Easy Vegetable Quiche – the Anytime Comfort Food

It’s been so long since my last post… How y’all doing? :) It’s been a looong winter, and I needed to step away from this space for a little bit. A few folks (including a dear photography client) suddenly and unexpectedly passed away this fall, then the holidays came around, then there was a carbon monoxide leak in my apartment building on a -6 degree evening, ended up suddenly moving to a new place, and was sick for almost a month.

Phew. It was a long winter. There was barely time to cook, never mind photograph, write, or indulge in the things that bring any sense of creative joy.

It’s now the end of March, and I’m just starting to get back into a normal routine. So, hi there! Happy almost spring! Let’s defrost and come out of hibernation, shall we?

Moving created an interesting culinary “problem”. I found a lot of dry and frozen ingredients stuffed in the back of my pantry and freezer that I totally forgot about. So there’s an effort right now to use up everything that’s still good, but has been totally neglected. And I want to make healthy meals that are quick to prepare. (There have been many whole chickens tossed in the crockpot with lemon and herbs over the past two months!)

Since my boyfriend is gluten-free, most of the recipes I make include gluten-free flours or bread products. One of the items stuck in the back of my freezer was a quiche and pie crust from Gillian’s, which happens to be based nearby in Lynn, Massachusetts. We had some leftover fresh red pepper, a few mushrooms, some leftover shredded cheese from a pizza, a carton of eggs, and a bunch of herbs.

Quiche! The perfect dish to use up leftover fresh produce. And I was in the mood for some comfort food that was not in the form of cookies.

Gluten Free Vegetable Quiche

No lie – the quiche came out so well, I could eat this whole thing in one sitting. But I will control myself. (Maybe.) I’m not sure if it’s the vegetables, the seasoning (this is what I used), or what, but it’s delicious. The Gillian’s gluten free pie crust tastes exactly like a regular pie crust! It’s so good!

Gluten Free Vegetable Quiche

I would have liked to style these photos a little more, but my props are still packed in boxes, buried in the basement. This is the first time I’ve picked up my camera since I moved. And now I have more space to work in, which is such a wonderful thing! It’s so good to be back in this creative space. :) xoxo

Easy Vegetable Quiche – the Anytime Comfort Food
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen pie crust (I used Gillian’s Gluten-Free Quiche and Pie Crust)
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • Handfull of fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • A few cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp quinoa flour
  • 1Tbsp no-salt dry seasoning mix (I used Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning sold at Costco and Amazon.com.)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pinch of dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the chopped red peppers, mushrooms, spinach evenly over the crust and sprinkle with the cheese.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, quinoa flour, salt, and seasoning blend.
  4. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Top with the tomatoes.
  5. Place the quiche on the center rack and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is set. Remove from oven and sprinkle the dried parsley on top. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

 

2013 Boston Red Sox Rolling Rally – Inside Fenway Park

After a decade of being on the wait list for season tickets, Jeff wavered back and forth about spending the money when the opportunity finally presented itself this year. He took a gamble, and we found ourselves sitting in section 3 of the empty grandstands during some very cold April and May games. Fenway Park’s sold out game record streak ended – the stands were half full, and it wasn’t because of the weather.

We didn’t recognize most of the names on the roster, but they played a good game. Little by little personalities emerged, they helped lift our city up during some dark times, and they kept winning. But it seemed like no one really paid attention until August. Was it because of how the team ended the previous season? Or was is because of what Boston experienced in April? Or a mixture of both? Late in the summer, the stands became full again; fans cheering our team on.

Boston has celebrated eight sports championships since 2002. The 2002 Patriots Super Bowl Parade was the only one I ever attended – I started working in TV news that week and I assisted directed TV coverage for the rest of them. I worked the night when the Red Sox won in 2004, and I was out of town when they won in 2007. It felt incredibly special to be in town and off the clock this year for everything.

On Thursday, Jeff received an email invitation for season ticket holders to gather at Fenway Park for the rolling rally kick off celebration. Little did we know how much fun it would end up being! The rest of this post features photos both of us took.

 

Boston Red Sox World Series Banner

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Wally the Green Monster welcomes the fans.

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

The Red Sox Rally was a rally for these folks too, right? RIGHT?

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedoria

David Ross

David Ross carrying the hardware.

Boston Red Sox World Series Celerbration

#BostonStrong

David Ortiz MVP

MVP David Ortiz…and his WWF belt.

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Jacoby Elisbury

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Boston Duck Tours

I love how the duck boats were decked out with beards!

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

Boston Red Sox World Series Celebration

David Ortiz MVP

David Ortiz MVP

Fenway Park

Fans take over Fenway Park

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I just wanted to sit down on the edge of the outfield, and take it all in…

Fenway Park

Apple Cinnamon Caramel Cookies (and a studio photography class!)

Photos of apples

I know they are very similar, but which photo do you guys like more? I cannot make up my mind! (Seriously, leave a comment below. I want to add one of them to my portfolio, and cannot decide which one I like more!)

I LOVE working with natural light, especially when it comes to food photography. L-O-V-E. Working with it comes naturally to me, and I love the challenge of adjusting to the weather outside. (Or maybe it has something to do with being cooped up  in a dark control room 40 hours a week… This gal needs her vitamin D!)

But the days are getting short (*SOB*) and I want more photographic flexibility. I’ve played around with studio lights before, used speedlights for portrait photography, but wanted to learn more about lighting glass, reflective objects, and anything involving more studio based commercial photography. So I signed up for a 10-week workshop at New England School of Photography.

The classes in which we photographed reflective objects and food couldn’t have come at a better time because I felt overwhelmed by the amount of apples in my kitchen. (I’m totally experimenting with light and backgrounds in these classes, so the styling between the images above and below are intentional – I’m not going for storytelling! :) )

Apples are easy to transport to class, as are cookies. And I wanted to try using some cinnamon goat milk caramel from Fat Toad Farm in a cake or cookie recipe, so this became a great opportunity to experiment in making another gluten-free cookie. They came out pretty well! The cookies kind of have the texture of a very light and airy cake.

AppleCookies-066

Apple Cinnamon Caramel Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten-Free Cookies
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 16-18 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ¼ cup millet flour
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ packed cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Fat Toad Farm cinnamon goat milk caramel
  • 1 large cortland apple
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flours, quinoa flakes, baking soda, and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and pale in color.
  4. Stir in the egg, then add the vanilla and flour mixture.
  5. Mix until incorporated.
  6. Fold in the caramel and apples.
  7. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets. They will spread while baking, so leave plenty of space between them. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to darken. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

EH Chocolatier’s CSC (Community Supported Chocolate!)

CSA’s are pretty fantastic and convenient, but Boston’s first community supported chocolate?! YES. It’s starting up next month, and runs through March 2014. This was a really fun photography project to work on! Find out more about EH Chocolatier’s CSC program here.

EH Chocolatier

LONDON! (Part 2)

London-3357

Sloooowly catching up on blog posts! More about that “time-when-I-dropped-everything-and-ran-away-across-the-pond-for-six-days”! I’m not going to bore you with photos of the changing of the guard ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace – I’m sure you’ve seen photos of the London guards before. And I couldn’t take photos inside many of the museums I visited. (The National Portrait Gallery, The Tate Modern, The British Museum…) But if you’re ever in London, you have to go to The British Library! I’m a total literature/history/music geek, so I spent a few hours drooling over Jane Austin’s writing desk, the original copy of Handel’s “Messiah”, Beatles lyrics scribbled on scrap paper, and The Magna Carta, to name a few. It’s absolutely incredible to be surrounded by such history.

We also took in a view of the city on the London Eye.

London Skyline Photos

Things to do in London

And saw some really entertaining street performers.

Thames River Street Performers

London Street Performers

And ate some ice cream. :) Melissa and I never saw a shell-like ice cream “cone”.

London Street Food

And we visited Westminster Abbey. Photography is prohibited in most areas of the abbey, so I can’t share too much of my visit. But the abbey is stunning, and much larger than what I imagined. I had no idea that behind the alter we’ve all seen on television, there’s a huge section where kings and queens are entombed. Again, the history geek in me completely freaked out! Kings, queens, writers like Tennyson and Charles Dickens, and scientist Issac Newton are buried in the abbey.

London-2

London-3393

And then – please don’t be too jealous ;) – we spent a day at Harry Potter Studios London. It’s not an amusement park – it’s the actual sound stages that the movie was filmed on. And it totally honors all the people who worked behind the scenes to make the magic happen for all of us, which makes this television director very happy. :) The amount of detail that went into every single aspect of the film series is astounding. I think I photographed every inch of the place!

Things to do in London

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Things to do in London

Things to do in London

It tastes like butterscotch soda. :)

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As the ultimate Harry Potter fan, Melissa may have experienced the best birthday ever. Happy birthday, Missy!

Things to do in London

Eventually, it was time to return to reality. I’ve been wanting to visit London since high school, and now it’s finally checked off my list. I have no idea where my next travel adventure will take me, but it will probably be somewhere here at home. A cab driver laughed at me about visiting London before seeing the Grand Canyon… She has a very good point. :)

London-3707

LONDON! (Somerset House – elBulli / Ferran Adrià & the Art of Food)

Let’s call this the “time-when-I-dropped-everything-and-ran-away-across-the-pond-for-six-days”. The summer was incredibly busy between the full time job, a large food photography project, photographing a few weddings, and spending some weekends away. It was wonderful and fun, but I was pulled in so many different directions that I needed to hit the “reset” button. So when my old college roomie Melissa mentioned she was travelling to London, and invited me to join her, I jumped at the opportunity. Okay, maybe I didn’t jump…there was much indecision over the cost of travelling to London. I’ve been working so hard to save money, and London is not a bargain destination. But I never traveled there, so I chose to seize the opportunity.

London

 I had a half-day to myself before Melissa arrived, so I spent the morning wandering around. I absolutely love getting aclamated to new cities by wandering around. I love taking in the sites, the locals, getting a sense of how roads twist around, exploring little odd shops, and visiting cafes. During my walk, I came across the Somerset House, which I had been told about when I arrived. What happened to be on exhibit? Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food!

Exhibits in London

The exhibit was an overview of how Ferran Adrià began his career as a chef and went on to be one of the world’s top chefs. He developed art through culinary and scientific creativity, and created a new philosophy about food. During the beginning of his career, a chef told him that “creativity means not copying”, which drove Adrià to develop a style of his own. (And if you’re from the Boston area – are you familiar with Harvard’s Science and Cooking Lecture series? This guy had a *little* something to do with it! Or Modernist Cuisine, anyone?)

So I wanted to share a few photos from the exhibit! There was sooo much to look at, read, and take in, but I picked a bunch of my favorites from the exhibit to share.

Ferran Adrià and the Art of Food

Principles of elBulli

Exhibits in London

Exhibits in London

Everyone who dined at elBulli received a box of chocolates at the end of their meal.

Exhibits in London

The Art of Food Exhibit London elBulli exhibit London el Bulli exhibit London

elBulli London museum exhibit

I sat in front of this food photography wall for quite some time… How incredible would it be to have your work displayed like this?!

The Somerset House London

A film is projected onto a white table cloth. Sit down, and feel as if you’re enjoying a meal at elBulli!

Ferran Adrià

Many illustrations about the science of cooking.

 

The Science of Cooking

Science! (of cooking)

Ferran Adrià

Yes, Ferran Adrià is this guy. ;)

Part 2 of my trip to London coming sometime soon!

Married: Jenn and Eric at Bittersweet Farm

Boston Wedding Photographers

Boston Wedding Photographers

Boston Wedding Photographers

Boston Wedding Photographer

Boston Wedding Photographers

Boston Wedding Photographers

Boston Wedding Photographers

Last month, I had the pleasure of photographing Jenn and Eric’s special day at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, MA. I randomly met Jenn last year at Travessia Urban Winery, and was so excited when she asked me to photograph their wedding! Congratulations, Eric and Jenn!

Weekend Adventures in Burlington, Vermont

I’m soooo behind in blog posts! How was your summer? How is it that it’s already over?! This summer was filled with weekends far away from the city. Cape Cod, Nantucket, Portland, and my favorite of all, Burlington, Vermont. Everything is greener, the air is crisp, and the food is fresher because most of it is sourced from local farms.

Our first stop on the way to Burlington, Vermont was at King Arthur Flour. What a beautiful place! One side of the building has an education center where you can take all sorts of baking classes. I’d love to go back sometime for one! On the other side of the building is an enormous King Arthur Flour store, which you can find every single flour under the sun. (Well, at least it seems that way!) There’s also a cool cafe to pick up lunch, or a sweet treat.

King Arthur Flour in Vermont

King Arthur Flour cafe

Continuing our trek up north, how could we possibly *not* tour Ben and Jerry’s?

Visiting Ben and Jerry's in Vermont

So many flavors! We got to see how all the milk, cream, and sugar get combined together with candy, fudge, and other fixings to create your favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavors. After having a sample of their new salted caramel ice cream, I had to indulge in a full serving!

Visiting Ben and Jerry's in Vermont

Next stop was at Magic Hat Brewery. It’s unlike any other brewery tour I’ve been on. After watching a really fun film about the company, you walk though a self guided tour of the brewery. It basically involves standing on a platform above the production floor, looking at this:

Burlington, Vermont

There are multiple computer screens on the viewing platform that allow you to identify each piece of equipment, and learn how the brewing and bottling process happens. We were lucky to be there on a bottling day, so the floor was full of activity!

One of the most fantastic meals we had in Burlington was at Sweetwaters. There are a ton of restaurants in downtown Burlington which offer gluten-free menus, but we especially enjoyed Sweetwaters. There was just something about the food in Burlington… Everything was so incredibly fresh because ingredients are sourced from local farms, which are identified on the menus. Fresher ingredients means better tasting food. Bacon wrapped scallops? Yes, please!

Where to eat in Burlington, Vermont

We were slowly running out of time in Burlington, and we really wanted to do two things – go for a hike, and visit a farm. So we did a little of both at Shelburne Farms. Shelburne Farms is a non-profit education organization with a 1,400 acre working farm on Lake Champlain. We walked about a half mile in before taking in the beautiful views and petting some really adorable farm animals.

Can I go back now? Please?

Farms in Vermont

Places to visit in Burlington, VT

Places to visit in Burlington, VT

Places to visit in Burlington Vermont

Places to visit in Burlington Vermont

True story – while taking this photo, another cow was being milked nearby…and it decided to poop…which splattered on my legs. BLECH! I GOT POOPED ON BY A COW! (Actually, it was quite hilarious!)

Places to visit in Burlington, Vermont

Turkey Vegetable Meatloaf

The idea of “Project Use All The Food Products In My Kitchen” kind of got launched with I made a gluten-free version of my grandmother’s banana bread. I had come home from the market one afternoon, stood in front of my pantry, and played a game of Tetris to make everything fit. It’s somewhat organized – spices are on a little rack, bottles are next to it, boxes are lined up… But I realized I kept buying new ingredients for recipes and not using enough of what I already have. I’ve also been eating out way too much, and rather see that money either in my bank account or spent on a vacation. Or on the road bike I’ve been lusting over for longer than I care to admit. Or on a gorgeous pair of shoes. ;)

Anyway, this food clutter situation extends into my freezer. For the next few weeks, there’s seriously no reason to purchase anything other than vegetables, fruit, milk, eggs, and maybe bread. And that’s how this turkey meatloaf recipe came to be. What did I have on hand, and what could I make with it? A package of ground turkey in the freezer, a red onion that had nothing better to do than be cooked in butter, a portobello mushroom that overstayed it’s welcome, and oh hey – some baby spinach would probably taste great and add some awesome color. The only bread crumbs I had were gluten-free, so those got thrown in. I didn’t have enough ketchup for a traditional meatloaf recipe, but I did have a jar of Dave’s Gourmet Red Heirloom Organic Pasta Sauce that I found on sale at Whole Foods a few weeks ago! (I often see Dave’s Gourmet sauces in Home Goods too. Always fun to save a few pennies by buying it there.)

turkey vegetable meatloaf recipe

Um, I don’t ever want to eat “regular” meatloaf again. This will be my go-to recipe. Jeff says it’s addictive. We almost polished off the ENTIRE loaf for dinner, restraining ourselves and leaving two pieces for the next day’s lunch. I made this a little over a week ago while on the verge of getting sick, so I made it again this weekend just to make sure my tastebuds weren’t off…

I might go back into the kitchen after writing this and have thirds!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Turkey Vegetable Meatloaf
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium (or 1 large) portobello mushroom, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 1¼ lbs ground turkey
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (substitute gluten-free bread crumbs, if you’d like)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup Dave’s Gourmet Red Heirloom Organic Pasta Sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet.
  3. Add the onion, mushroom, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach when the mixture has a minute or so left to cook.
  4. Spoon mixture into a bowl to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, pasta sauce, salt, pepper, and the vegetable mixture.
  6. Spread the meatloaf into an 8×4 loaf pan. (I lined mine with parchment paper.)
  7. Bake for 50-55 minutes.

 

Side Note – This is not a sponsored post. I seriously had a jar of Dave’s Gourmet sauce sitting around, begging to be used.

 

Mmmmm, bacon! Food Photography for Bacon Lab

The quest for the perfect slice of bacon is on! It seems like it’s everywhere these days, appearing on traditional BLT sandwiches, to donuts and ice cream. Kim Courtney of Bacon Lab is on a mission to create a flavored, shelf-stable bacon product and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to get her vision off the ground. I recently spent an afternoon photographing (and tasting!) the four flavors she’s developed so far – maple and brown sugar, bourbon, sriracha, and chocolate and almond. Bacon Lab has already received a mention on Boston Magazine’s website, and has a little under a month to reach the fundraising goal.

Bacon Lab Cambridge MA

Boston Food Photographer

Boston Food Photographer