Food Photography – Working with Studio Light

FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY – WORKING WITH STUDIO LIGHT

Hello there! Today I’m actually over at Kim’s site sharing some of what I know about studio light. There are lots of photos posted and a shorter version of this video that I thought I would share in it’s entirety here. Hope you get a chance to stop by Kim’s site. In the meantime, enjoy the video!

 

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Cookbook Review – The Broad Fork

Cookbook Review – The Broad Fork

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As mentioned in a previous post, I would be selecting some recipes from this lovely book by Hugh Acheson, The Broad Fork, to cook from. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to cook as many things in the book as I would have liked (travel, my first paid food photography gig, and power outages, and then finally the flu), I did cook a few things.

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Roasted Poblano and Pecan Guacamole. This was super delicious. I never would have thought to add pecans or a roasted chili in this. Brilliant! This was shared with several friends over at the Novelty Hill Winery (we’re wine club members) and it was a big hit with everyone!

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The texture was the thing that really sent a clear message that this wasn’t your everyday guacamole!

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Bok Choy, Curried Tomatoes, and Avocado. Brian and I are already big fans of pork tenderloin.

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The flavor is great and cooks up fast. The sides for the pork are really the stars here. The curried tomatoes w/ avocado were great flavor compliments to this entree.

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Sauteed Carrots with Pine Nuts, Malt Vinegar, and Golden Syrup. Actually the recipe called for Sorghum syrup, which I did not have so substituted the Golden.

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Another delicious item from the book. We paired this with a nice roasted chicken. I like that chopped carrot tops are used as a garnish instead of parsley. Making use of the entire vegetable.

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Stewed Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, Leek, Spring Onion, and Creme Fraiche over Grits. The recipe called for morels but they are not available yet in our neck of the woods so I used a combination of black trumpets, maitake, and hedgehog mushrooms. The recipe also called for Ramps and again, not available yet so substituted a leek and spring onion.

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Super good comfort food here. The grits were made with white corn grits. Doing this again I think I would substitute yellow corn grits for more color.

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Chicken Paillard with Wild Mushrooms, Wild Mushroom Compound Butter, Lemon, and Parsley. This recipe also called for morels but I went with the mushroom combo mentioned above.

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Same thing with the compound butter. Really great and quick to pull together since I made the compound butter ahead of time. We’ve been using that butter on other things too!

And that’s all I had time for this month, but it was enough for me to say this is a great cookbook, especially if you like to grow some of your own vegetables. So many ideas in the book for what to do with your harvest.

I haven’t decided yet what I’ll cook through next month. I’ve been joyfully distracted with lovely Spring weather. I’ll come up with something. Stay tuned!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

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Food Photography – Working with Natural Light

Food Photography – Working with Natural Light

 

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Hello everyone! Just a quick announcement to let you know I’m over at Kim Klassen’s beautiful site again this month to discuss food photography and natural light.

 

There are these images on the site, as well as

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a video in which I talk a little bit about working with natural light, advantages and disadvantages, and a few tools you can use to control the light a bit. Hope to see you THERE!

ps – the link to the recipe for this chocolate bark is also on Kim’s site!

Cheers,

xo

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Food Photography Whole & Parts Video

Food Photography Whole & Parts Video

Hello everybody! Just popping in to share this little video that made its debut on Kim Klassen‘s blog and now am sharing it hear just in case you missed it or perhaps are not following Kim’s site…which you should by the way!

Password: WholeParts 

Whole & Parts from Carol Hart on Vimeo.

I will be posting a new food photography post and video to Kim’s site this coming Thursday. Stay tuned!

xo

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My Interview on The Photo Argus

My Interview on Photo Argus

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A couple of weeks ago Tim Kok with The Photo Argus reached out from Flickr to ask if he could interview me for this beautiful site. I actually thought it was a bit of a hoax! Who would want to interview me? And for The Photo Argus no less! If you don’t know this site, I hope you will not only click the link below to read the interview, but take a bit of time to click through their site. It is full of inspiring interviews and images from other photographers. They also post tips and little tutorials. So worth the time.

I did respond to Tim and he did post the interview. I’m thrilled of course and it prompted me to look back on my photography to determine exactly when I was bit by the food photography bug. It was 2014 and I was involved in one of Kim Klassen’s year long classes. She had had a breakfast prompt and I worked on a blueberry muffin project. I was hooked. After that every prompt I decided to make it food focused. The picture above was a prompt for high key and back lit. It was not hugely popular with the group but I still enjoy it as I think it speaks to my desire to celebrate and bring out the details of food, embrace the texture, tell the story with contrast, and perhaps with a little drama.

The link is HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

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Spring Is Here!

Spring Is Here!

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New chive shoots coming up in their pots

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Hydrangea leaves opening

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Hellebores bowing their heads

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They are the first blossoms to appear in my garden in Springtime

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Black mondo grass embraces Japanese Spurge

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Viburnum Larreri ‘Nanum” blossoms. Quite fragrant

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The pots have been anxiously waiting for this moment

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And now it is time for me to get out there because Spring is here!

xo

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A Couple Cooks – Final Offerings

A Couple Cooks – Final Offerings

So, you all know I’ve been cooking through A Couple Cooks food blog. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have learned a few things in the process. Here are my final offerings from this blog. First up 

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Thai Cucumber Salad with Cashews. This salad was so flavorful and I just love the crunch of the cucumbers and cashews in this. Going forward with this I would toast the cashews, just to bring out their sweetness and add a bit of color. Then we went for

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Dan’s Dal Makhani. Wow. Both Brian & I enjoyed this so much. Real authentic Indian flavor with the cumin seeds, chili powder, coriander, garam masala, and cayenne pepper adding such aroma and bite to this dish. Definitely a keeper! After that I was inspired by

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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. Believe it or not I had never cooked spaghetti squash before, but I totally loved it and the use of it in place of the typical Pad Thai noodles was inspired! When I first put this plate in front of Brian & told him what it was he was like “hmmm”, but then he bit in and said “wow”! 

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 I see more spaghetti squash in my future! The last recipe was a real education for me

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The recipe called for sprouted lentils

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I had never sprouted lentils before but found the whole experience entertaining and educational. It took only two days to sprout these babies. Lentils are a bit hard for the body to digest, but when sprouted the body can easily digest and yield more of the vitamins and nutrients in them. To learn more about sprouting lentils, check out this WEBSITE. So with these lentils we made

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Hearty Sprouted Lentil Stew with Kale. Wow, this was a total home run! You basically start with onions, carrots,  and celery, add some garlic, then the aromatic spices, some canned diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, and the lentil sprouts, cook it down, then add some Kale.

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Such a beautiful thing. We also drizzled a bit of Truffle Oil on top just to add to the earthiness of the stew. Will be doing this again for sure!

So, what do I think of A Couple Cooks site? It’s awesome. If you are looking for some vegetarian, simple to prepare meals, I would recommend checking them out. Super good.


 

And now for the month of March. I’ve decided to play along with my friend Deborah Balint  from her Instagram feed @rainydaybites. She hosts a cookbook club and every month she chooses a cookbook to cook from and posts her pictures. Beautiful pictures and her dialog about each recipe she tries is insightful. All of her photos are taken with her iPhone and if you have a moment I hope you will check her out. The book we will be working from is

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A Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson. The title alone speaks to my gardener’s heart. Hugh is the author of the James Beard Foundation Award Winning Cookbook A New Turn In The South. This book is his latest offering and it proves to be a great one. So looking forward to what I will learn from him.

So that’s it from me this time. Hope your late winter / early spring has been kind to you. Cheers!

xo

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Blueberry Pear Sorbet

Blueberry Pear Sorbet

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After I made the Pear Tart that I shared HERE, I had these babies left over so decided to make a sorbet

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I added Blueberries into the mix as well to create this lovely color (am I the only one who thinks that bowl on the right looks like a monkey face?!)

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This was quite delicious. If you give it a try, please let me know what you think!


 

Blueberry Pear Sorbet

3 ripe pears, peeled & cored, cut in half lengthwise

1 12 oz. bag frozen blueberries

1 large lemon, juice & zest

3 cups water

1 cup sugar

Place sugar, water, and lemon zest in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and add the peeled pears. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes until pears are easily pierced with a knife tip. During the last 5 minutes, add the blueberries. They will start to pop open and release their color and juices into the poaching liquid. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the lemon juice and zest. Puree the mixture in a blender. You may have to do it in batches. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a large, clean bowl. Chill the puree until very cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Or you can also freeze puree in a large, flat container and break the sorbet up into chunks and place in a food processor to beat up the ice crystals.

PS – The lovely dessert bowls are from Handmade Studio TN. They have the most beautiful dinnerware. Hope you get a chance to check them out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers!

 

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A Couple Cooks – Let the Cooking Begin!

A Couple Cooks – Let the Cooking Begin!


 

Hello all! As I mentioned last Thursday, I am cooking through another food blog, A Couple Cooks. In this first week we tried the following:

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Spaghetti w/ Tuscan Kale & Chickpeas

 

The flavor of this was great, however I found it rather dry even though I had added some pasta water that wasn’t even called for in the recipe. If I try this again, I shall increase the sour cream and add even more pasta water. Next up


 

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Enchilada Skillet

This was super good with zucchini, bell peppers, corn, corn tortillas, and black beans cooked in an enchilada sauce. Though I realize this is a vegetarian blog I’m cooking through, I just have to say that left over chicken shredded in there would be a perfect touch! Then on to


 

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Salmon en Papillote w/ Roasted Potatoes

It’s been forever since I’ve prepared any fish en Papillote and I can’t for the life of me understand why! The fish cooks perfectly this way and clean up is a breeze

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This was a super simple preparation. The fish is sitting on a bed of julienned carrots and topped with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon. On the potatoes I simply tossed some baby heirloom potatoes in olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted in the oven. Great meal! Finally for this week


 

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Slow-Cooked Black Bean Chili

I wanted to try this recipe because it calls for dried black beans, soaked overnight and then simply placed in the crock pot with the sautéed onions, garlic, portable mushrooms and canned tomatoes.

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It took 13 hours to get the beans to the al dente state. Topped with cheddar cheese and green onion. I have to say this…it tasted fine but after slow cooking something for 13 hours I guess my expectation level is for something more than “tastes fine”, you know what I mean?


 

I’ll be back next week sharing more from A Couple Cooks. Stay tuned!

Hope your week is going well.

xo

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Palm Springs Getaway

Palm Springs Getaway


 

Hello everyone. Last week Brian & I took a few days off and headed to Palm Springs for a little warmth, sun, rest and relaxation with friends. Sharing a few moments from that trip in this very short video.

 

And now we’re back to reality. I’m wearing my heavy sweater and wool socks as I type this!

Cheers!

xo

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