Apr 25, 2013
A quick post to share some exciting news... I'm published in the newest Anthology Magazine. I feel like a rookie for announcing this and not having shots of the story to show as well but I simply couldn't wait once I received my copy in the mail today. Being in my favorite print magazine is a dream come true and I can't thank the Anthology staff, Deb (who wrote the article), and Joy and Jess (the "mermaids" of the article) enough for the opportunity. It's humbling to be in the company of so many creatives who contributed to this issue - photographers I look up to and admire from afar.
(cover photo by Kelly Ishikawa)
Mar 22, 2013
Mar 12, 2013
Got some scans back of a couple of rolls of Kodak Portra 400... these were taken back in October. I thought I was throwing away $25, expecting the worst since I shoot everything sans external meter. But these left me pleasantly surprised and now I'm wondering about those rolls from Paris...
Mar 7, 2013
This lovely cake is from the new book, Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home. I have a couple of the earlier Hummingbird books but never felt compelled to make something out of them as much as I do from this one. And not just one 'something' but a few... the doughtnut cupcakes and cookies and cream cake come to mind. If you're like me and are a visual person and fan of beautiful photography this book won't disappoint -- there's a photo of the finished product for every single recipe. While my roulade doesn't quite look like theirs (with the perfect swirl in the middle), I'm fairly certain this is not the last time I make this cake.
If you're not caked out yet, head over to A Subtle Revelry and take a peek at easy checkerboard cake I made for Victoria's Creative Cakes series.
Feb 24, 2013
Blood Orange Bars
(recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Brownies and Bars)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp finely shredded blood orange peel
2/3 cup blood orange juice
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar (for dusting)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8x2 inch baking pan with foil. Grease foil; set pan aside.
For crust, in the bowl of a food processor combine 1 cup flour, 3 tbsp powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and butter (if you don't have a food processor, use a pastry blender, or two forks, to cut in butter). Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake about 15 mintues or until light brown around the edges.
In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, eggs, orange peel, orange juice, and, if desired, food coloring, until smooth. Stir in the 2 tbsp flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Pour orange mixture over hot crust.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until filling is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*if you can't find blood oranges, regular oranges and orange juice can be substituted
Feb 20, 2013
Feb 18, 2013
Trying to get out more with the camera to shoot without real purpose, to have fun with no pressure. So here, a few photos from a trip to see an abalone farm and recently caught fish, ending with a long walk on the beach... never mind that it was with 50 kindergarteners, it was too lovely out to notice the chaos!
Feb 15, 2013
While we're usually not big into celebrating a certain day that just passed, I had to seize the opportunity and use the holiday as an excuse to request this collection of macarons (macaroons?) from Sucré. As you can see, one magically disappeared as I started shooting. The raspberry mousseline found in the center of one of these macarons is a pleasant surprise and once you reach it, makes subsequent bites so satisfying. Now if there was a way to justify ordering a membership to the 12 Month Club...
Jan 13, 2013
Dec 30, 2012
This was a recipe I could manage this week for Baked Sunday Mornings. Take a look at how the other bakers fared; love all the variations on one of my favorite cookies. Happy New Year, everyone.
Dec 14, 2012
from a recent family session.
Dec 4, 2012
Hello. Posts are few and far between these days as I feel I'm shifting away from food blogging a bit. Maybe it's just the busyness of the holidays that contributes to the scarcity of posts but one thing's for sure -- I'll be letting go of this site in late spring next year and need to figure out how to move all content to another platform - help?! I'm not very good at these things.
I'm grateful for Tuesdays with Dorie for keeping me in line with baking and photographing at least once a month. This gingerbread cake is a reminder of the season. While not one I'd make again, it was a good reason to break out the mini springform pans. Recipe and beautiful pics can be found on Karen's blog, and wander to the TWD site to click on links from other bakers.
Nov 21, 2012
I'm a day late on this post for Tuesdays with Dorie due to a sick kiddo at home. I made these brownies again; you can check out my first attempt here (scroll to the end or you'll have to go through some Paris photos first). I baked them about 20 minutes longer than the first time, resulting in a less gooey, but still delicious, brownie. Going for bite-size but tired of squares? Try a cookie cutter for something different (I used a round fluted one). The scraps are pretty great for snacking or crumbled in a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Nov 7, 2012
Nov 4, 2012
'Tis the season for pie.
The Baked Sunday Mornings recipe this week is one of my favorites from the Baked books to date.
Not to say there weren't issues making it. For instance:
- my oven floor got a new coat of grease thanks to the pie.
- I totally forgot to add flour to the unbaked crust before filling it with the custard. It was already in the oven a few minutes when I realized I'd forgotten to sprinkle the top with flour, so I quickly remedied that. I got small clumps throughout though, which I tried to scrape off later on.
- despite a few extra minutes in the oven, there was a layer of undercooked custard, near the bottom of the pie. The bottom crust was not completely done either but that I didn't mind so much. I ate what was set and it was absolutely delicious. Reminiscent of the flan my mom used to make when I was a kid. And what a welcome break from eating chocolates raided from my kids' Halloween treat bags.
A few additions: I sprinkled turbinado sugar over the top after it came out of the oven. I also whipped up some chantilly cream to go with a slice of pie. A good... no, great, decision.
For the cream, combine 200 ml heavy cream, 20 g powdered sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract in a mixer bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. Next time I might sweeten the cream with a little maple syrup in place of the vanilla.
Excited to meet food blogger Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen fame, tonight. I'm attending the signing of her new cookbook. I adored her peach shortbread this summer and am saving this for an early Sunday morning.
Nov 1, 2012
I'm late posting this but I promise these were made on Tuesday. We are bread fiends so I chose to make this recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie catch-up day. It's an easy recipe that can be made in a day. One loaf I kept plain, the other I added cinnamon sugar... both are great with Trader Joe's pumpkin butter!
Oct 27, 2012
Just a quick post as the sun and warmer temps are hard to resist today. A few days ago Deb and I stumbled upon the Everett Family Farm in Soquel, near Santa Cruz. We were both enchanted by the vibrant persimmon orchard (I'd never seen one before) and variety of produce at the onsite farmstand.
Oct 26, 2012
Just a random Friday post.
More cookies to share... only visually, unfortunately. I'd love nothing more than to share them in real-life, especially the chocolate chip cookies (herein known as CCC) pictured above. It's actually called the Chocolate Chunk and Chip cookie and it's from the just released, 5lb impressive tome, Bouchon Bakery, by Thomas Keller and Sebastian Rouxel. What sets this cookie apart from your typical CCC is the smidgen of molasses, which I'm not too fond of (see previous post) but it works and makes this a memorable cookie. I'd say it rivals my all-time favorite, brown butter and fleur de sel CCC, which I bake so often I've practically memorized the recipe.
The candy corn cookies are a basic butter cookie recipe from the also new book Standard Baking Co. Pastries (my list for bakeries-I-must-visit-someday increases, and includes Standard). I used the same cookie cutter which came in handy for last fall's candy corn cake pops. The method I came up with for making these in the shape and colors of candy corn was more work than I would do again, but they turned out better than I thought.
Can't wait to bake more from both cookbooks though let's be honest; I read them as if they're novels or coffee table books.
Back to the topic of cookies... who is participating in the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? I haven't committed to it yet but chances are good I'll sign up. Surely this is why I've been churning out the cookies lately -- practice. This year there is a great cause and a cookie spatula to consider.
Be back later to post some shots from a short trip up north to visit a persimmon orchard.
Oct 21, 2012
Joe Froggers is the unusual name for the more descriptive Ginger Rum Molasses Cookies, the recipe for this week's Baked Sunday Mornings. I sound like a broken record these days because of all the things I bake but discover I'm not fond of... and no surprise then, I generally don't go for molasses cookies -- just not my thing. However, I'm not going to turn down the chance to bake and learn, and I'm usually willing to give something a second chance. Especially if it's a cookie.
This was a fairly easy recipe, quick to put together and let chill in the fridge overnight. The dough was a bit sticky and soft but manageable after working in some flour. I unintentionally left the rum out and don't know what I was missing.
All I know is that these cookies baked beautifully in the oven. I went for chewy and that's exactly what I got baking them for 8 minutes (had the option to go to 12 min for a crispier cookie). Their uniformity and simplicity -- just a sprinkling of sugar on top -- made them great photogenic subjects. And who knew molasses cookies could be so... moody? :)
It was a foggy day when I photographed the cookies, and while not my favorite weather, these type of conditions offer soft, diffuse light for shooting. It's like having a huge softbox right outside your window, and best of all, it's free.
Get the Joe Froggers recipe. Happy Sunday!
Oct 16, 2012
The 2nd Tuesdays with Dorie assignment this month was bagels. At first I was intimidated by the recipe but I forged ahead and don't regret it.
The recipe states dividing the dough in two after the overnight rest in the fridge and shaping them just prior to baking. I decided to halve the dough before the fridge, shaping one batch into bagels and placing them on a sheet pan, leaving the other batch in the bowl. Both went into the fridge.
The following morning I made the ready-to-go bagels and to my horror -- they were pretty tough and relatively flat (as in I couldn't slice them into two pieces). Still edible though. We ate 1-1/2 and would've considered playing ring toss with the remaining bagels. With those results I thought I had ruined the recipe.
A few days later I baked the second batch. It had been in the fridge a total of 3 days (1 more day than recommended in the book) so I didn't hold out much hope. But lo and behold, after having a bit of practice shaping the bagels and knowing the steps, this batch turned out much better than the first. They were fluffier and not as tough. I could actually split the bagels in two to spread on some cream cheese. I sprinkled poppy seeds on one bagel and left the others plain -- the way I like it.
My technique could use some improvement (especially shaping... the directions weren't the clearest), but I was happy with these and will definitely come back to the recipe. Adding bagels to the list of items I've baked for the first time this year ;D
- The first batch set the fire alarm off in my house. Second time around I turned the oven down to 475 instead of 500 and opened as many doors as possible. Seemed to do the trick... no screeching alarm to scare the neighbors and my dog.
- I boiled the bagels a minute on each side.