anna brones

writer + explorer

Bake a Ginger Spice Cake This Weekend

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Ginger Spice Cake, illustration by Johanna Kindvall

Johanna Kindvall (my collaborator on the forthcoming book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break) and I have a recipe up for a tasty ginger spice cake on Foodie Underground, as well as a little background on Swedish holiday baking.

Plenty of links to recipes in there, which means you now have your official weekend baking to do list! Just in time for Christmas…

Illustration: Johanna Kindvall

Written by Anna Brones

December 20, 2014 at 09:01

A Few Coffee Books Your Bookshelf Needs

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Macchiato by Anna Brones

In my coffee column this week on The Kitchn I do a round up of coffee books. From how to make coffee, to the history behind our favorite drink, their books that anyone interested in coffee should definitely own.

My personal “handbook” continues to be the The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan. It’s the book I go to whenever I have a question about making coffee.

In all honesty, there are a few books on here I haven’t read yet, but are definitely on the To Read list, like Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergast. And last but not least, there’s James Hoffman’s The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing, which I can’t wait to get my hands on.

But that’s only three books – there are six more in the article, so hop on over to The Kitchn and read up.

Written by Anna Brones

December 19, 2014 at 09:01

A Real Look at Lifestyle Obsessions

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Who hasn’t flipped through an issue of a magazine on green living with tips on urban farming and thought to themselves, “I want to grow my own food”? Who hasn’t watched a short video about a tiny house and thought to themselves, “I want to live like that”? Who hasn’t read an article on consumerism and thought to themselves, “it’s really time that I minimized”?

We’ve all done it, and we’ll continue to do it. This type of media fuels our aspirations. We all want to be eat and live better, be healthier and wiser, choose a path of intention rather than mindless consumption, so we keep reading, clicking and watching, and for a few brief moments we feel better about ourselves. We feel powerful. We feel in control of our lives. Yes, I too can choose to get rid of most of my wardrobe and commit to only seven articles of clothing!

But the danger lies in the fact that consuming this kind of media is a noncommittal act; few of us take the inspiration and turn it into action.

From my recent EcoSalon article “So You Want to Live in A Tiny House and Be a Farmer? Our Obsession With Lifestyles We’ll Never Commit To

Written by Anna Brones

December 18, 2014 at 02:40

Posted in Portfolio

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Food, Fashion and Expiration Dates

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“Fashion is the deliberate inculcation of obsolescence.” -Paul Hawken

Some people might not think that food and fashion have much in common, but in our global consumer society that’s obsessed with cheaper and faster, they definitely do. I write about this topic over on the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator blog. My latest article is all about expiration dates.

Just like we used to put all of our food to use, and fix our appliances instead of buying a new one, if a go-to shirt got a hole in it, there was a time when we would sew it up. But the darning needles and sewing machines of our mother’s and grandmother’s generations have all but disappeared, because in the world of cheap fashion, you can just as easily buy something new.

Cheap fashion is just the same as cheap food; there’s no economic reason stopping us from tossing out the old stuff and buying something new, and that in turn, leads to waste of huge proportions. Consider in 2012, 35 million tons of food was thrown away in the U.S. In that same year, 14.3 million tons of textile waste was generated. But the difference with fashion is that it’s not just worn out clothing that gets us to bring a new item into our wardrobes. It’s a perceived expiration date.

Read the full article here.

Image: David Goehring

Written by Anna Brones

December 3, 2014 at 09:53

Coffee and Beer: A Match Made in Heaven?

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While coffee and beer might not be the first two flavors you would pair, people in the craft coffee and craft beer worlds are busy bottling their passions together.

“While brewers can reach wonderful flavor combinations with the sprawling available varieties of hops, specialty malts and yeast, some flavors simply require reaching beyond Reinheitsgebot (the Bavarian purity law that requires beer be made only from traditional ingredients),” says Les Stewart, coffee lover and head brewer at Trophy Brewing in Raleigh, North Carolina. “It means kind of breaking the rules, and doing it with such a willing partner in crime as coffee just makes a lot of sense.”

Read the rest of my article about coffee and beer on The Kitchn.

Image: Fil.Al

Written by Anna Brones

December 1, 2014 at 04:16

Posted in Food + Recipes, Portfolio

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What Do You Do With Leftover Coffee Grounds?

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Lots of things. Like composting for example. In fact, nothing irks me more than seeing people toss their coffee grounds into the trash can. Did you know that around 12% of the waste stream going to landfills is food waste? Reusing coffee grounds is a good way to knock that number down, and that’s good for us and the environment.

Coffee grounds are perfectly easy to reuse, and I discuss a few ways in my coffee column this week on The Kitchn. Consider it your guide to zero waste coffee consumption.

Image: Heather McQuaid

Written by Anna Brones

November 19, 2014 at 00:12

Preorder My New Book – ‘Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break’

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It’s here!

Ok, so it’s almost here. And when I say “it” I mean the book that Johanna Kindvall and I have been working hard on over the last couple of years. As I have learned, book writing and publishing is a long process, and I am so excited to almost be at the most exciting part: the moment where the actual book sits in my hands.

But for now, at least the book is alive on the Internet, and it’s available for pre-order, which means you can snag a copy and diligently wait for it to come to your mailbox in spring.

Love Swedish baked goods? Ever wonder how to make a real Swedish cinnamon roll? Want to try to be more Scandinavian? Then this book is for you.

Packed with traditional recipes for cookies, cakes and breads, this book is all about celebrating the Swedish tradition of fika, otherwise known as the quintessential Swedish coffee break.

Drooling already? You can preorder from AmazonB&NIndieBoundGoogle Books, and iBooks.

Now, let’s all begin the countdown to the April 7, 2015 on sale date!

Written by Anna Brones

November 13, 2014 at 22:11

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