Who says food and fashion don’t mix? Sure, we’re known to dabble in juice cleanses once in a while (hello, fashion week), but on any given day you can find us at our favorite spots around town or getting crafty in our own kitchens.
In the spirit of all things edible, we’d like to introduce you to Carol Han, whose passion for food, fashion and travel is showcased on her blog Milk & Mode. After several years in the magazine industry, Carol jumpstarted the site when she decided to change careers and start her own digital agency. Read on for more about the blog’s beginnings, secrets to a fabulous party and even a simple Christmas cookie recipe. Bon appétit!
What inspired you to start the blog?
My mom is an amazing cook—she owned a restaurant while I was growing up—and I spent a lot of my childhood at her kitchen table, so most of my best memories orbit around food and cooking. This idea of gathering your family and friends at the end of the day to eat a good, home-cooked meal is important to me, and something that I missed dearly in my crazy NYC life. So, as soon as I got my first non-studio, grown-up apartment with a usable kitchen, I channeled my mother and started cooking. Documenting my experiments was a natural next step.
What is the most coveted item in your closet at the moment?
I love the olive, cream and black Céline bag I got in the fall.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
When we were starting our digital agency, CA Creative, my business partner’s very wise dad gave us a lot of invaluable advice. He encouraged us and reminded us that while there would be a lot of bumps in the road, if we stuck to it and worked hard, it would all pay off. So far, all of that has been very true.
What items are at the top of your holiday wish list?
What is your absolute favorite…
Holiday indulgence? Hot toddies and mulled wine!
Salty holiday snack? Lots and lots of homemade popcorn. Although, that’s more of a year-round thing.
Sweet treat? My cowboy cookies are pretty great. They come from a recipe by Laura Bush.
What is the secret to a fabulous fête?
Doing all the prep (including the kitchen prep)! And I’m talking as far in advance as possible! That way, you can relax and enjoy your guests instead of being in an absolute panic the entire time.
What recipe have you been dying to try this holiday season?
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in London lately and the Brits sure know how to do a Sunday roast. It isn’t really a “holiday” thing for them, but it always reminds me of Christmas. I want to do a big old roast with all of the trimmings and invite a ton of people over to lounge around my apartment for a whole day, eating it all up.
If you were accidentally locked in Freds, what would we find you cooking in the morning?
Christmas Fudge Cookies
For the Cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 larges eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Glaze:
10 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
Decorating sugars, in whatever colors you like
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl. Mix in vanilla. Gradually mix in dry ingredients. Wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour.
3. Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top.
4. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies), until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6. Once cool, put the white chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at high power in 30-second bursts until melted. Stir in the canola oil. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies and then sprinkle them with decorating sugars.