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Nathaniel Crawford
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Food blogger, photographer, and lover of coffee and cake.

Chilled Tomato and Peach Soup with Coconut Jalapeño Ice Cubes

My Recipes
Chocolate Almond Espresso Cake With Salted Caramel Drizzle
Happy Saturday, friends. What are you plans for the weekend?? My plans include school projects and papers and enjoying another slice of this Vegan Chocolate Almond Espresso Cake with Cashew Butter Icing with a Salted Caramel Sauce over top.
Lavender Honey Lemonade & Peach Sweet Tea Cocktail
So it's almost the end of summer. The late July heat can be pretty brutal. Cool off with this "John Daly cocktail with a twist" made with lavender-honey lemonade & peach sweet tea. Just in time for the 2016 @pgatour championship. Have a great day!!
Good morning, friends. It's almost lunch time and I am craving one of these sandwiches I made with @labreabakery last week. This one was one of my favorites of the bunch, a spanish frittata sandwich made with italian seasoned frittata, spanish ham, roasted potatoes, green onions, and manchego cheese. Until this shoot, I had NO IDEA Manchego cheese was a real thing AND that it could be purchased in the cornfield jungles of Central Illinois. Who knew?! If you haven't had Manchego before, it's pretty similar to Parmesan or Romano cheeses. So tasty!
College. It's weird to think how I'm all done and graduated and off working in the big grown up world. It's strange to think how fast time flies. One thing I have taken with me into the real world post-college is my absolute LOVE for almond butter. Most everyday my after class snack was an almond butter and jam sandwich (livin' that broke student life!) and they were so good. I think it was how much eating those sandwiches reminded me of childhood brown bag lunches. A mixture of nostalgia and deliciousness. So when @maranathanutbutters reached out and wanted to send me a care package I was like "Uhh....YES PLEASE!!" My favorites are definitely a toss up between the Creamy Almond Butter and the Banana Peanut Butter. So good! But now I have a super controversial question: which do you prefer on a PB&J; jam or jelly? I'm a jam man 100% #TooGoodForJelly
"Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the detail of how he lived [...] that distinguishes one man from another." ―Ernest Hemingway Hi, friends. I hope you all had a great weekend. If I'm being 100% real with you, this weekend was rough for myself and the family. Saturday morning my Grandma Cooley passed away at the age of 89. She sadly had been very sick for the past couple of years with off the chart blood pressures, a failed kidney, and dementia. It has been a tough season for my mom, my uncle, and the rest of the family but I believe in celebrating life and cherishing all the amounts of love and joy my grandma gave to everyone she encountered. I learned so much from her about loving myself and finding the good in everything. Because of my grandma's passion for baking, she taught my mom to bake, which in turn, taught me. I will always cherish times when my grandma, my mom, and myself would work diligently in the kitchen constructing homemade raviolis for Christmas dinner. I will miss her impeccable pies, the way her bony hands would crimp the edges effortlessly. Her memory will live forever on her in recipes, each crafted with love, care, and butter. Thank you Grandma for teaching me these lessons. I will keep them close and never let them go.
Photographer friends, I have a question for you: when was the moment you fell in love with photography? Mine was after capturing my first flatlay photo (over 3 years ago!). Looking at the image (on my IPhone at the time) I was struck by the birds-eye view the image portrayed. I loved the way the shadows married beautifully with the highlights. I loved how the grain of the wood made the food and the image feel warm and inviting. Instantly I was hooked and knew I wanted to pursue food photography as far as I could take it. Fast forward to today and I still captivated by the visual storytelling both food and flatlay photography gives to a scene. The organized chaos of it all feels comforting and somewhat home-y to me. It's crazy to think in a little over 3 years I went from taking photos on my smartphone to now being a featured speaker at the 2018 @theresetconference! The Reset Conference is a creatives conference focused on photography and videography. It is held in Indianapolis April 7th & 8th, 2018. I will be giving 2 presentations over the conference weekend, one on food photography and the other on flatlay photography (with a live, hand-on demo!). I'm the ONLY food photographer speaking at this conference, so I'm excited to share my medium of photography with a variety of wedding, portrait, and fashion photographers from all across the country. If you're interested in attending, registration is open! You can find the link in my bio :)
Number 1052 as to why I love autumn; all the beautiful produce! Pumpkin, eggs, and all the fresh greens from @firstfruitshomestead_jess. Wish I down at school closer to Fresh Fruits Homestead to get another bounty of fresh produce. May have to make my way down there! ALSO, in other news: we surpassed 6K followers on Instagram!! WAT?! That's so cool. Thank you to each and every one of you for following, liking, and commenting. It really does make my day. I am so blessed to be apart of such a wonderfully supportive community.
Good morning, friends! How was your weekend? I'm starting out this week by sharing a new recipe. These Fleur De Sel & Lavender Sugar Hoosier Cream Pies are live on the blog right now along with some thoughts on the next chapter in my life and for the blog. For this post, I learned to make braided crusts and I think they came out really well for a first time attempt. Get the recipe from the link in the bio!
Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all are having a great start to your weeks so far. I don't know about you, but I am brainstorming recipe ideas I want to create this weekend. I'm thinking some mini bundt cakes. Good idea? I'm so excited for next Sunday because 1). It's the Central Illinois InstaMeet @allertonpark! And 2). I'm making an autumn-inspired layered cake for a stylized shoot. I'm so excited to meet new area creatives as well as reconnect with longtime ones. So fun! Are you going to your area InstaMeet??
Remembering the time last year I made a gingerbread cookie tree with buckwheat gingerbread cookies. That was such s fun recipe to develop! It was decorated with royal icing and a string of lights which made for an adorable centerpiece on our kitchen table. Can we all agree that autumn and holiday baking is the best time of year to bake?!