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Dec 28, 2013

eggnog breakfasts

Eggnog french toast for Christmas Eve morning

adapted this recipe by substituting the milk for eggnog in equal parts

Eggnog cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning

recipe From A Beautiful Mess, here

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you. xo

CommentsCategories baking digital personal sweet Tags eggnog french toast cinnamon buns

Apr 26, 2013

In Anthology

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)

CommentsCategories personal Tags Anthology Magazine published

Mar 13, 2013

Santa Cruz on film

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...

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CommentsCategories adventures in california film medium format personal Tags Santa Cruz Kodak Portra 400 Contax 645

Mar 7, 2013

Red Velvet Roulade

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.

CommentsCategories adventures adventures in california baked sunday mornings baking digital iPhone people personal portraits recipe savory sweet travel tuesdays with dorie Tags red velvet roulade Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home cookbook cake

Feb 19, 2013

field trip in Monterey

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!

CommentsCategories digital personal Tags Monterey

Nov 8, 2012

Twinkie Cake and Smitten Kitchen book signing

Twinkie Cake!

Deb Perelman, author of Smitten Kitchen, at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Some goodies for the huge crowd (all recipes from the cookbook).

CommentsCategories baking personal sweet Tags twinkie cake book signing smitten kitchen deb perelman

Oct 27, 2012

Everett Family Farm {Soquel, CA}

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.

Happy Saturday!

CommentsCategories adventures in california personal Tags everett family farm persimmons organic food farm fall

Oct 14, 2012


We lost a much beloved pet a few days ago. I spent extra time in the kitchen that day... baking, sorrowful. I took his death the hardest, even more than my kids I think.

My husband, after years of astute observation, says I clean when I'm mad, and bake when I'm sad. It's true. Silly as it may sound, baking offers some measure of comfort, at least for me anyway.

Recipe for homemade jelly doughnuts on my good friend Denise's blog; hers look perfectly made, which is what drew me in to try the recipe in the first place. That and the fact that I already had everything, thus avoiding a trip to the store in my pjs, tear-streaked face and unbrushed hair to complete the look.


Below, a few of the Santa Cruz boardwalk where I hung out with my dear friend Alisa, who was visiting from Hawaii. Though it's been a year and a half since I moved away, we picked up where we left off -- us shooting, "talking story," eating butter mochi, marveling on how much our kids have grown. Good times. The weather was gorgeous to boot, couldn't have asked for better really.


What I'm reading/browsing through. 

Very food-centric, eh? The top book, The Alchemyst, is the first in a series that I was introduced to rather randomly. On long drives I listen to the audio CD but at home I enjoy curling up with the book. I loved the Harry Potter books and this reminds me of the time I spent engrossed in that series.

Focus on Food Photography for Bloggers by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites. The conversational tone and witty voice make this a fun read.

Food Photography & Lighting: A Commercial Photographer's Guide to Creating Irresistible Images by Teri Campbell. Really enjoying this book as the author has provided lighting set-ups and diagrams for shoots described in each chapter. Great for visual learners like me.

Extraordinary Cakes by Karen Krasne. I got this purely based on the stellar reviews, and someday when I'm crazy enough, I will spend several days attempting to make one of the gorgeous, one-of-a-kind cakes in the book.

Kinfolk Volume 5. Always a pleasure to receive Kinfolk in the mail. It's one to be savored for sure.

What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies. She's one of my favorite food bloggers/photographers. I couldn't wait for my copy to arrive and it didn't disappoint. Made the beef and guinness pie already (excellent) and have bookmarked the pumpkin ravioli and coffee hazelnut frangelico cake.

Bake & Decorate by Fiona Cairns (she made Kate and William's wedding cake). Only $2.41 on Amazon; strangely enough, the bargain price is $12.00.

Others releasing in the coming weeks that I'm also looking forward to... Jerusalem, Bouchon Bakery, The Kitchen Diaries, to name a few.


Lastly. My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jen Burgess Thompson. I've not been able to stop thinking about her. After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer a little over a year ago, she lost her hard-fought battle yesterday. She leaves behind two young sons. I can't imagine. I didn't know her but she was part of a huge and immensely supportive photography community so in a sense, I did know her, and am deeply touched and inspired by her. Rest in peace, Jen.

See you tomorrow for Baked Sunday Mornings.

CommentsCategories baked sunday mornings baking digital personal savory sweet travel tuesdays with dorie

Jul 23, 2012

Jeni's Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries

I bit the bullet and purchased an ice cream maker last week after coveting one for at least a year. I had some memorable gelato at Amorino in France as well as a taste of famous Berthillon glace, and while regrettably I can't have them here, I can at least try to recreate the flavors at home. No matter that, where I live, there's really no such thing as hot weather. Most days of the traditional summer months are characterized by blankets of fog and temps in the 50s and low 60s. But it's summer and may as well eat a little (or a lot) of ice cream.

I christened my new ice cream maker with Jeni's Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries. I wanted something a little unconventional but not terribly far out there. Besides, the window to use cherries is so small...

Jeni's technique for creating the smoothest, creamiest ice cream appealed to my inner science geek, not to mention this particular recipe satisfied the cheesecake lover in me. Yes, this ice cream tastes like cheesecake, thanks in part to the small amount of cream cheese in the recipe, as well as the addition of tangy goat cheese. The roasted cherries and sauce are layered in the ice cream, creating random swirls and ribbons of crimson in white. Don't forget to reserve a little of the compote to serve as a topping.

I don't own Jeni's book yet but am convinced that it's one to place on my bookshelf.

Jeni's Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries recipe

CommentsCategories personal sweet travel

Jul 16, 2012

a sunday in July

Scenes from the farmers market this past weekend (I wish I'd bought some flowers now), and an apricot frangipane galette from Cheryl Sternman Rule's Ripe. Such a delicious, simple, summery treat. I made the galette with half apricots, half apriums -- an apricot-plum blend (both are the first two pics above). 

I have more photos from France to share soon, for those of you not sick and tired of my photos from France.

CommentsCategories sweet personal Tags farmers market summer ripe cookbook

Jul 5, 2012

update (or, I decided to come home though I never wanted to leave France).

I've been home about a week after a whirlwind seven days in France. It's all that I imagined, and remembered, it to be. I feel like our trip just barely touched the surface of what's to be explored, and already it feels like a distant memory. Paris was just one of the places we visited and while every villlage, town, and city we passed through was charming in their own way, I fell for Paris the hardest. I imagine I am not alone in feeling this.

Here are some instagram snaps, most were in Paris and were taken with my iPad, which is why there are only 9 pics. My husband says some guy almost knocked the iPad out of my outstretched arms as I took the photo of the Mona Lisa. Not wise on my part. 

I shot digital and film and am hoping to develop the rolls soon, at which point I'll drum up a couple of blog posts. Below are a few captures from my digital camera.

Le Mont Saint Michel

I dragged my husband on the metro in search of beurre and fromage (butter and cheese) from Pascal Beillevaire, a fromagerie in the Marais district (with other locations city-wide) that I read about on David Lebovitz's blog. I was a bit OCD about these traveling home... would they be squished in our luggage? Would customs confiscate them? I had silly visions of U.S. agents gathering around eating and enjoying my confiscated butter and cheese. Was I overreacting? Likely.

Well, the anxiety was unncessary. They got through fine, if not a tiny bit melted, probably from the layover in 94 degree Houston. A few days after returning from France, I stopped by the new Provence bakery in town (see previous post) and picked up a couple of warm baguettes to eat with the butter and cheese. Perfect goodness.

Finally, but not related to France... just want to share what we've been busy with since the day after our trip. Jetlag and a new puppy do not mix is the lesson to be learned here. Sleep deprivation aside... he's a great pup and the love between he and our family was instantaneous. Handsome and curious, loves to nip on toes, socks, the couch, his doggie bed, etc., and current favorite activity: likes to growl and bark loudly at the plastic container of apple cider on the counter. Dogs are so funny.

p.s. I've been watching Cesar Millan (brilliant man) and his show The Dog Whisperer like crazy. Gets my mind off missing France, you know.

CommentsCategories personal travel Tags france pet