When Friendships & Food Elevate the Every Day!

Breakfast/Brunch / September 13, 2022

Meet Monica Smith of Raven’s Nest Originals and download a recipe that showcases each of our passions.


When I am lucky enough to sit with Monica over coffee, it’s best if our schedules are cleared. We can fill up the better part of a morning with our chatter about the world and women and what it means to be courageous. It fuels my creativity  to know about the people I collaborate with making it an honor to cook with her amazing jams, jellies, butters, salsas, and spices. In fact their website features 10 of my recipes from appetizers to main courses, along with dozens of other gorgeous food photos, and gift ideas. Get lost in it by clicking here.

I’ve been developing recipes for Raven’s Nest for some time now, and immersing myself in the fresh, inventive, and familiar foods that are beloved by people all over the country. Their story is real and accessible and worth sharing here.

Taking the facts directly from their website, this company was born in Alabama and raised in the Carolinas. Raven’s Nest | Gourmet + Gift is a second generation, woman-owned and operated family business rich in heritage and a loyal following.  Raven’s Nest was founded in 1980 by Monica’s mother, Raven who has carried on with her legacy for the last 12 years. For 40 years they’ve been creating and sharing unique, handmade gifts and artisan jams + spices. Every item in their collection is rooted in Raven’s artistry, love of good food, creativity, and ability to innovate and adapt in both times of plenty and times of want. It comes from a deep abiding principle of family, southern values and making things beautiful.

Everything is so exquisitely presented, it’s interesting to witness Monica’s humility about her far-reaching success. Especially when she shares with me her aversion to being on camera. And yet in my opinion she photographs beautifully, her authentic passion jumping out at you from every photo whether spontaneous or posed. She has been the stalwart of the Raven’s Nest movement and has amassed a following of thousands of loyal merchants and customers all over the country as she and her staff personally pack and ship each box with care.

Now that it’s September she and I are both out of our minds crazy about launching recipes for fall. Pumpkin Butter runs through the veins of most of us when the leaves change and turtlenecks make their debut. And her Apple Butter is something I could just sit and eat out of the jar. Given that passionate intro, my latest creation takes pumpkin scones to the Bling Cuisine level when frosted with a luxurious peach balsamic and vanilla glaze. It is a breakfast fit for any special occasion and because they come together in one bowl, they are also the perfect quick bite when the munchies launch their attack.

Find out how you can elevate the every day (her latest campaign to urge people to bring more beauty even into the simplest of meals) and get your pantry full of every Raven’s Nest ingredient you can lay your hands on. I know mine is full of them.


If you’re interested in accessing all the recipes I’ve created, check out their recipe page. Or do a word search on my site.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Scones With Peach Glaze

A cool autumn morning just begs for warm scones. And these are full of the flavors of fall! Pumpkin butter adds that extra smoothness and exceptional flavor while acting as the perfect backdrop for a peach glaze. Don’t underestimate the power of a mild olive oil to take you baking to to next level. And the balsamic in the glaze? Well, my husband tasted it and said, “is there crushed peach in this?” ‘Nuff said!

 INGREDIENTS:

2 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C sugar
2 T baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/3 C Raven’s Nest Pumpkin Butter
1/4 C Olivezia Chiquitita olive oil
1/2 C + 2 T whole milk

GLAZE:

2 T Olivezia White Peach balsamic vinegar
2 T heavy cream or half n half
1/3 C + half of another 1/3 C confectioner’s sugar
+ diced fresh peach for garnish

METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In large bowl add flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix them well with a spoon to incorporate spices. Add the oil, milk, pumpkin butter, and vanilla. Stir a few times with a large wooden spoon. Finish mixing until it comes together.
  • Then empty dough onto floured surface. Don’t worry if there’s still a bit of flour and dough in bowl. Shape into a circle with hands and flatten to a disc about 6 inches or so in diameter and about 1 1/2 inches in thickness.
  • Cut into 8 pie shaped pieces. Transfer to a cookie sheet on top of parchment paper.
  • Bake for 13 minutes. Let cool.
  • To make glaze add the balsamic and cream in a bowl. Then add the confectioner’s sugar and blend well. Drizzle over cooled scones, top with chopped peaches, and serve!


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Let's think about food preparation as art, and flavors as adventurous stories. Say ‘goodbye’ to safe sequences, or copycat flavors, and use your senses to curate the perfect meal. My recipes help your kitchen come to life as I share anecdotes about food chemistry, and fun shortcuts that conquer menu-mediocrity. my cooking style is one that combines everyday ingredients into sensuous layers that wake up the bored palate as I reveal easy-to-understand tips, tricks, and hacks so everyone can prepare and serve Bling Cuisine with confidence and joy!

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