The only New Year's Resolution I've faithfully kept this year (and any year) is my commitment to read one additional book per month outside of course requirements at my university. The problem? My reading list keeps increasing...exponentially.Read More
My French food dreams came true last Saturday. A spontaneous trip to a Meridian-Kessler French Festival turned into a lovely day with friends.
Out of all the time-wasting portions of Facebook, stumbling across local events is the most satisfying. While procrastinating a philosophy paper last week, I noticed that St. Joan of Arc had a French food festival. It was as if the event organizers had entered into my ideal Saturday dreams.
A group assembled and we drove to Indy Saturday morning. As we walked into the churchyard where the festival was being held, rosemary and leek wafted through the air. Vendors selling berets and artisan goods lined the streets. We wandered past tables of chatting friends enjoying pastries and the gypsy swing performed by a local band. After waiting in line and savoring the rich, zest of French cuisine, we compiled a list of our picks.
Here's what we ate:
-Ratatouille with herb garlic bread (fresh and zesty)
- Proscuitto and leek quiche (creamy and tangy)
- Tart Flambee (thin and flavorful)
- Beignets (powdered sugar went everywhere )
- Cheesecake (rich, fudgy and amazing)
- Chocolate Mousse (light and sweet)
We finished the afternoon in Broad Ripple where we visited Broad Ripple Vintage and Holcomb Gardens. Below are a few moments from the day:
A few weeks ago, my photojournalism professor showed our class the inside of the campus greenhouse. I left wondering how I'd lived a year and a half here and never discovered the mixture forest and tropical island in the middle of the cornfields. It begged,"photograph me!"
On this rainy Thursday afternoon, I brought my friend Kelly and my camera along to "Florida in the cornfields," the sunny, plant habitat attached to the side of the science building.
Nearly every time I invite Kelly on a spontaneous adventure (or trip to The Bridge) she, with great exuberance, says 'yes!' (In fact, she is one of the few friends when asked to pose for photos for my photography assignments will do so with excitement, hence this series of photos).Read More
Last Sunday, we broke away from our studies and busy schedules to explore the Circle City. What happens when you give two PPE majors, two Education majors and a Journalism major a free afternoon to explore the city? A gloriously book and coffee-filled Indy tour.Read More
When Hallie's birthday began to approach, Kelly came up with the brilliant idea of throwing her a surprise party. We all jumped at the chance to celebrate our dear friend together. Below are a few highlights of the night.Read More
When I say that my favorite place in Indiana is Nashville, I get a few looks. Before you question my geography skills, I assure you that there is a Nashville, IN in addition to the better known Nashville, TN.
However the name suits the Indiana town well. With evergreen-lined hills and steep grades, Nashville is reminiscent of it's Tennessee namesake. A little town tucked in the backwoods of Southern Indiana, Brown County is a haven for lovers of the wilderness, log cabins and fried biscuits and apple butter (if you haven't tried them, you're missing out).
My family and I have traveled once nearly every year to Brown County, scouting out the best shops for Christmas ornaments, trails for hiking and restaurants for traditional Hoosier fare. This little town holds nearly two decades of memories for me.
Nashville embodies October in it's rustic glory. Resting in an eternal fall, Nashville feels like coming home for one last break before the holidays. Waft the air and you'll sift through scents of cinnamon, clove and cedar.
Hidden in little alleys are book shops, camera stores and coffeehouses, all dusted with local artwork. An autumnal artist's colony, Brown County is the naturalist cousin of Bloomington, another gem of a city, 15 miles away.
I've compiled a list of Brown County bits, little things to remember if you decide to take a trek to "little Nashville."
- Fried biscuits and apple butter - A perfect mixture of cinnamon roll, muffin and dinner roll, slathered with the best butter you'll ever taste (sorry, Blue Bonnet).
- Yellowwood State Forest - A friend told me about this treasure which sprawls a few miles outside of Nashville on the road to Bloomington. the scenery reminds me of drives through Appalachia, outside of Williamsburg. As I drove by, I kept thinking, "Is this still Indiana?"
- The Glassblower - Something about someone brave enough to twist glass with a flames captivates me. Go there if for nothing else that to watch and strike up a conversation with the glassblower himself
One of the only things I'm willing to splurge on regularly is a good cup of coffee. I used to laugh at folks who attributed good coffee with a good atmosphere and a good barista, but after a year of college and multiple late night study (and slacking) sessions at The Abbey (Marion, IN) and The Bridge (Upland, IN), I'm a believer.
I've compiled a list of my top drinks at my top six places. As I primarily drink black coffee, no frills, I apologize to you equally caffeine-crazed latter lovers, I've included a select few for you too.
- The Thirsty Scholar (Indianapolis, IN)
- Cold Brew - Strong, smooth and served in a tall glass. I'm a big fan of the white marble tables and Ivy League-esque decor. Fairly certain I've seen the table lamps in Taylor's library.
- Cafe Patachou (Indianapolis, IN)
- Simon Blend - Power blend from a power name. This dark roast has a subtle, refined depth that'll keep you going through those early morning meetings. Patachou is an overall great place. All of the coffee's are worth the taste and the food? Enough bacon and eggs to make Ron Swanson proud.
- Quills (Indianapolis, IN)
- The Alchemist - Did Harry Potter drink lattes? I'm sure he'd have drank this one, it's a morning magic potion. I've never heard spicy and coffee in the same sentence, but my barista at Quills surprised me with this stellar sweet, spicy, smooth and subtle latte. "This is the drink that causes return visits," he said. He was right.
- Bee Coffee Roasters (Indianapolis, IN)
- Ethiopia - Voted the best coffee in the city, I have no complaints about Bee. Coffee brewing takes an art form that is well worth the wait. I've not tried the syrups, but most are made in-house. The Ethiopia has a pure, layered flavor, paying a sincere tribute to the home of coffee.
- Tangerine Ginger Tea - I don't like fruit tea and I love this tea. It tastes like a freshly squeezed tangerine and in the hot, Hoosier humidity? This is a great go-to.
- The Abbey (Marion, IN)
- Cortado - Served in a glorified shot glass, the Cortado resembles a mini latte. This power drink got me through a semester of international relations and media ethics. Small, but mighty, this is my favorite espresso drink.
- Ethiopia Yirgacheffe - Ethically-sourced and locally roasted, the Yirgacheffe has a fresh, stout flavor.
- The Cup (Muncie, IN)
- Cafe Miel - Don't let the grunge decor fool you, the Cafe Miel is sweet as (you guessed it) honey. The last sip is the best sip, pure goodness.
Other notable coffeehouses: The Bridge (Upland, IN), Porter Books and Bread (Indianapolis, IN), Sure Shot (Fishers, IN), Noble Coffee and Tea (Noblesville, IN), Falls Perk (Pendleton, IN), MUGS (Anderson, IN), The Foundry (Indianapolis, IN), Hubbard and Cravens (Indianapolis, IN), Mama Bears (Indianapolis, IN) and St. Yared's (Indianapolis, IN).
Nicole is one of my dearest friends. A Michigan native, she writes for Delight ministries. These shots are for Delight ministries marketing.
These shots also justified our trip to The Barking Cow (Gaston, IN) for ice cream (Lemon Cheesecake and Salted Caramel are well worth the buy). We also took some shots in Matthews where we browsed two local antique shops full of anything from copper mugs to Clinton biographies.
We're back in Broad Ripple and it's better than ever.
Where we went:
- Broad Ripple Vintage (We left with a "Mr. Duck" sweatshirt and two flannels).
- Insomnia Cookies (You can't go wrong here, but the peanut butter cookies are fantastic).
- Sushi Bar (Try the Octopus Roll).
- Indy CD and Vinyl (Bands we discovered: Blessed Feathers, The Myrnabirds, Caleb McCoach)
It's been my favorite spot in Indy since I was fifteen. Somehow this neighborhood of artists continually grows more and more quirky. This place is Instagram-heaven, as shown by our array of Broad Ripple brick wall photos below.
Some highlights of this trip:
- Brics - an ice cream shop with phenomenal flavors (Our favorites were: cake batter, blackberry, grasshopper and Monon Tracks).
- Bazbeaux - a pizza place with a cellar-vibe (We tried the Mediterranean, BBQ, and Sausage pizzas - all well worth the wait).
Located off the Canal in Downtown Indianapolis, Quill is equal parts upper-scale and grunge. The menu boasts a wide array of espresso drinks and the shelves boast a wide array of Chemex brewers and French Presses. Watching the baristas brew coffee was like watching an artist at work.
Quills is well worth the trip (and the Burundi blend).
Other drinks to try: Cortado, Cafe Miel, Caramel Latte