here at kitchen lush, i love anyone who loves creating (and wine) as much as i do. i'm delighted to introduce to you my new lush love, and a fun collaboration we've been working on, mexican night with whitney of grace graffiti.
whitney herndon is the artist behind grace graffiti, hand crafted, quality wooden projects from scratch-from wedding and home décor to entertaining pieces. getting married? she can literally customize just about anything for your wedding décor (hello hashtag chalkboards). i immediately fell in love with her aztec wooden placemats, featured in this post--both functional and fabulous for setting a place at your table (or plating tacos for the perfect backdrop! i couldn't resist…) her etsy shop is chock full of wondrous wooden creations, so be sure to check it out, but here's a little get-to-know-grace graffiti while you drool over those placemats (and tacos, of course).
How did Grace Graffiti get started and what keeps you motivated?
We got our start in our kitchen, selling custom orders to individual customers on Etsy. Five years later we now operate out of a studio and ship worldwide through our Etsy shop.
I’ve always believed that the small things make all the difference. It’s what people remember most after the reception, the party, or the dinner. The colors, the textures, and the attitude tell a story… they tell your story. Whether you are planning another big life event or just looking to update your home or office, Grace Graffiti helps to make sure you don’t miss the small details and you have that one thing that catches everyone’s attention.
Our goal is to help your life and events become a little brighter, a little sweeter, and a little more memorable. We are creating the small details of life’s big events.
You're based in Brunswick, GA (gotta love a fellow peach!) what's your process for creating new products, especially since you customize most orders?
I am very fortunate to have a studio in historic downtown Brunswick, GA. I also live in the downtown area and often run or bike to work. The community of downtown merchants is very supportive and I love being a part of the unified effort of revitalizing our beautiful city. Most of our Etsy orders are custom, so it is very important that we have multiple check and balances in place to ensure all the small details are correct. Our process starts with pencil and paper sketches, moves to carpentry, then to paint, our distressing process, and any customizations. We finalize each piece with a triple check on the details, then pack it up and ship.
Let's be honest. I love a glass of wine when I cook, it brings out my creativity with ingredients and (most of the time) spices up a dish, ya know? What's your go-to creative juice or source of inspiration when you are developing a new product?
Prosecco. What's not fun about a little bubble!? And my glass of choice is a coupe. There is just something so very old school charming about sipping from a delicate gold edged glass. I also listen to music all day everyday while working. My stations vary depending on what particular task I am carrying out. When I am running my tools it is Imagine Dragons. For painting it’s The Lumineers. And when I need a little pep in my step it is straight Pop Music.
What’s your favorite dish to make?
I wish that I was in the kitchen more trying new things, but for now we have some tried and true dishes that we have on rotation. Our family favorite is spinach & black bean quesadillas with avocados and my homemade salsa!
thanks, whitney! now, those tacos...
here's what you need:
- 2-3 ears corn, cleaned
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 lime, plus the zest!
- 1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder, divided
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 2 tsp. ancho chili powder
- Juice of 3 limes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp. oil
- Corn tortillas
- Purple cabbage, shredded
- cojita cheese, for topping
- Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Here's how to do it:
mix together greek yogurt, chili powder, lime juice and zest, and parmesan in a medium bowl, set aside. grill corn on high heat (grill or grill pan will do), rotating every few minutes for a total of around 18 min or charred slightly on all sides. cut corn off cobb (be careful, it's hot!), toss with greek yogurt mixture and set aside for topping los tacos.
combine chili powder, lime juice, lemon juice, oil and toss with shrimp. refrigerate for 30 minutes. (p.s. throw in the citrus peels for an extra zing while marinating).
here's the fun part: you can either grill the shrimp, or fry them. i say fun because my i want to be healthy self says grill! but my fun, i fry things so whatev, self says fry! whoever you are, to grill, heat a grill pan to medium-high heat and grill shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side until they are a nice, pink and slightly charred crustacean. for those who are fryers, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet or deep pan to 350 degrees. beat the eggs and do a little one-two-dunk in the flour, egg and panko. fry until golden brown on both sides, around 3-4 minutes. (whoever you choose to be for this recipe, i don't judge).
assemble tacos with a layer of shrimp, mexican corn, a sprinkle of purple cabbage and cotija cheese. go crazy and squeeze some more fresh lime on top or spice them up with some cholula. now, devour!