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VOL. 16 NO. 1
Editor-in-Chief Chris Christen 402-444-1094 email@example.com Creative Director/Designer Heidi Thorson 402-444-1351 firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Marjie Ducey 402-444-1034 email@example.com Photo Imaging Specialist Patricia “Murphy” Benoit Content Contributors Rachel Cain, Kim Carpenter, Chad Lebo, Jessica Luna, Howard K. Marcus, Kevin Warneke Photography Contributors Jeffrey Bebee, Heather & Jameson, Chad Lebo, Ryan Soderlin, Brendan Sullivan On the Cover Photo by Heather & Jameson Detail of felted wool by Deb Koesters Custom Publishing Sales Manager Lauren Kruger | 402-444-1261 | Lauren.Kruger@owh.com Account Representatives Christina Kadlec | 402-444-1527 | Christina.Kadlec@owh.com Gay Liddell | 402-444-1489 | Gay.Liddell@owh.com Emily Martin | 402-444-1411 | Emily.Martin@owh.com Michael Medrano | 402-444-1209 | Michael.Medrano@owh.com Event Manager Tam Webb | 402-444-3125 | Tam.Webb@owh.com Event Coordinator Emily Gerhardt | 402-444-1161 | Emily.Gerhardt@owh.com
1314 Douglas St., Suite 700 Omaha, NE 68102 402-444-1094 Inspired Living Omaha (ISSN 23795948) is a publication of the Omaha World-Herald. ©2018, Omaha World-Herald, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the specific written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information, no responsibility can be accepted by the publisher for content, opinions or practices, or how the information herein is used. All materials submitted, including but not limited to images, logos and text that appear, are assumed to be the original work of the provider, and the publisher is not responsible for unintentional copyright infringement.
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Intelligence in Design 1110 D O U G L AS ST REET
TOP OF MIND: ONE WORD What’s the one word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live? It’s the hottest question on social media this time of year as users challenge each other to name a word — and discover something about themselves in the process. I took the bait when a Facebook friend
CHRIS CHRISTEN editor-in-chief
FUN FACT Chris has been inspired by fiber artist Deb Koesters (page 40) to try eco printing. Her first project, a scarf, used botanicals common to her yard.
posted her "one word" and asked others to comment with theirs. I typed “Done!” Not exactly profound, right? Let me explain. Your "one word" isn’t something you conquer or check off your to-do list and put behind you. It’s something to be lived,
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believed, embraced. I tend to carry a lot on my plate. My family says I’m worse than a workaholic. I’m a work addict. My mom used to tell me, “You’re too busy for your own good.”
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“Done!” seemed to be a pretty good guiding principle for somebody who has a sign on her desk that reads, “There is no such thing as ‘too late.’ ” My "one word"
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is shorthand for “Let’s do this. Let’s work smarter and git ’er done.” But after I posted that "one word" to Facebook, I wanted a do-over. “Volunteer,”
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Have a story idea, question or comment? Email the editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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I decided, would be far more impactful in terms of happiness and well-being. In November, I read a story in The
Catholic Voice about Kathy Gaines of Omaha. She had just been saluted as AARP Nebraska’s Volunteer of the Year for her dedication to a pop-up thrift shop at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Macy, Nebraska. About six times a month, Kathy makes a 140-mile round trip to deliver donations and organize inventory for two shopping days a month. The thrift store, an outreach program to the Omaha Nation, is a labor of love for Kathy, who retired in 2015 from the Siena-Francis House homeless shelter. Two Missionary Benedictine Sisters and a lay missionary at the nearby Winnebago Indian Mission help maintain the store. In the article, Kathy said she could use more volunteers. And donations of new and gently used clothing, household items and other necessities most of us take for granted. I love to shop and organize, and had been looking for a way to give back with my hands and heart. It seemed like a perfect fit. So I picked up the phone and offered Kathy an assist. I’m eager to see how my “Volunteer” year turns out. In this issue, we introduce you to nearly a dozen people with newfound passions. Here’s hoping you find inspiration for your own personal fulfillment this year, with or without "one word" to guide you.
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CONTENTS DESIGN DONE RIGHT
14 Leap of Faith Sisters forge ahead, build their dream homes.
22 'More Is More'
Design training takes thrifty turn. PLUS: A DIY roller blind tutorial.
BEFORE + AFTER
A fixer-upper too cool to resist. PLUS: A DIY stencil tutorial.
36 The Power of Tea
Herbalist's custom blends heal and restore.
40 Fiber Artists
Women who felt and quilt with purpose and passion.
A touch of plush for any occasion.
54 Indoor Plants
Treat them right and they’ll grow on you.
Churches, lore and memorable food.
THE HIDDEN PANTRY
60 Local Flavor
Food entrepreneurs keep you eating well.
10 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
FeltersfortĂŠ wrap, Heather Kita Designs ring and stone necklace; EARTHENjoy ceramic oval necklace, NJ & Co. leggings; HUSH la Boutique tunic and blazer. Model: Hope Dendinger
FUN FACT Heidi once sewed a pair of her own pajamas using old bedsheets. They were soft but didn't last long.
FUN FACT Marjie has 33 plants in her house, and she’s constantly fighting the temptation to buy more.
FUN FACT Lauren's mini-resolution for 2018 is to stop drinking Diet Coke. She's addicted!
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FUN FACT Christina dislikes cold weather, but she loves cozy sweaters and tall boots.
FUN FACT Gay is recovering from two of her children getting married this year. Both had destination weddings.
FUN FACT Murphy recently painted leaves with paint pens. They turned out well!
HOWARD K. MARCUS
FUN FACT Emily loves peppermint green tea and blackberry sage tea in the winter.
FUN FACT Michael’s bucket list for 2018 includes skydiving.
FUN FACT Howard is back to singing pop with the Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha after performing in an opera.
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12 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
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PHOTOS: HEIDI THORSON, KURT A. KEELER, HEATHER & JAMESON, JEFFREY BEBEE, LANE HICKENBOTTOM, MORGAN JADE PHOTOGRAPHY, COMPLETE WEDDINGS + EVENTS
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KIM CARPENTER writer
RACHEL CAIN stylist
KEVIN WARNEKE travel writer
FUN FACT Kim is utterly intrigued with the research being done on dogs’ senses of smell. There are a surprising number of books on the subject.
FUN FACT Rachel's grandmother gives her watercolor lessons whenever she visits – an art form she plans to hone in 2018.
FUN FACT Kevin once heard singer John Denver encourage people to pick up a piece of litter each day. He tries to follow that advice.
HEATHER + JAMESON
FUN FACT Jameson has a side project shooting and developing film called 1camera1year that Heather helps style. Find it on Instagram!
FUN FACT Jessica's favorite tea is lavender chamomile.
FUN FACT Ryan's perpetual New Year’s resolution: Eat healthier and exercise more. It’s the thought that counts, right?!
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FUN FACT Chad lived in Madagascar for several years and discovered there is a frightening and unacceptable lack of bacon.
FUN FACT Kali's favorite indoor plant is the spider plant. She loves the way it fills a window with all its sprouts.
FUN FACT Brendan enjoys a good cup of vanilla rooibos tea and thinks his best photos are the ones of his 10-month-old daughter.
FUN FACT Andrea recently got engaged so her New Year's resolution is to get in shape for her upcoming wedding.
FUN FACT Vivian has started a new 2018 hobby – wheel throwing pottery at the Union for Contemporary Art Co-Op ceramics lab.
FUN FACT Jeffrey started sampling tea but hasn’t quite decided what he likes. However, when it comes to coffee, he knows what’s good.
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DESIGN DONE RIGHT
LEAP of FAITH
Sisters whip up recipe for new home, build on their success STORY Marjie Ducey PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Bebee
Soup, hors d'oeuvres and home designing. Not your traditional Thanksgiving lineup, unless you are Salvage Sisters Stacy Fahrenbruch and Julie Zielinski. No collapsing on the couch for these two, part owners of Dundee Flea in midtown Omaha. Instead, they spent the November holiday designing Julie’s new home. “Just have faith in me,’’ Stacy told her sister. “It’s not rocket science.’’ Eighteen months later, Julie’s 2,700-square-foot home, with its three bedrooms and an office, was complete – as drawn to plan. They’ve since finished a home for their parents and have a few more houses in the works. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17
14 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
STACY (LEFT) AND JULIE
MEET STACY FAHRENBRUCH & JULIE ZIELINSKI There’s little rest for the Salvage Sisters, who began repurposing furniture for Junkstock 3½ years ago. Now, besides their fulltime occupations and home-building, the two are part owners of Dundee Flea at 50th and Dodge Streets. The store specializes in repurposed furniture and home decor and accessories. They love their new neighbors, many of whom have provided items for the store because they are downsizing.
“It’s the perfect neighborhood for us with vintage furniture.’’ - JULIE
JULIE'S HOUSE 16â€ƒ JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14
Stacy got things rolling in 2015 with the design and construction of her own home in the Little Prairie subdivision five miles south of Gretna. It’s the same square footage as Julie’s house but with three bedrooms and a suite above the garage. Both have sunny open floor plans. The subdivision, with its 21 lots of three to five acres each, sits in the middle of the countryside — a place where kids can run free. That’s a must for the sisters, who each have two children. Brother Jake and his three boys live nearby in Gretna. “We just wanted to be out on an acreage,’’ Stacy said. “But close enough to town to get to Target in 15 minutes.’’ It was at Stacy’s house where they sat that Thanksgiving and designed a house for a lot that Julie and her husband, Bret, had purchased close to Stacy and her husband, Andy. The couple were living in Denver at the time, but when the house plans came to life, they accelerated their move back to Nebraska. Then their parents, Donna and Dan Ring, decided to join the crew in the Little Prairie subdivision. With the size of the lots, they use four-wheelers to tool from home to home. JULIE'S HOUSE
CONTINUED ON PAGE 21
“We just wanted to be out on an acreage,’’ Stacy said. “But close enough to town to get to Target in 15 minutes.’’ 18 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
20â€ƒ JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
Stacy, a project manager for an architecture firm in Atlanta, always wanted to build her own home — something unique. “Something special,’’ Julie says. Stacy describes her home as an industrial farmhouse with lots of natural wood, steel railings and exposed bolts. She likes clean lines. The big island separating the kitchen and living room is a reclaimed bowling alley lane from Elkhorn Lanes, which had burned down. “Don’t leave stuff there,” she’ll warn the family. “I’m psycho about the island. It’s like my room.’’ Special touches include a bookcase door built by Andy to conceal steps to the basement. Upstairs, a small closet holds a craft room for daughter Hadley, with make-your-own-art wallpaper she can decorate to her heart’s content. Julie, a hairstylist, wanted a modern farmhouse with brick paver tile in the entryway, shiplap on the walls and barnwood doors for the laundry room and an office. She bought two massive barnwood doors in Wyoming and hauled them to Denver and finally to Omaha. She insisted on a wood-burning fireplace. A 10-by-2-foot table between the kitchen and living room is a workbench she found at an estate sale. It’s perfect for arts and crafts projects. Julie jokes that she likes to buy things for the house and hopes they fit when she brings them home. Stacy bought four light fixtures for her second-floor stairway before she found the perfect one for the space. “I had a lot of crazy ideas, and luckily everyone went along with me,’’ Julie says. One thing they agree on — the majority of the space in both homes is devoted to the first floor. Smart, livable space, they call it. The master bedrooms are on the main floor, too, but neither sister wanted a big sitting area and all the frills. They didn’t think the space would get used. They’re thrifty builders. They rely on trusted subcontractors to do the early work, but the sisters and their families finish the homes from the drywall on. Andy does the electrical work. Then everyone pitches in on such things as laying tile, painting walls and installing trim. There's always a lengthy punch list of jobs. Each home takes seven to eight months to complete. “We all love it when we get to cross one off,’’ Julie says.
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'More is more' For maximalist, thrift decorating is a thrill that can’t be beat STORY Marjie Ducey PHOTOGRAPHY Ryan Soderlin
Everything she owns is used, Kathleen Connor says as she points out items in her two-bedroom condo in midtown Omaha. The Victorian chest in the dining room is a thrift store find, acquired while living in New York City. She and partner George Parizek use it as a buffet. In the living room, a custom couch she “got for nothing” at an estate sale takes center stage. The Asian-inspired sofa, with its Bridgewater arms, sits on a hand-woven oriental rug — another estate sale find.
22 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
In the bedroom, a carved Indian screen serves as a headboard. As the owner of Among Other Things, a consignment store, Connor is an experienced buyer. Before purchasing any used fabric furniture, she puts her nose right up to it to check for animal or cigarette odors, flips over the cushions and checks underneath. The couch was perfect. Connor has been savoring the decorating process since moving in with Parizek two years ago. The condo was a bachelor pad then, complete with recliners and a big-screen TV.
The TV remains. But now, with its many estate and garage sale finds, the condo is much cozier than Connor could ever have imagined. “It’s very eclectic with a heavy hand in Asian,’’ she says. “I am a ‘more is more’ person.’’ Sunlight flows in from the patio doors off the living room. There are no curtains, because the condo is on the fourth floor of a 1960s building that sits between Midtown Crossing and the Blackstone area. Connor calls the tree-lined neighborhood a hidden gem. CONTINUED ON PAGE 25
“I love that it’s constantly changing."
MEET KATHLEEN CONNOR After three years of working in interior design in New York with Peter Marino and Katie Ridder, Kathleen Connor returned to Omaha and opened her consignment store, Among Other Things, in September 2015. She likes how passionate people are about improving their homes – and supporting small businesses.
“Unlike a traditional retail store, I have no idea what sort of furniture is going to walk in’’ each day.
“I think homes can benefit from a variety of height – different levels for your eyes to rest on.’’ 24 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22
TRENDING VIEW MORE ONLINE FIND A VIDEO TOUR OF THIS HOME AT inspiredlivingomaha.com
Connor did make roller blinds for the bedroom, splurging on Katie Ridder fabric in a pagoda design. Connor worked for Ridder in New York, and she has most influenced Connor's style. Because of Ridder, she’s not afraid of color. The living and dining rooms are painted in a sage green and the bedroom in a deep blue. Paintings cover every wall. Her first gift to their shared home was an ever-growing set of New Yorker covers with a greenhouse theme for the living room. Connor finds used frames at thrift sales and then has a frame shop add matting and improve the backing, keeping costs to a minimum. Lamps are plentiful because Connor loves the ambience they add to a room. Finding a nice shade can be a hassle, though, so Connor taught herself how to make one. Her favorite is a multicolored Asian print for a lamp in the living room. Next, she wants to learn how to make window treatments. Books abound, too. Those piles, along with metal cranes from the Brass Armadillo that sit next to the fireplace, add height to the living room. “I love tall things,’’ Connor says. “I think homes can benefit from a variety of height – different levels for your eyes to rest on.’’ Although the condo isn’t huge, Connor says she’ll never be done decorating. Her best advice to anyone doing their first or last place is to constantly edit. She adds one or two new pieces a few times a year. “That’s how you keep your place updated,’’ she says, “without doing a complete redecorating.’’
Custom roller blind how-to (inside mount) TUTORIAL Kathleen Connor PHOTOGRAPHY Brendan Sullivan
TOTAL TIME: 1-2 HOURS
26 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
MATERIALS AND TOOLS • Vinyl roller blind + hardware • Tools for hanging your roller blind (hammer, screwdriver or power drill) • Medium-weight fabric of your choice • Thread to match your fabric • Measuring tape • L-square ruler • Sewing machine • Iron and ironing board • Pins • Scissors • Rotary cutter • Cutting mat
PURCHASE YOUR HARDWARE AND FABRIC
SEW YOUR FABRIC
Measure the interior opening (width, i.e., the left-to-right dimension) of your window precisely, to within a 16th of an inch. Bring this measurement with you to the home center/ hardware store. After you select a pre-made vinyl roller blind, an employee will cut the blind to your measured width. Mounting hardware is often sold separately, so doublecheck if your blind comes with those accessories before leaving the store.
Measure the width of the vinyl part of your roller blind. Add 1 inch to that dimension to arrive at your fabric width, W. Measure the length of your window opening and add 9 inches to that dimension, arriving at your fabric length, L. Cut your fabric to those dimensions, WxL. I recommend using a rotary cutter, square ruler and mat when cutting these lengths to keep your sides as straight as possible.
Choose a fabric that is at least an inch wider than the final width of your blind. This will give you enough room for a clean hem on each side. You also want your fabric to be a medium weight so it hangs well. Avoid lightweight quilting fabrics, and instead look in home decor sections of fabric stores or online at: decorativefabricsdirect.com, calicocorners.com or fabric.com.
Lay the fabric on an ironing board with back side facing up. Turn over one-half inch of one of the long edges of your fabric and press. Pin in place. Repeat on the other long edge. Sew the side seams in place.
HANG YOUR MOUNTING HARDWARE Hang your mounting hardware in your window. I hang mine about one-half inch from the upper window casing to minimize the amount of light allowed in over the top. Be sure to factor in the total diameter of your rolled blind when placing your mounting hardware. You don’t want your roller blind rubbing against the top of the window casing. Perform a dry fit of the blind into the mounting hardware. This is just temporary, but ensures that the blind fits and rolls easily. Remove the blind (leaving the mounting hardware in place) and bring it to your work space.
Return the fabric to your ironing board, back side up. Turn over the bottom edge one-half inch and press. Then turn over the bottom edge once more, this time at 1½ inches, and press again. Pin in place and sew along the interior fold.
ASSEMBLE YOUR BLIND Unroll the vinyl from your store-bought roller blind. Before finally ripping it off the roller mechanism, note which way the vinyl is attached and which direction it rolls. Apply double-sided tape to the roller mechanism. Attach your new blind to it in the same direction the vinyl was attached. Slowly roll your fabric onto the blind, carefully making sure it rolls up evenly on both sides. Remove the wooden or plastic rod from the bottom of the vinyl blind and insert it into your new one. Finally, hang the blind in your pre-mounted hardware and test out the roller!
STORY Marjie Ducey PHOTOGRAPHY Brendan Sullivan
Bungalow had plenty of deal-breakers at first sight but pluses won out and bohemian charm set in THE BLUE BUNGALOW WITH ITS CHEERFUL YELLOW DOOR IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS. BUT WHEN BRYAN FROST AND LUKA GONZALEZ FIRST LOOKED AT THE BENSON PROPERTY FOUR YEARS AGO, THEY WEREN’T SURE IF A HOUSE EVEN EXISTED BEHIND THE OVERGROWN CEDAR TREES IN THE FRONT YARD. PAINTED IN A WORN GREEN AND BROWN, THE HOME BLENDED WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS.
28 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
BEFORE + AFTER
Their real estate agent was already inside, so despite their misgivings they crossed the threshold. The size — under 1,000 square feet — was almost another deal-breaker. “Why are we doing this?” Gonzalez remembers asking. Then they took in the wood floors, original doors and unpainted built-ins. The charm and character were too much to resist, along with the right price and a chance to move into an up-and-coming neighborhood. They’ve been working on the house ever since. “It’s been transformed,’’ Frost says. Frost, who owns Black Awning Vintage, has decorated in what he calls a natural bohemian vibe. Definitely plants, he says, along with handmade items. Layering of rugs, soft textures such as sheepskin, and jute. They’re all incorporated. Frost says he has embraced the fun aesthetic he picked up from “The New Bohemians” by Justina Blakeney.
Handmade Turkish rugs cover the dining and living room floors, with one in the front room layered over another of cowhide. Sheepskins rest on a dining room chair and a console in the living room. Original fiber tapestries by Don Freedman hang in the dining room and bedroom. A day of junking in Walnut, Iowa, yielded a vintage chandelier Frost rewired and installed above the dining room table. “It was hiding in a corner,’’ Frost says. “I saw it and just loved it.’’ An Eastlake bedroom set, a gift from his mother when they moved in, has been split up, with the headboard in the sunny corner bedroom and the dresser with its marble top in the dining room, doubling as a buffet. It sits next to a fiddle leaf fig that Frost, with some exasperation, has renamed a fickle leaf fig. It can be a challenge to maintain, but it’s popular in design circles. He had to have one. “They are just so pretty.’’
MEET BRYAN FROST Bryan Frost, once involved with Wallflower fashions, has turned his passion for vintage in a new direction with Black Awning Vintage, an interior design endeavor. Frost says he haunts local thrift stores seeking amazing finds for his clients. His tip? You can often find the best stuff at church thrifts. His basement is stuffed with must-haves. “I’m a crazy thrifter,’’ he says.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 33
30â€ƒ JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
TRENDING VIEW MORE ONLINE FIND A VIDEO TOUR OF THIS HOME AT inspiredlivingomaha.com
Wallpaper was too complicated so Bryan Frost instead went with a stencil on one wall of the dining room and a tapestry on another.
32â€ƒ JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29
Frost considered wallpaper, but the task was too complicated with the home’s textured plaster walls. Instead, he stenciled one wall in the dining room with an Ikat design, then carried that motif into the only bathroom. The house itself wasn’t in bad shape. They had the floors polished and spent hours redoing popcorn ceilings in half the house. The other rooms have to wait until the homeowners can find the motivation. A landscaper tamed the trees in the front, and frequent parties are held in the spacious backyard. Frost is known for lavish Halloween parties, and this year’s event was done in a “Wizard of Oz” theme, complete with tornado. They’ve done some remodeling in the kitchen, adding Ikea cupboards with wainscot molding on the doors, but still have the original appliances. That’s something they want to work on when the budget allows, along with cosmetic improvements in the bathroom. Frost, for starters, would like to swap the laminate flooring for something more authentic to a 1920s home. The clawfoot bathtub won’t budge. That’s another item that sold them on the house. After its transformation, though, friends are encouraging them to move. They’ve had more than one offer on the house. The pair admits another house is in their future. They enjoy the challenge of bringing a place back to life, and are ready to tackle something larger. Rehabbing, Frost says, is a passion. “I think we’ll find an old house that needs all the love.’’
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Wall stencil how-to TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY Bryan Frost
MATERIALS AND TOOLS • • • • • • •
Paint Stencil Stencil brush Painters tape Vanilla Stir stick Optional: Level
34 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
PREPARATION Choose wall and select stencil design, wall color and accent color for stencil design. I used an ikat design purchased on etsy.com. Paint wall if it is not already the chosen wall color. “Mountain Smoke” was my stencil color. This accent color coordinates with my living room walls and provides a smooth transition into my dining room. Before mixing the paint, add a splash of vanilla. It's more than just a baking flavor, it makes the room smell lovely and hides the paint fumes without hindering your paint color.
PAINT STENCIL DESIGN Paint design on wall with a stencil brush using dry brush method. Begin by dipping tips of bristles in paint. Remove excess by dabbing brush on a paper towel.
USE THE STIPPLING METHOD Apply paint using stippling method, which is tapping the brush against stencil openings. NOTE: Do not brush paint over stencil openings, as this will lead to paint seeping under the stencil.
MARK REGISTRATION POINTS Paint all four registration points prior to moving the stencil. This is a little dot that you will paint on all four corners to ensure your stencil is lining up squarely. If you’re concerned, you can always use a level. Repeat until finished and enjoy your new design.
STORY Kim Carpenter PHOTOGRAPHY Brendan Sullivan
THE POWER OF TEA
Herbalist is her own huntress when it comes to the perfect ‘cuppa’ brew to heal, restore
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“Poetry in a cup of tea.”
That’s how Andrea Lawse describes her signature blend, “Huntress,” a black tea punctuated with notes of bergamot, cinnamon, lavender and Siberian ginseng. The combination, she says, improves mood, increases focus and boosts the immune system. The 37-year-old came up with the blend while undergoing a mini health crisis several years ago. She found the brew so calming and restorative, it inspired her to keep developing recipes for custom teas. “Stag King” boasts traces of chocolate, loam and wild berries. “Harmonia” hints at rose and chamomile. “Circe” is studded with honeybush, rooibos, raspberries and damiana.
Each, she says, carries a particular set of medicinal properties. And each is available through Artemis Teas, an online artisanal tea shop that she never intended to found but is now running as a dedication to her passion for what she describes as “the vegetal world.” That passion stems from when she was about 5 years old. She remembers visiting her great-grandmother, Rosalia, who served tea in special cups alongside sugar cubes and homemade baked goods. “It was a very simple set, but it always came out with my mom and my aunts,” Andrea recalls. “Drinking tea was a moment of inclusion. I’d sit at the table and be part of the circle of women and family.” The brew itself wasn’t special — “I believe it was Lipton,” she confides — but
the time together transcended the tea. “It wired me to associate tea with safety, belonging and a giving community. For me, nurturing is always associated with copious amounts of tea.” Tea nurtured her through high school and also accompanied her to college at Creighton University, where she transformed her room into a cozy little tea shop for friends. Time spent in Great Britain during her junior year further tied her to tea. “I came back ruined!” she laughs. “Tea had to be a particular quality — a ‘cuppa’ had to be rich and black and something to dunk a pastry into.” At the same time, Andrea was also becoming steeped in herbal medicine. “I read anything I could get my hands on,” she says. “I didn’t know the healing arts existed ... I was fascinated with using plants to heal.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 39
TRENDING VIEW MORE ONLINE FIND A VIDEO TOUR OF THIS HOME AT inspiredlivingomaha.com
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 37
That fascination prompted her to begin pursuing graduate studies in 2007 at the University of NebraskaLincoln, where she is a Ph.D. candidate. Her focus? “Unique representations of human intimacy with and anxiety about plants” in 19th century British and American literature. Working toward a graduate degree wasn’t without its stressors. The first three years took a toll on her health. Meanwhile, she was witnessing her mother suffer from increasingly debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. Her dabbling in herbal medicine prompted her to study herbalism formally as a way to address both, and in 2014 she became a clinical herbalist. Understanding the role plants played in her own and her mother’s health proved pivotal for Andrea. “It literally changed my life,” she says, eyes gleaming. “It’s not an exaggeration! My desire to understand plants just grew and grew and grew. I felt deeply, wildly compelled to study herbal medicine. It focuses you to get at the root — no pun intended — of whatever it is to heal and restore you.” Of course, her studies required firsthand knowledge of plants, so Andrea planted her own garden, harvested her plants and started fiddling with custom-blended tinctures and tisanes, using everything — roots, stems, leaves and flowers — depending on how she thought they’d best “perform.” “Huntress” was her first tea. “It really knocked my socks off,” she recalls. “I was working on a big writing project and dabbling in the kitchen. I was looking for inspiration, and the blend brought an immediate flood of contentment. My heart connected to the aroma. It was the tea that made me realize that tea truly has power.” Andrea quickly expanded that first “poetry in a cup” into an oeuvre. She experimented with more recipes and began offering her custom teas at farmers markets. “I wanted tea to count for something more purposeful,” she says of her decision to leap into business. “Plants have work to do, and I’m trying to be the vehicle for it.” With the encouragement of friends, she founded Artemis Teas in 2015. The name is a nod to Andrea’s love of romantic poetry. “John Keats was very committed to Artemis,” she says. She is delighted to share her love of “the vegetal world.” “My tea business has taken me by surprise and by storm. This business allows me to utilize my research and experience and have a reach that is far more vast than my academic work. And it makes that work resonate and bring it into real life.”
Find Andrea Lawse’s custom tea blends at artemisteas.com and select Omaha locations.
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FABRIC OF THEIR LIVES
ART DIRECTION Chris Christen & Heidi Thorson STORIES Marjie Ducey & Chris Christen PHOTOGRAPHY Heather & Jameson STYLING Jessica Luna HAIR & MAKEUP Kali Rahder, Victor Victoria Salon & Spa MODEL Hope Dendinger ARTISTS Deb Koesters, Shea Wilkinson, Celeste Butler
Meet three artists who work by a common thread
A rusty pipe and botanicals from her wooded lot were used in dyeing her silk tunic and scarf. Her cuff is made from wetfelted wool. Heather Kita Designs choker, sterling silverand-stone necklace. EARTHENjoy earrings, stone pendant on cord.
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FIBER FUSION HER FORTÉ A 2010 trip to see New England’s fall colors opened Deb Koesters’ eyes to something far more stimulating. She and her welding artist husband Dick were at Snow Farm, a craft learning workshop, in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, when she discovered wet felting – quite by accident. She initially enrolled in jewelry-making, only to find it “too fiddly.” So she switched classes. “It (felting) was so much fun, I was mad that I hadn’t learned it earlier in life,” she says. Today, at 60, she’s felting gallery-quality free-standing sculptures and wall art, upholstery, and runway-worthy fashions and accessories. Her projects are even popping up in books published by noted felters. Eco-dyed and printed wools and silks are a hallmark of her Feltersforté collection. She loves the spontaneity, suspense and surprise of felting and dyeing. “You never know what you’re going to get.” Being a hairstylist, learning to sculpt and dye as a felter came easy. “Hair is course, fine, straight, curly. Wool is the same,” she explains. Now newly retired, she’s eager to hone her felting techniques under the guidance of master fiber artists, offer classes in her home studio and just create. “I don’t really know where this goes because there’s so much you can do,” she says. Custom clothing, however, isn’t in her plan. “If something I create fits you, you can buy it.” SEE MORE feltersforte.com
Feltersforté nunofelted swing coat. Shown with Heather Kita Designs jewelry, HUSH la Boutique top. Background: Detail of merino wool and silk nunofelted vest.
Feltersforté nunofelted eco-print dress, made for the 2017 ArtWear Biennial in Fort Collins, Colorado. The dress is reversible (pockets included!) and has no seams – trademarks of a Feltersforté design. Shown with EARTHENjoy necklace, Heather Kita Designs cuff, Pedro Garcia shoe at Christel’s; HUSH la Boutique leggings.
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FeltersfortĂŠ reversible wrap and bucket bag. Shown with Heather Kita Designs jewelry, NJ & Co. leggings, HUSH la Boutique flutter tunic and velvet blazer.
QUILTING FOR SHEER JOY Celeste Butler isn’t just sewing a quilt. She’s telling a story and preserving history. “I’m passionate about what I’m doing,’’ she says, “and leaving that legacy behind for my children and grandchildren.’’ Sewing has always been part of her life — a safety net that has brought her peace, love and joy. It was a lifeline when Butler’s career in the corporate world ended during the economic slump of 2008-2009. She just finished a year as a fellow at the Union for Contemporary Arts. During that time, it was important for her to send positive messages about north Omaha. She invited the community to sit with her around a quilt frame and talk. Quilts are the original version of social media, she says, sending a message with every finished masterpiece. That quilt was recently hung at the Union and was featured in a Washington Post article last summer. She’s also making a quilt for each of her three children and five grandchildren. One of them, “Love and Laughter, It’s Contagious,’’ tells the story of a sweet moment between her son and grandson as they shared an orange soda on a hot summer day. Butler doesn’t keep track of the number of quilts she has completed. “The quantity is not as important as the quality and the story behind them.’’
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Head wrap and leather-and-denim skirt, Celeste Butler originals. Background: Detail of threadpainted quilt created with kindergarten through 5th graders during Black History Month.
Celeste Butler patchwork denim. Shown with coat from Christel’s, NJ & Co. turtleneck, HUSH la Boutique sneakers, Heather Kita Designs cuff and bangle.
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See more of Celeste Butlerâ€™s quilts with African American themes at facebook.com/ quilterpreneur
The artist is wearing one of her own handembroidered quilted collars.
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A STITCH IN TIME Shea Wilkinson is never far from a sewing machine. She sews for Artifact Bags and also does her own artwork, primarily wall hangings. She had been making quilts all her life, but started taking it seriously while teaching English in Mexico. “I had a lot of time on my hands, and it really blossomed,’’ she says. Each fiber creation takes
patience, determination and time for her vision to come to fruition. Even the thousands of Artifact items she has worked on satisfy her creative side, because none are exactly the same. Her own focus is science fiction and how it can be applied to real life. “I just really like stuff that is fantastical,’’ she says. “I never know what the topic will be, and then whatever sparks my interest will become the next series.’’
She exhibits locally and nationally, and her work has been sold all over the country. One room in her home is set up for her Artifact duties, and another is for her own work. She uses an old heavy metal machine for her art pieces, and has a hard time resisting if she spots one at a thrift store. Audiobooks and podcasts keep her going. “I get to use my mind and my hands at the same time,’’ she says. “I like that.’’
“Yellow Gulch” wall hanging from the “Early Discoveries: Maps” series inspired by early cartography, including that of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
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Shea Wilkinson hand-embroidered quilted shawl. Shown with portrait-neck top from Christelâ€™s, Heather Kita Designs earring.
VELVET CRUSH ART DIRECTION Heidi Thorson STYLING Rachel Cain PHOTOGRAPHY Vivian Kvam
VELVET, AH YES. FAINTLY NOSTALGIC. LUXURIOUSLY SILKY. SUBTLY REFLECTIVE. AND SMART ENOUGH FOR THE OFFICE. THAT’S RIGHT. TRADITIONALLY VELVET HAS BEEN RESERVED FOR EVENING, BUT IT’S ESPECIALLY MODERN WHEN PAIRED WITH DENIM. YOU CAN’T BEAT VELVET’S CASUAL PANACHE IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR GLAMOUR WITHOUT FRILLS. PRODUCTS (FROM TOP) Hair clips, ANTHROPOLOGIE, $18; Sleep mask, BANANA REPUBLIC, $28; Scrunchies, FRANCESCA’S, $12; Handbag, ANN TAYLOR, $69.50; Shoes, WHITE HOUSE BLACK MARKET, $130; Necklace, J.CREW, $39.50
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STORY Marjie Ducey PHOTOGRAPHY Brendan Sullivan
For novices, indoor plants have a fighting chance with these pro tips hristina Mainelli is just like her customers. She wants to bring more green into her home in unusual and interesting ways. Mainelli runs The Green House and designs handmade goods for home and garden. She says plants cheer up a room, bring in life and light, and offer interesting focal points. She has 75 in her Old Market apartment. Her biggest piece of advice to new “plant parents” is to do your research. “Pick a spot to suit the plant and its specific needs,’’ she says. If Mainelli can’t answer a question or needs advice herself, she’ll head to a local nursery.
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MEET CHRISTINA MAINELLI Christina Mainelli went to the University of NebraskaLincoln to study English and art but now runs The Green House out of her apartment. She started gardening for the first time when she moved back to Omaha in 2010 but said itâ€™s in her roots. Her grandmother, Joyce Current, loves houseplants. So does Mainelli. She started with 10 to 15 and has had as many as 100 at a time. inspiredlivingomaha.comâ€ƒ 55
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MAINELLI’S TAKE ON PLANTS • Group like plants together. Caregiving is easier if, for example, all the succulents are in one place. They share the same watering needs, and the similar leaves create a point of interest. • Create height and dimension. Mainelli likes to showcase her bigger and more interesting greenery, such as her rubber plant and fiddle leaf fig, so they get the star treatment. “I like those plants that have crazy colors or a wild leaf to stand out on their own,’’ she says. • Glass domes are big. They look cool, adding a pop of something different in your home. Terrariums allow you to create a whole world on a miniature scale. Both are good for plants that need a humid environment. • Hanging planters. Mainelli makes them from recycled cotton cord and recycled jersey. “I had so many plants, I had no way to go but up!” she says. • Kokedama balls. They’re a traditional Japanese gardening style — a different take on the hanging garden. A plant is wrapped in moss instead of a pot, so it can hang freely. The orbs need to be soaked in water once a week for about 10 minutes and allowed to dry. • Pots galore. Mainelli uses all kinds, from a tea pot to a coffee can. Just make sure to use a layer of rocks for drainage and to choose a type of plant that can handle that type of environment. Face vases are trending in the gardening world. “I always try to pick plants that grow into cool hair or accent the pot.’’ • Keep it green. All the sun in Mainelli’s apartment is on the south side. So in areas where it’s too dark for a plant to flourish, she’ll hang a botanical print instead. “It’s just a good way to extend that green idea.’’ • Easy-care houseplants. Pothos (a vine), philodendron, snake plant/sansevieria, ZZ plant, palms and tropical plants like dracaena are among Mainelli’s favorites.
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CHARLESTON Lore of the Deep South, local cuisine and noted churches fill two-day itinerary
STORY Kevin Warneke PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
icket fences mean something special in Charleston, South Carolina. They’re called “Badges of Honor,” and represent the sacrifice homeowners made during the Civil War by donating their wrought-iron fences to the cause. When homeowners refrained from returning their fences to iron, it signaled where they stood during what was known in the Confederacy as the War for Southern Independence. We learned about the significance of shutters, Robert Smalls and a lesserknown tea party during a two-day stay in Charleston. Each year, my wife, Diane, and I pick a destination and spend a long October weekend there. We have two rules for these trips: We have to visit a place we’ve never been, and we never, ever eat at places we can
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find in Omaha (translation: no national franchises). The rest, we make up as we go. In Charleston, we explored by foot, carriage and schooner and found that a guide’s expertise makes all the difference in the experience. In a community in which more than 600 locals have earned the right to tell Charleston’s story to visitors, we drew two quality guides for hire. During our two-mile walking tour, guide Erica Carson told us how Charleston suffered a 545-day bombardment during the Civil War. “Every 15 minutes, something was getting blown up,” she said. Without Shaun Garrison as our car-
riage-ride guide, we never would have learned about the Hat Man, which was created in the late 1800s to advertise a haberdashery and can be found on the side of a building at the intersection of Broad and Church Streets. The Hat Man is made up of 16 hats in 12 styles. We never would have seen Charleston’s replica of the Washington Monument during a walk through Washington Square, nor would we have heard the legend of Lavinia Fisher, quite possibly this country’s first female serial killer. She was hanged on one of the trees in Washington Square. We twice broke away from historic Charleston during our stay. The first time was to attend the
Friday afternoon Retreat Parade at the Citadel. U.S. military parades there date to the Revolutionary War. Our other detour was to walk the beach at Sullivan’s Island. Clear skies and temperatures in the high 70s made for a perfect morning stroll. Both guides told us about Rainbow Row, a series of 13 houses painted in pastel colors on East Bay Street that reminded us of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco. We enjoyed learning the theories behind how the Charleston homes got their color, one of which was that the different hues helped residents locate their residences when returning home from drinking establishments. As our carriage ride through historic Charleston neared its end, Garrison seemed to apologize for a too-brief history lesson. “Three hundred seventy-four years in 35 minutes,” he said.
“We HAVE TWO RULES FOR THESE TRIPS: WE HAVE TO VISIT A PLACE WE'VE NEVER BEEN, and we never, ever eat at places we can find in Omaha.” CLAIM TO FAME You’ll hear Charleston described as a “drinking community with a church problem.” We appreciated the point. • ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH The double pew in the church’s center was known as “The Governor’s Pew.” President George Washington worshipped in that pew. • ST. PHILIP’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH Destroyed by fire in 1835, then rebuilt, it was rocked by an 1886 earthquake. Its steeple leans 4 degrees to the east. • CIRCULAR CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Charleston’s original settlers founded the Protestant
church. The current structure, completed in 1892, looks like a three-leaf clover.
WHERE WE ATE • HYMAN’S SEAFOOD Try the boiled peanuts (they’re soaked in salt brine overnight). They were too soggy for my taste, but the crab soup and crab cakes made for a memorable meal. • JESTINE’S KITCHEN Fried chicken, cornbread and green beans come highly recommended. • SLIGHTLY NORTH OF BROAD One word: Cornbread. Here it is made in tall pans, and its ingredi-
ents include flour, butter, cornmeal and cream. • 5CHURCH The stained-glass windows and high-beamed ceilings leave no doubt what this restaurant once was. Order the hummus and chips, and agnolotti and sausage.
GETTING THERE We flew into Atlanta and drove to Charleston. This approach allowed us to explore Atlanta for a day and to visit Columbia, South Carolina, on our return to Atlanta. We had no problems finding parking during our time in historic Charleston.
THE HIDDEN PANTRY
TEXT + PHOTOGRAPHY Chad Lebo
LOCAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT Growing up in central Pennsylvania, eating local meant picking pecks of fresh cherries from the orchards outside of Gettysburg, more pickles than would seem just or legal to a non-German, and on Jan. 1 of each year savoring some lovely roasted hog maw, aka sausage, potatoes and cabbage stuffed inside a pig’s stomach. Happy New Year! Working in New Jersey as a young man, the local eating meant crisp sweet corn, plump tomatoes and crimson cranberries straight from the bog (yes, that whole “Garden State” thing is not a joke). As a not-so-young man living in Madagascar, local was meat in the market that been on the hoof that morning, cassava leaves hand-ground to verdant pulp and enough rice to choke a zebu (the local ox). And now calling the Beef State home and running a butcher shop, local food is not just a pleasure but a business. And through that business, I have the honor to work with many local farmers and producers. The recipes this
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time feature ingredients from three of the finest food entrepreneurs in and around Omaha. A pork chop with applesauce may not seem like particularly inspiring cuisine, possibly because many of us spent our youth sawing through chops more akin to leather than steak. The fault lies some with the cooking and some with the quality of the meat. The recipe will help with the cooking. And we are lucky to have a local farmer like Travis Dunekacke of TD Niche Pork to solve the problem of quality meat. From his farm in Elk Creek, Nebraska, he supplies heritage breed pork to most of the finer restaurants in Omaha. The bread pudding recipe highlights two other local producers. No good making bread pudding without good bread, so this recipe uses cinnamon raisin sourdough baked by Sarah and David Bryan at Stick & Stone Bakery. Their wood-fired brick oven bakery, built by their own hands, is just outside Fort Calhoun. Though this recipe makes a traditional sweet bread pudding, consider a
twist and make a savory pudding using something like an herbed bread. Leave out the sugar and swap the blueberries and walnuts for cheese and ham or sausage. Finally, the caramel for the bread pudding comes from a fantastic local candy maker, Ali Clark Yahnke of Snowshoe Candy Co. Her from-scratch confections and caramels are personal favorites and available online or at various pop-up shops. Using her buttery caramels, the sauce is quite simple and quick to make. It is used not only drizzled on top of the bread pudding, but also in the bottom of the ramekins. And as an added touch, the spoons have been dipped in caramel to make sure that each bite gets a little delight. These candied spoons are also great served with ice cream or swirled in coffee or tea. Enjoy making the recipes and, if you have the opportunity, please use ingredients from these and the many other wonderful local food entrepreneurs in Omaha. Eat local and eat well.
PORK CHOP WITH APPLESAUCE With great pork, there is no need to be too fancy. However, a few tips and twists keep this classic a juicy steak rather than the shoe leather that chops too often become. SEARED PORK CHOP 1. Salt a thick pork chop an hour or two before cooking. Allow to rest uncovered in fridge. Pat dry with paper towels to thoroughly dry the surface. 2. In a thick skillet over medium-high heat, briefly sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil until browned 1 or 2 sage leaves per chop and several thin slivers of fresh garlic. Remove and reserve to top the finished chop. 3. Turn heat to high and add chop. Flip every 30 seconds or so until browned and crusty on both sides. 4. Check for doneness. For the juiciest and most flavorful chop, cook until internal of just 140 F (a perfectly safe temperature even according to the USDA). If chop is browned but needs a little more cooking, move to a 225 F oven for a few minutes. 5. Allow to rest 3 to 5 minutes before cutting.
BLUEBERRY & WALNUT BREAD PUDDING WITH CARAMEL SAUCE This is a basic recipe for bread pudding. Use the ratio of bread, eggs, cream and sugar to experiment with other fruits, nuts, fillings or other types of breads. Try skipping the sugar entirely and swapping the fruit and nuts for ham or bacon and cheese and herbs to make a savory bread pudding perfect for brunch. BREAD PUDDING 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. In large bowl, mix 1 cup blueberries, ½ cup chopped walnuts, zest of 1 orange (or 2 clementines) and 4 slices cinnamon raisin bread, cubed. 3. Blend or whisk until smooth: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/3 cup sugar and 4 eggs. 4. Pour cream mixture over the bowl of bread and berries. Mix together and let sit for 10 minutes. 5. Make caramel sauce (recipe, right). 6. Using half of the caramel sauce, spread evenly in the bottom of 4-8
ramekins (depending on size). Fill remainder of ramekins with the bread pudding mixture. 7. Place ramekins on a baking sheet to catch any overflow and bake at 350 F for 15 to 30 minutes (depending on size of ramekins). Middle should still giggle a little. 8. Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes. 9. Cover top of each ramekin with remaining caramel sauce. Or, for a fun and fancy twist, simmer the remaining caramel sauce until slightly thickened and dip in spoons to coat (see photo below). Top with blueberry. CARAMEL SAUCE 1. Over medium heat in saucepan, heat ½ cup heavy cream until simmering. 2. Add ½ cup of favorite caramel candies. 3. Stir until melted and evenly mixed. 4. If sauce seems too thin, simmer a little longer. If too thick, add a touch more cream.
APPLESAUCE 1. This will make enough sauce for one chop; adjust the amounts accordingly. 2. After chop is cooked, add 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat to a small frying pan over high heat. Add ¼ cup of favorite sweetened or unsweetened applesauce and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and sauté for a minute or two until thickened. 3. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon cold butter and stir until melted. 4. Add 1 tablespoon more of applesauce and stir until mixed. 5. Pour over chop and top with the fried sage leaves and garlic slivers.
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