Tag Archives: food photography

Chicken Pot Pie Soup (Gluten and Dairy Free!)

When I was a kid, I’d whine to my dad that I was bored and he would jokingly tell me to go jump in a snow pile. That’s about to happen because there’s about 3 or 4 feet of snow on the ground. FEET OF SNOW. It’s becoming comical. There’s hardly anywhere left to put it.

With the 72 inches of snow Boston has seen over a two week span, most people I know are in hibernation mode. Hibernation mode calls for hot meals made from whatever is already in the kitchen, and we’ve been hooked on soups and stews.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken Pot Pie Soup

 

Oh, there’s chicken and frozen veggies in the freezer? And some fresh vegetables that need to be used up? Hello, chicken pot pie (sort of)!

 

Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This recipe is inspired from a take-out soup business that used to be downtown. My favorite soup was their chicken pot pie soup. The restaurant closed a few years ago, but I’ve missed the soup which was simply a chicken pot pie filling. I made this meal dairy-free by substituting a can of coconut milk for cream or regular milk, and used a gluten-free all purpose flour mix to thicken up the broth.

The result? This is as close to a regular chicken pot pie filling you’re ever going to get. I couldn’t believe how well the flavors melded together! You wouldn’t know coconut milk was used. The recipe below calls for 3 tablespoons of gluten-free flour, but I think you could probably throw in another teaspoon or tablespoon to thicken up the broth even more. If you’re really motivated, you could make a gluten-free pie crust topping, and crumble it on top. After shoveling several feet of snow, I’m fine with this soup the way it is!

How are you surviving Snowpocolypse 2015?

Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Chicken Pot Pie Soup (Gluten and Dairy Free!)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (16oz) can coconut milk
  • 3 cups mixed frozen vegetables (I used a corn, green bean, carrot, peas mix)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 3 Tbsp Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill.)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • all-purpose, no salt seasoning mix
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken breasts into small, bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat a pan with 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Cook chicken thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in a 5 or 6 qt pot. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the celery and onion. Season with all-purpose seasoning. Cook until onions are translucent.
  5. Stir in flour. Pour in chicken stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add chicken and frozen mixed vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and seasoning mix.
  7. Cook on medium for about 30-40 minutes.

 

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to have a backyard again… After spending years living in brick apartment buildings, I’ve been soaking up every second I can outside! It feels like a luxury being able to sit under a tree with a book without having to get in my car and drive to a park. Jeff and I have also been learning how to grill! He found a perfectly good Weber grill on Craigslist, cleaned it up, and we’ve been grilling up burgers and veggies over the past few weeks.

Our friends Kelly and Pat came to visit from Toronto this past weekend. Kelly is one of my nearest and dearest friends in the world, and her culinary knowledge and talent never ceases to amaze me! Before I met Kelly, the only green vegetable I ate was iceberg lettuce. So I blame my current, much, MUCH more sophisticated palate on her. 😉

Her visit coincided with an invitation from OXO to participate in their #WhatAGrillWants blogger campaign, which was perfect because Jeff and I invited a bunch of people over for a cookout. OXO sent a bunch of new grilling tools to try out – a bladed meat tenderizer, a little salad dressing shaker, a corn stripper, a silicone basting brush, and 16 inch tongs.

OXO #WhatAGrillWants

I’m not quite sure what Kelly and Jeff are thumb wrestling over, but it was a fun moment in the kitchen as we prepared everything for the grill! Using a bladed meat tenderizer was interesting… I grew up with my mom and grandmother using a fork to do it, so I wasn’t quite sure how beneficial this tool would be. With 50 blades in the OXO bladed meat tenderizer, we sure saved some time! This tool is used like a stamp, and you have to push down really hard to get the blades through the meat. (With 50 blades in a tool, I’m GLAD it takes some muscle to press it down!)

OXO #WhatAGrillWants

OXO also sent a super cute and handy little salad dressing shaker, which we used to make a marinade for the pork.

OXO #WhatAGrillWants

I love this salad dressing shaker! You can’t really see it in the photo, but one side of the cup has measuring lines for cups, and the other has lines for ounces. And the cap has an airtight, leakproof seal, so it’s perfect for shaking up salad dressings or marinades. I wouldn’t hesitate bringing this to other cookouts or picnics!

While the pork marinaded, I decided to throw together a Cajun-style grilled corn salad. I looooove Mexican-style corn on the cob, but don’t really enjoy the mess that comes along with eating it. And I’ve been dying to use this delicious Cajun spice blend I picked up at the New Orleans School of Cooking during a recent vacation.

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad - OXO #WhatAGrillWants

Onto the grill the corn went. We turned the corn every couple of minutes, and left them on the grill just long enough to get a nice, charred look. The OXO tongs came in really handy here – the tips don’t have sharp edges like a lot of other grill tools, so later on when we grilled other veggies wrapped in foil, Jeff didn’t accidentally poke holes through the foil with the tongs.

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad - OXO #WhatAGrillWants

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad - OXO #WhatAGrillWants

Then we got to use my favorite tool out of the whole kit – the corn stripper. This tool is so easy to use! There’s a blade on the bottom, which cuts the kernels off the cob, and they collect inside a little cup attached to it instead of spilling all over the place.

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad - OXO #WhatAGrillWants

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad - OXO #WhatAGrillWantsOnce all the kernels were shed, I mixed in cheese, a tiny bit of mayonnaise, garlic, the Cajun spice mix, and some fresh green onions from our garden to create the corn salad. You can get the recipe at the bottom of this post! It’s a super easy cookout recipe everyone will love. It can be served warm right off the grill or chilled. I made a little more this week with an ear of leftover corn, and tossed it in with a regular salad. So good!

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad - OXO #WhatAGrillWants

Anyway, the tongs came in handy again when it was time to put the pork on the grill. The basting brush was pretty cool to use as well – there are gaps in the center bristles that trap liquids, so we were able to spread a lot more marinade on the roasts.

OXO #WhatAGrillWants

OXO #WhatAGrillWants

It was so fun cooking outside with wonderful friends we don’t get to see very often. It’s just what we do. 🙂 Thanks to OXO for making our cookout a little more fun and easy!

Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad - OXO #WhatAGrillWants

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for OXO, and I received the grill tools from them for free. No other compensation was provided, and opinions here are my own.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Cajun-Style Grilled Corn Salad
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil (for the grill)
  • ½ cup Pecorino Romano grated cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon Cajun spice blend (or chili powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • green onions, sliced thin
  • 6 large ears of corn, husks removed
Instructions
  1. Turn all the burners on high and allow the grill to become very hot.
  2. Once you scrape the grate clean, oil it by dipping a paper towel in vegetable oil. Use tongs to oil the grate!
  3. Place the ears of corn on the grill, turning them every 2 minutes or so until the kernels start to char.
  4. Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, Cajun spice mix (or chili powder), black pepper, and salt.
  5. When the corn is done, allow to cool for a few minutes. Using the OXO corn stripper, remove the kernels from the cob and empty the container into a medium mixing bowl.
  6. Toss in the cheese, mayo, and spice mixture and mix until the corn kernels are coated. Top with green onions, to taste.

 

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

Food Blog Forum – Brunch at Whole Foods in Orlando

Food Blog Forum

 The brunch at Whole Foods in Orlando gets a separate post because I was able to photograph food in decent light. (And the other posts were getting lengthy… 😉 )

Mason jar parfaits, BBQ pork on habanero corn bread, quinoa breakfast salad, strawberry caprese… After all the excitement of the weekend, a leisurely Sunday brunch was a great way to unwind and spend more time with new friends. I’m not going to “talk” too much in this post… I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

 Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Whole Foods Orlando

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Loved seeing Diane and Todd again!

I met some really cool, wonderful, talented people during the conference. Some of them are writers, others are chefs, and most simply enjoy sharing their love of cooking and food. I hope you take a few minutes to check out their blogs!

In no particular order:

Julius of Droolius

Erin of Eat Bake Drink Cook

Vijay of NoshOnIt.com

Annelies of The Food Poet

Kiran of KiranTarun.com

Kasey of Kasey’s Kitchen

Charles of Local Forkful

Lindsey of Love and Olive Oil

Heather of Heather Likes Food

Katie of Katie’s Cucina

Ashley of Couture Palate

Tricia of Once a Month Mom

Stephanie of Macaroni and Cheesecake

Jessica of Cooking Bright

1 Year Blogiversary and Ricotta Egg Biscuits for Easter

My little space on the internet turns 1 this week! I started a blog to get a fresh start with photography and get into the practice of writing more often. Food photography was just starting to catch my eye, and I had no idea it would become the center of this website. Last year at this time, I didn’t know I would work for a few small businesses, second shoot a few weddings, and photograph several events. So thank you to everyone I worked with last year, and to my friends and family for their support! I’m hoping year 2 will be just as surprising!

Looking back through the blog, I see a lot of room for growth! I’d love to be more consistent with posts, take my time styling each food photograph before taking the picture, and incorporate a little something else I’ve specialized in since I was 16 years old – video.

 

FUN. No, really, it was really fun to create the video. While I’m looking at this short video and seeing things I want to fix and improve, I’m so excited to start offering short promo videos like this to clients! I’ve worked in video production for the past 17 years – I was a junior in high school when I first picked up a video camera and been working in TV professionally for 11 years, so this is a natural addition. I’m thrilled to offer a service that combines my video production, photography, and marketing skills to clients who want a visual boost on their websites and social media pages.

Easter cookies ricotta egg biscuits

So with Easter coming up this weekend, I whipped up some ricotta egg biscuits to share. Mom and I made these together all the time, and they’re a dessert staple on Easter. Can’t have Easter dinner without egg biscuits for dessert – they’re one of my favorite holiday cookies!

Enjoy the rest of your week, and hope you have a great weekend! xoxo

Frosting for Ricotta Egg Biscuits
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
  • Cookie batter:
  • ½ pound butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TSP lemon flavoring
  • 4 cups flour (gluten-free all purposed flour can be used)
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • 1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • Frosting:
  • 1 box confectionary sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 TSP of vanilla or lemon flavoring
  • Milk
Instructions
  1. Mix butter and sugar together, and add eggs one at a time.
  2. Mix in lemon flavoring, and flour, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, and ricotta cheese. Combine until completely blended.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Do not brown tops. Frost when cool.
  5. Frosting:
  6. Soften butter and mix with sugar.
  7. Add vanilla or lemon flavoring to taste and enough milk to make the mixture spread easily. Frost cooled egg biscuits.

On Being Thankful…

Thanksgiving ends up being a reflective time for me. I think about all that’s happened this year, where I was last year, and where I was five years ago at this time. It’s been an incredible journey, and I have so much to be thankful for.

Photography took on a whole new meaning. It’s been a long time hobby – simple snapshots, to learning how to develop black and white film, to having solo coffee shop shows, and participating in group shows with a magnificent group of artists. I hate to admit this, but my camera sat around collecting dust for awhile until the birth of my friends’ son. A beautiful, joyful little boy was born in January and my friends Colleen and Tim asked me to photograph the new addition to their family. The experience provided a much needed kick in the ass burst of inspiration, and for that I’m thankful.

When Pinterest came into our daily social media mix, and I became increasingly inspired by all the beautiful photos of home improvement projects and recipes. Oh, the recipes… I’m not going to qualify for MasterChef any time soon, but I do enjoy creating delicious meals. Why not photograph them?

I began to play – I started to referring to photography as “play”. I discovered food blogs. Holy black hole of time consumption? Nah. I quickly became a regular follower of a few blogs and learned from them, but one in particular changed everything – I followed my gut when a special opportunity arose. Thank you, Diane and Todd! *HUGS*

I’m thankful for the amazing clients I worked with this year. I had so much fun working with all of you and look forward to working with you again! And I’m forever grateful for my parents and friends. Mom, thank you for always being surprised that I’m earning money through photography. (“And they paid you?!?!”) I’m not quite used to it either, and your reaction always makes me smile. (“Yes, Mom – Really – I got paid!”) Jeff, thank you for constantly pushing and encouraging me to take leaps of faith. Amy, thank you thank you thank you thank you for helping me land my first food photography client. And to my “lil’ sis”, Maliha – thanks for keeping me in check and on my toes. 😉

This will be my 10th Thanksgiving that I’ll be working at the TV station rather than celebrating with my family. I’ll be watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from my seat in the control room rather than a cozy couch. But I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with both Jeff’s family and my parents this weekend. Not being able to spend the actual day with my family usually bothers me a lot, but this year is different for some reason. While my workplace provides a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner every year (for which I’m incredibly grateful – I can’t wait for apple pie!), I’m prepping a little comfort meal to have when I get home Thursday night.

I have a ton of squash sitting in my kitchen right now. (Yay, sales on locally grown food!) I’ve never cooked a carnival squash before, and need to use up a few things in my kitchen. So a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and ta da – baked squash! What to stuff it with… Oh, I have a ginormous bag of quinoa, leftover dried cranberries from a cookie recipe, some fresh rosemary, and a boatload of other dried herbs. Nothing says “fall” or “Thanksgiving” more than squash, cranberries, and herbs! I tried something new and used a different lighting set up in the photo below – I’m not 100% happy with it, but it was a good experiment. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Carnival Squash

Stuffed Carnival Squash
Author: 
Recipe type: Main or Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
I love this because it's so versatile. Sweet like a butternut squash, just about anything will taste delicious stuffed inside of a carnival squash. If I had some onion or celery on hand tonight, I would have added that in for extra flavor. Instead, I chose some generic veggie seasoning. The ingredient measurements are estimates - I eyeballed it.
Ingredients
  • 1 Carnival Squash
  • ¼ to ½ cup of cooked quinoa, depending on the size of the squash
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 spring of fresh rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut off the top of the squash and take out all the seeds
  3. Coat the inside of the squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and toss in a sprig of rosemary
  4. Fill a baking pan with ¼" water
  5. Place the squash cut side facing down in the pan
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes
  7. While the squash is baking, cook the quinoa. Stir the dried cranberries (or other ingredients of your choosing) in when it is completely cooked.
  8. Remove the squash from the oven, stuff with the quinoa mixture, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1

Chocolate Maple Zucchini Muffins

With an abundance of zucchini popping up in everyone’s garden, who isn’t wondering what the heck to do with them? Roast it, bake it, keep it healthy, or create a little treat that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty? (It’s a vegetable, therefore if it’s in a dessert, it’s good for you, right???)

Chocolate Maple Zucchini Muffins

I decided to freeze most of the zucchini from Jeff’s garden, but wanted to make something a little sweet with what remained. There are tons of zucchini bread and muffin recipes out there, and here’s another one to add into the mix! I’ve seen several different general dessert recipes which call for maple syrup instead of sugar, so I gave that a try. I also love chocolate, so figured a handful of chocolate chips wouldn’t hurt!

I’m usually not a big fan of muffins because they either tend to be overly dry or too sweet, but these are light with just a twinge of sweetness.

Chocolate Maple Zucchini Muffins

 

Chocolate Maple Zucchini Muffins
Recipe type: Snack
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Makes 12. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prep muffin pan with paper liners.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour (I used King Arthur's Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour.)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 packed cup shredded zucchini, patted dry
  • A handful of chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  2. Add the maple syrup, oil, and eggs. Beat together until the batter turns smooth.
  3. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips. Stir by hand until everything is combined. The batter will be slightly sticky.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups, and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Insert a wooden toothpick into the center of a muffin to check for doneness. The toothpick should emerge clean.
  5. Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for a few minutes, then transfer each muffin out of the pan and onto the wire rack to continue cooling.

 

Summer Baked Tomatoes

Baked Tomatoes

 

More often than not, I am a highly unorganized grocery shopper. I pick up random fresh ingredients, having the best intentions of throwing something together once I get home. I had big plans for these tomatoes – an herb chicken and tomato crockpot recipe. But then I realized I wouldn’t be home from dinner for most of the week and, whoops, the chicken was still in the freezer! D’oh! So I found some inspiration from an Italian vegetable cookbook and baked these tomatoes into a delicious side dish. A little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simple, simple, simple!

Baked Tomatoes