegetables. (via NPR)

A handy guide for building a fire. (via Real Simple)

Incredible snowshoe drawings. (via Huffington Post)

An unexpected, savory hostess gift. (via Cupcakes and Cashmere)

A striking wreath DIY made with winter's best botanicals. (via Sacramento Street)

If you're on the West Coast or headed on vacation-- LA's 20 best bites. (via Oh Joy!)

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Habit + Habitat: Alli McGrane

December 22, 2014

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At Home

Habit + Habitat: Alli McGrane

Ever wonder what the folks at terrain do when we're not in the nursery? In our monthly series, Habit + Habitat, we're finding out by asking one person to share a favorite habit and a beloved habitat. This month, we’re chatting with Web Stylist Alli McGrane, who works behind the scenes to make sure every photo and email looks beautiful. With just three(!) days until Christmas, Alli took us to her studio for a peek at her favorite holiday habit-- crafting hand-printed gift wrap.

terrain: What is your role at terrain? Can you describe your typical day?

Alli: I'm the web stylist. On a typical day, I'm setting up scenes and products that will be photographed for our emails and website.

terrain: Can you tell us about your studio space at home?

Alli: It’s a very small space. There's just enough room for a small desk and shelves, but it has a lot of natural light to work by.

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Spiced Hot Cocoa

December 18, 2014

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Recipe Box

On cold winter nights, there’s nothing we find more comforting than curling up by the fire with a mug of homemade hot cocoa. Our narrative photographer, Isa S., recently shared her go-to recipe, which puts a spicy twist on this holiday favorite. If you're feeling extra-festive, we suggest topping your mug with a snowflake marshmallow. No time to brew from scratch? Simply stir your choice of the spices listed below into a cup of ready-made cocoa mix and enjoy!

Spiced Hot Cocoa
Serves 6

6 cups whole milk 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2
 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
2 whole star anise 
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4
 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

Bring all the ingredients except for the cocoa powder and vanilla to a simmer in a large saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for up to 20 minutes before adding the cocoa powder and vanilla. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer and whisk until fully blended. Strain and serve, garnishing with an extra sprinkling of cinnamon on top.

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Sugared Cocktail Garnishes

December 17, 2014

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Recipe Box

Sugared Cocktail Garnishes

With Christmas and New Year celebrations on the horizon, we've been brushing up our skills behind the bar and mixing up some creative cocktails. We've also been topping our favorite libations with sugared garnishes made from fresh fruits and herbs. No matter the occasion, these sparkling accents are sure to add a bit of extra cheer to holiday toasts. Even better, they're incredibly simple to make. Start with garnish-sized pieces of your chosen fruits and herbs, then gently brush them with a coating of egg whites. Since the egg whites won't be cooked, please be sure to use fresh eggs from a trusted source. Then, simply coat the garnishes with superfine sugar and allow them to dry on wax paper. Mix up your favorite cocktail, add a sugared rim and garnishes, and give a toast to the holidays!

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A Scandinavian Christmas Breakfast

Each winter, we draw holiday inspiration from the simple beauty of Scandinavian and Nordic design, embodied by cozy gatherings and clean, idyllic winter beauty. In many Scandinavian countries, hygge—a concept that encompasses togetherness, warmth, and conviviality—is central to winter and the holidays. In this spirit, Garden Café Executive Chef Jared Frazer created this simple and welcoming breakfast dish, perfect for serving up on Christmas morning. Read on for the recipe! 

Cornmeal Drop Pancakes with Lingonberries & Warm Spice Crème
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat a cast iron skillet on a medium heat setting on a range burner. At the same time, preheat your oven to 350°F.  Mix all of the dry ingredients together in one bowl, then add in the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Add one tablespoon of butter to the skillet and fill it about halfway with batter. Place the skillet in the oven until the batter is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with your favorite toppings – Jared used lingonberries and a warm spiced crème fraiche. “Warm spice is another name for spices you use during the winter months,” says Jared. “Think warm apple cider or pumpkin pie. To create the topping, simply blend clove, cinnamon, allspice, and anise into your crème to taste.”

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Forever Terrariums

December 15, 2014

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At Home
, How-To

Forever Terrariums

This Christmas, we're considering a new possibility for gifting with terrariums. Though we love a classic vessel filled with lush, living plants, we've recently started creating "forever terrariums"-- long-lasting displays of preserved botanicals and curios that don't require a green thumb. We especially like these everlasting creations as gifts for a holiday hostess or a friend who travels frequently. To create the forever terrarium above, we paired a Vintage Hungarian Storage Jar with a bed of sparkling snow and a few shimmering cedar cones, then added a battery-powered strand of our favorite Stargazer Lights for a warm glow. Finally, we topped off the display with some twigs of red winterberry for a holiday twist, and finished with a simple strand of baker's twine for gifting. Head to our stores to find a gorgeous selection of complete forever terrariums, or make your own with natural finds and your favorite vessel

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The Dirt | 2014 | week no. 51

The Dirt is our version of a weekly link roundup, where we share what's currently capturing our interest around the web. Hope you'll enjoy, and feel free to share what you're reading in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

These pretty paper ranunculus would make a show-stopping handmade gift. (via Design*Sponge)

A naturally amazing art installation in Oslo. (via My Modern Met)

An amazing photo of a newly-discovered cloud formation. (via The Times)

With sweet season in full swing, we're loving this in-depth guide to chocolate. (via The Kitchn)

Pretty placecards for the holiday table. (via Say Yes)

A colorful guide to winter's best flowers. (via Green Wedding Shoes)

A healthy addition to your holiday bar. (via The Chalkboard)

A collection of gorgeous photos from around the world-- you'll be surprised at how they were taken. (via BBC)

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